MLB Betting News: UNDERS Continue to Yield Profits for Bettors
We’re nearing the quarter pole of the 60-game MLB season and it’s been anything but a smooth ride. Multiple teams have been impacted by COVID outbreaks, 7-inning doubleheaders have been implemented and may become commonplace moving forward, and with the playoffs expanded, everyone — for now — is technically live to earn a berth. Let’s recap some trends that have emerged that bettors should keep an eye on.
UNDERS continue to produce at a healthy rate of 56%. Heading into Friday’s action, totals sit at 74-94-8 O/U. This correlates to the league-wide decline in offensive production.
2019: .252 BA, .323 OBP, .435 SLG, .758 OPS
2020: .232 BA, .312 OBP, .396 SLG, .708 OPS
One reason for the decline could be due to the increase in roster size. Teams were able to carry 30 players which for most meant extra and also fresher arms in the bullpen as starters continue to build stamina. MLB originally discussed lowering it to as few as 26 but due to recent COVID outbreaks, it settled on 28 for the remainder of the season and postseason. With the potential for less arms in the pen, it could lead to an uptick in offense.
The most profitable bet in baseball has been the Cleveland Indians UNDER the total. Fourteen games and 12 UNDERS thanks in large part to some remarkable performances by the pitching staff who currently sports an overall ERA of 2.05. Obviously that’s not sustainable and multiple numbers support that claim. The staff’s left on base rate is 90.4% to go with a .236 BABIP. Typically, the league average hovers around 70% and .300. The offense’s BABIP of .248 should also start to climb in the coming weeks.
An odd thing occurred at Arizona’s Chase Field on Wednesday when the team decided to open the roof during the game. Prior to that, the stadium produced four UNDERS in five games and during that span, the Diamondbacks averaged only 2.4 runs per game. Against the Astros, Arizona was held scoreless the first three innings and then, with the roof now open, exploded for nine runs in the fourth en route to a 14-7 win. According to Houston, there was little doubt it had an impact.
“It’s not an excuse. It just is what it is,” McCullers said. “Balls were being hit that were routine pop-ups and they were landing off walls. It was kind of just an unfortunate inning.”
Opening the roof wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision for the struggling D-backs. They planned to open it between innings before the game, which Astros manager Dusty Baker confirmed during an interview with the Houston Chronicle.
“They told us before the game they were going to open the roof and when they open the roof, this place plays like Colorado,” Baker said.“I knew before the game, this place, you never really feel safe here because of big gaps and the ball jumps and they start hitting the ball out of the ballpark.
During the summer months, the roof at Chase Field typically remains closed but with the comfort of fans no longer an issue, perhaps it becomes a more frequent occurrence.
Speaking of stadiums playing small, San Francisco’s Oracle Park, which is often referred to as “pitcher friendly” has been spitting out runs in bunches (5-0-1 O/U). Last season, Giants home games averaged 7.95 runs and 1.99 home runs per game. This year, through six games, scoring is at 12.5 runs per game and home runs 2.17. The team did make some adjustments to the ballpark during the offseason, most notably a few fences were moved in. The team’s defense has been nothing short of horrific with a league-leading 17 errors though of the 37 runs they’ve allowed at home, 35 have been earned. Mike Yastrzemski and Donovan Solano have been tearing the cover off of the ball and carrying the offense with slugging percentages above .625. They also own BABIP rates of .400 and .514, respectively. The output at Oracle is obviously not sustainable but there’s been rumblings that first-year manager Gabe Kapler has been sacrificing defense for offense. We’ll see how long that mantra lasts. The Giants don’t play again at home until August 14.