Good Read on MLB Totals so Far this Season

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Good Read on MLB Totals so Far this Season

I found this today and thought it was an interesting read & I wanted to share it with the Forums.......


Today let's focus on developments with Over/Unders in the bases.

You've probably noticed that it's been a high scoring year. Several teams are trending Over thus far. Hardly anyone is trending Under. I'll go through things on a team-by-team basis in a minute. First, here are some reasons that we may be seeing so many Overs this season thus far:

*The weather was warmer this past April than it was in 2008. You'll recall that very cold temperatures really condensed scoring last season. Hitting weather was better everywhere, so the ball started carrying from the first day onward.

*Many ace caliber starting pitchers were either on the Disabled List at the start of the season, or were there after a couple of starts. I don't recall ever seeing THIS many big name guys on the sidelines for so long. Aces are hard to come by. Their replacements aren't nearly as good. If you're taking out a lot of aces and replacing them with borderline guys...scoring is going to go up.

*The fact that Manny Ramirez flunked a drug test suggests that some players are still trying to find ways to bend the rules about chemical assistance. A lot of guys took bit hits to their stats last year. They weren't going to just sit idly by and lose their reputation (and money). I wouldn't be surprised if some new ways to cheat the system have been devised by now. Hey, it's human nature. These guys are competitive...and have already established that they'll cheat to get ahead. I'm not law enforcement. I'm an oddsmaker and I have to take all possibilities into account! As a fan I hope players aren't cheating. Scoring and power numbers are up though, aren't they?

*Some conspiracy theorists have talked about umpire's squeezing the strike zone, juiced balls, corked bats, and all the other stuff you hear about when scoring is up. I'm skeptical about these things because I believe the weather and the pitching injuries would account for what we've seen. But, you never know. Some bats have been found to be corked. And, the league does prefer long high scoring games to short pitcher's duels when it comes to marketing their product and selling beer.

Okay, let's go team-by-team so you can see how pervasive the tendency toward Overs has been. It's not like ALL games are going Over by any means. But, there's been enough of an uptick to notice...and it's one that hasn't been fully reflected in the lines or everyone would be near 50/50 in results.

BIGGEST OVER TEAMS (pushes excluded)
Philadelphia: 21-12
Boston: 21-13
Cleveland: 23-15
Baltimore: 22-15
Toronto: 23-17
Washington: 20-14
Colorado: 20-14
NY Yankees: 20-15
NY Mets: 19-14
Chicago Cubs: 19-14
LA Dodgers: 19-14
Florida: 21-17
Oakland: 19-15

That's about half the league who are three games over .500 or more with Overs. And, it's about a third who are at least five games over .500. This is what I mean about seeing a sportwide tendency. We're not talking about a couple of stadiums here and there...or just warm weather in a certain part of the country. That list represents the Northeast, the Midwest, the Rocky Mountains, and the Far West. It represents outdoor stadiums and domes. It represents both leagues. It represents good teams and bad teams. Scoring is UP this year and the Nevada lines aren't fully reflecting it.

Am I suggesting that all of these teams will keep shading toward the Over? I wouldn't go that far. Lines do catch up eventually. And, all sorts of factor could come into play that would signal a reversal. Some teams are about to get their top pitchers back. The Dodgers will be without Manny Ramirez for several more weeks. You have to go on a team-by-team basis with something like this. Just try to do the work so you know the team tendencies!

NEUTRAL TEAMS
Tampa Bay: 20-17
San Francisco: 17-14
Pittsburgh: 19-17
Seattle: 19-18
LA Angels: 18-17
San Diego: 18-17
St. Louis: 18-17
Minnesota: 18-18
Cincinnati: 18-18
Detroit: 17-17
Texas: 17-18
Milwaukee: 18-19
Kansas City: 18-20
Chicago White Sox: 17-19
Atlanta: 16-19

This is a pretty good sized hunk of teams within a few games of .500. So, it's not like the market prices are WAY out of whack. They've just been shaded too low. There are still a lot of teams on the money. Maybe it's about a third of the league when you'd expect something greater than half the league.

