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Profiting on baseball comes down to being up to date with all of the key trends and statistics on a daily basis.
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MLB: Record pace of MLB Totals less than 7 runs
In handicapping the MLB action last week, it occurred to me…there are a lot more games with posted totals of less than 7 runs nowadays than I’ve ever picked up on before. If you’ve been active this baseball season, you know that scoring is down overall, but is the frequency of the real low totaled games in proportion, or an overreaction by oddsmakers? Either way, are there any specific trends or betting systems that we can take advantage of when analyzing these games? Let’s take a look.
To start off with, I’m pleased to say that my hunch was correct…AND HOW! So far this season, in games played through Monday, August 2nd, there have been 65 such games with totals posted at 6 or 6.5. Over the course of the prior five seasons combined, there were only 57 games meeting that low total criteria. I would categorize this as an unusual phenomena.
So why are the totals so low? To me, the answer is several-fold. For one,as mentioned before, scoring and home run hitting are down all across baseball. Also, right now, there are 11 different regular starting pitchers that boast a WHIP of 1.100 or less. Last season there were only seven, and in 2008, there were just five. In other words, there are a lot more “aces” around this season to slow opposing lineups. Thirdly, the Padres pitching staff has been dominant in itself, and this year’s list of 65 games with totals of 7 or less includes 25 games at Petco park, home of the Padres. Finally, I believe bettors have forced the hand of oddsmakers to drop their totals more often than they have wanted to. In fact, in 22 of the 65 games, the posted opening total was 7 runs or higher, and dropped below that threshold only after bettors forced oddsmakers to make a bold move downward.
So, now that we have an understanding of how many games are meeting our low total criteria, is there anything specific we can lean on to gain an advantage against the oddsmakers when it comes to betting these totals? Take a look at some of these trends/systems:
• Of the 57 games between 2005-2009 with closing totals of 6 or 6.5, 29 went UNDER and 28 went OVER.
• Of the 65 games this season with totals of less than 7 runs, 36 have gone OVER the total, while 27 have gone UNDER, with two pushes. That means the OVER has won at a rate of 57% on hese games in 2010.
• The average score of these low totaled games in 2010 has been HOME TEAM 4.1, ROAD TEAM 3.4, with the 7.5 combined runs surpassing the average posted number by more than one run per game.
• Interleague play was a boon for bettors playing the OVER, as that side of these low totaled games converted on 10 of 13 opportunities, for 77%.
• Of the 51 remaining games qualifying this season that were not Interleague, only six were American League games. The results on those were split, three OVER’s, three UNDER’s. The N.L. games were 23 OVER’s, 21 UNDER’s, one push.
• Of the 65 games in 2010 with closing totals of less than 7 runs, 15 were day games and the results were six OVER’s, seven UNDER’s, two pushes. Thus, on night games, the OVER’s were much more prevalent, with a record of 30-20, for 60%.
• Interestingly, in the five seasons prior to 2010, not one of our low totaled games have come during the playoffs, when pitching is supposedly at its best.
In terms of ballparks, here are the total records in 2010, noted Over-Under-Push (Over %)
ANGEL STADIUM OF ANAHEIM (Angels): 0-1-0 (0%)
AT&T PARK (Giants): 3-6-0 (33%)
BUSCH STADIUM (Cardinals): 1-0-0 (100%)
CITI FIELD (NY Mets): 1-1-0 (50%)
CITIZENS BANK PARK (Phillies): 0-1-0 (0%)
DODGER STADIUM (Dodgers): 4-2-0 (67%)
MINUTE MAID PARK (Astros): 2-2-0 (50%)
NATIONALS PARK (Nationals): 2-0-0 (100%)
PETCO PARK (Padres): 16-7-2 (70%)
SAFECO FIELD (Mariners): 4-3-0 (57%)
SUN LIFE STADIUM (Marlins): 0-1-0 (0%)
TROPICANA FIELD (Rays): 0-1-0 (0%)
TURNER FIELD (Braves): 0-2-0 (0%)
U.S. CELLULAR FIELD (White Sox): 1-0-0 (100%)
WRIGLEY FIELD (Cubs): 2-0-0 (100%)
Of course, the most interesting trend on that list finds 70% of games at Petco Park with totals of less than 7 runs going OVER. It seems you can’t discount the fact that San Diego is still a first place team and capable of scoring runs itself. In fact, in those 25 games, the Padres averaged 4.9 runs per game themselves. Furthermore, in the games the Padres played on the road with totals of 6 or 6.5, they are 2-1 OVER. One of the things to watch for moving forward is whether or not the frequency of San Diego games meeting our low total criteria declines, since the additions of Ryan Ludwick & Miguel Tejada to the Padres’ lineup should result in increased run production.
