MLB Totals Betting Trends for Hot Over and Under Teams
There are about 40 games left in the regular season, and the playoff races are heating up. The Houston Astros are only two games ahead of the Oakland Athletics in the American League West. Seattle is just four games back. Atlanta is 1.5 games ahead of Philadelphia in the National League East. The Cubs are 3.5 ahead of Milwaukee, and St. Louis is only five games back after a recent hot streak. Arizona leads the National League West by 1.5 games over Colorado, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are just two games back. There shouldn't be any drama in the American League East or the American League Central.
Handicapping Major League Baseball changes down the stretch, so be sure to account for which teams are motivated and which teams are ready to be done for the season.
What does the totals picture look like as a whole so far this year? The under is 903-839 (51.84 percent unders) overall. Extra inning games are 85-70 to the under, which is certainly interesting but not predictable for the future.
The numbers below are for games played from August 3 through August 16.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Milwaukee Brewers (8-3) The Brewers bullpen was lights out earlier this year, but they have struggled significantly of late. Milwaukee has the sixth worst bullpen ERA in the last month at 5.42. Keep an eye on Ryan Braun and Manny Pina's injuries. It doesn't appear either of them are serious, but they might miss some time. The Brewers have committed 79 errors already this year. That's the kind of thing that could cost them a playoff spot, and lead to some extra overs.
2. Texas Rangers (7-4-2) The Rangers are first in the majors with a weighted on-base average of .359 in the last month. Texas benefited from some high scoring games in the heat in their home games in the last month. This is an offense that excels against left-handed pitching, but they aren't very good against right-handed pitching.
3. San Diego Padres (8-5) It surprises me to see the Padres at this spot. This is a really bad offense, but the starting pitching has been equally bad in the last couple weeks. We can't blame the bullpen. Despite trading away key pieces in the bullpen, the Padres have been top three in the majors in the bullpen ERA since the trade deadline.
4. New York Mets (8-5-1) Where did this come from? The offensive explosions from the Mets in recent days were unexpected. The Mets have scored 46 runs in their last three games. Even after those explosions, for the year the Mets rank 21st in the majors averaging 4.24 runs per game. Brandon Nimmo is nursing a minor injury, and that's one to keep an eye on since he has been great in recent weeks.
5. Baltimore Orioles (6-4-1) Baltimore has a .357 weighted on-base average in the last month, which is second only to the Rangers. The Orioles also have a terrible starting rotation and a bullpen that was gutted at the trade deadline. Through the rest of the season, it would be very hard for me to take an under with this team.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Oakland Athletics (9-2) Oakland's home/road splits on offense are as drastic as you will ever see. On average, most teams hit a little better at home. Oakland plays in a pitcher's park, so them being some better on the road makes sense. They haven't been a little better though. Oakland. The Athletics rank 26th in weighted on-base average with a .301 average at home. On the road, Oakland is easily first in the majors with a .345 weighted on-base average.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (9-2-1) The starting rotation has been tremendous for the Dodgers of late, but the bullpen is a major problem. The Dodgers have hit right-handed pitching well, but they struggle against lefties. The Dodgers have been up against a lot of left-handed pitching of late. This team still has the most talent in the NL West, and there is a lot of pressure on them to get into the playoffs. Their series in Seattle this weekend is one that is important to both teams.
3. Tampa Bay Rays (9-3) The Rays have been better than I expected this year. They've been able to take a team with a lot less talent than most in their division, and be highly competitive. I think you have to give this organization credit for thinking outside the box with things like starting the game with a reliever. I'll continue to look for value toward the under with the Rays thanks to their bullpen depth.
4. Houston Astros (8-3) It's hard to believe the Houston Astros have slumped so badly, but injuries have definitely been part of the cause. Though you wouldn't be able to tell it by their recent play, this is still a team that has a very real chance of winning the World Series again this season. They just need to get healthy, and they would be well-advised to make sure they don't slip into one of the Wild Card spots. Houston is 33-29 at home this year. They are a whopping 41-18 on the road.
5. Chicago Cubs (8-4) The Cubs have been held to one run or less in three of their last seven games. This is still a very good offense, and everyone goes through slumps over the course of a long season. Even during this period, they have found ways to win games despite some ugly offensive outputs. Is the starting rotation going to be good enough in the playoffs? I think that is a question mark.
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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