UNDER TEAMS
Arizona: 15-20
Houston: 14-20

That's a short list. ONLY TWO TEAMS OUT OF 30 HAVE A RATIO OF -3 OR HIGHER! We're almost a fourth of the way through the season...having finished off six weeks of baseball...and really only TWO teams in all of baseball are showing one-sided Under tendencies!

*Arizona has a horrible offense this year. Because they play their home games in a great hitter's park (Arizona is basically the Texas of the National League in terms of ballpark effects), the numbers there have to be relatively high. Arizona isn't scoring enough to get there.

*Houston's offense has also struggled. This is a team that plays in a bandbox park, and has a tradition of putting up runs. Oddsmakers and the public have been slow to adjust to the 2009 roster.

Go back and look at the first listing to see how many teams are at last four games over .500 with Overs. It's a lot more than TWO! And we have some seven's, eight's and nine's on the high end too. This is clearly a sport-wide phenomenon. And, Sunday's games went 9-4 to the Over...so it's not like we're talking about old news that isn't relevant any more.

And, the weather isn't going to get cooler in June, July, and August! Should you just keep betting all the Overs and hoping things work out for you? I'd advise against that for a few reasons:

*Many of the aces are coming back soon, or eventually. That right there will knock some of the air out of opposing offenses.

*The lines are adjusting. If the games are high scoring, but the Nevada lines are high, then there's no edge. You only have value if the market prices aren't reflecting reality. Pay close attention to this to see if the numbers start to catch up. And, remember that the weather IS going to get hotter...so they have to rise for awhile.

*We may start having more injuries to offensive players. It seems like pitchers have taken the brunt of bad injury luck early on. You just never know with injuries. More guys are developing the hip problem what AROD had (hmm, wonder why that is?). If the ace pitchers come back just as sluggers start to hit the DL, we may even have a clean reversal.

*Pennant race baseball is prone to lead to Unders as teams start giving more importance to each game. We may be in store for some intense pennant races in multiple divisions this year. That's something to look for in the second half of the season if not right away.
   

  • Thanks for the shout out Tony, appreciate it buddy.. & ya, Portland gained A TON of valuable experience for next season, thats for sure!

  • Oh ..I did give you a prop on the podcast GF...so now you can listen to it and gloat!!!  LOL.  Keep up the solid work.  

    Sorry about your Blazers playing like crap in the playoffs buddy..young team, they will make some noise again in 2010...

  • This is great stuff GF....Always nice to see something here that is blog-worthy and this is.

  • Thanks for the kind words Tony, & I am going to get around to listening to your podcast tomorrow soon. Have yourself a great week.

  • Goodfella :  Nice work as always....it seems you have a weekly gem or two you dig up here that always raises my eyebrows.

    I agree with with some of this....and with the good weather and many ace pitchers either injured or cold out of the gate, it has in fact added to the Overs thus far...but trends always reverse and even out in pro sports....so when the tides change..let all jump on some Unders and tight games.

  • Nice!

  • Good input & info JD, thanks buddy.

  • You're welcome for the info G Investor & Joe, I'm glad this can be useful for you guys.

  • these are some older stats, but worth reviewing:

    Percentage of Games Leading to Overs based on the following teams winning:

    League Wide: 49.1%

    Road Team: 51.3%

    Road Favorite: 51.6%

    Road Underdog: 49.2%

    Home Team: 47.1%

    Home Favorite: 47.4$

    Home Underdog: 46.1%

  • This info will definitely add some bills in my wallet.

    Thanks dude!

  • Great material and very well written, GF. This is handicapping material.

    I've noticed disparities between team totals not adding to the the game total. I know I posted the NYM/LAD disparity. But did notice the same in the totals of the CWS/TOR game.

    Pending an Under on NYM/LAD, both game & all team totals will have gone under.

  • I have personally noticed some VERY, VERY SMALL strikezones in ALOT of games this season, & pitchers are CONSTANTLY serving up 2-0 & 3-1 fastballs to the best in the world........see GAS CAN bully results for about 90% of the teams thus far.....