The bottom line of all the analysis is this: Don’t judge a book by its cover when it comes to low totaled games. The pitching may look dominant, or the ball park imposing on the hitters, but seven runs is not a heck of a lot to generate in a baseball game. In fact, when you consider that both teams just have to produce three runs each to force these games over (since their can’t be a 3-3 tie), the chances for OVER’s are even greater. Like anything else, oddsmakers are counting on bettors to side with the more common information, and in most cases, all signs are pointing to low scoring games. Naturally, that’s when the opposite occurs, and bookmakers rake in the profits.
MLB: Aces collide in Phillies-Yankees matchup
The three-game series between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies was always going to be intriguing. The pitching matchup in Tuesday night's opener at Yankee Stadium makes it even more so. Both teams will have their aces on the mound in this rematch of last year's World Series when the Yankees turn to CC Sabathia and the Phillies counter with a pitcher very familiar to New York in Roy Halladay. Oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com have installed the hosts as -130 favorites, marking only the second time in 22 starts that Halladay will pitch as an underdog.
The Yankees (40-23) ended a nine-year championship drought by beating the defending champion Phillies (32-29) in six games last year. New York prevailed despite being outhomered 11-6, with Chase Utley hitting five homers for Philadelphia.
Both teams made some key changes, with New York choosing not to re-sign World Series MVP Hideki Matsui and outfielder Johnny Damon. The biggest move was made by Philadelphia, which dealt Cliff Lee and acquired Halladay (8-4, 1.96 ERA) in a four-team deal in the offseason.
Halladay has been outstanding, pitching a major league-leading five complete games. He's dominated the Yankees, going 18-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 35 starts, including 8-1 with a 2.42 ERA in his last 10.
In his career, HALLADAY is 63-41 (+22.5 Units) against the money line when the money line is +125 to -125. The average score was HALLADAY 5.3, OPPONENT 4.2 - (Rating = 1*).
However, this is an interesting contradictory angle from FoxSheets:
• HALLADAY is 0-6 (-10.7 Units) against the money line in an inter-league game over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record) The average score was HALLADAY 2.2, OPPONENT 4.8 - (Rating = 2*)
Sabathia is 1-3 with a 4.74 ERA in six career outings against the Phillies, including three in the postseason. His ERA in 2010 is a pedestrian 4.01 and he has given up 10 runs in 20 innings in his last three starts. The left-hander's last four victories have come against Baltimore, which he's beaten in each of his last two starts. He gave up two runs over seven innings in a 4-2 road win Wednesday.
This will mark the third time that Halladay and Sabathia (6-3, 4.01) have met. They split the first two meetings, with Halladay posting a 3.29 ERA and Sabathia a 3.07 ERA.
New York has won eight straight at home to move into a first-place tie atop the AL East with Tampa Bay.
It's been a different story for the two-time defending NL champions, who find themselves in third place in their division as losers of 14 of 20. The Phillies are last in the majors with 48 runs scored since May 22.
The Yankees will receive a boost if Alex Rodriguez returns after missing all three games against the Astros with a sore right hip. Girardi believes Rodriguez may play Tuesday.
The StatFox Power Line shows the Yankees at -131, almost identical to the actual price at Sportsbook.com, meaning there should be somewhat balanced action coming in on each team.
MLB: Top MLB Weekend Power Trends 4/23-4/25
Major League Baseball touts a full set of 15 series’ again this weekend, and a few divisional matchups along with some hot teams returning home will highlight the schedule. There figures to be a lot of intriguing betting opportunities over the next few days and I’m here to go over some of those. Of course, I will also reveal this weekend’s list of Top StatFox Power Trends to keep an eye on. Head over to the GAME MATCHUPS page for more key betting info.
In the American League this weekend, Tampa Bay will return home after a historic road trip in which it went 9-1 at three different stops. The Rays’ offense exploded for five or more runs in all but two games on the 10-game trip. For the next three days they will play host to Toronto, who is headed in the opposite direction. The Jays, after winning five of their first six games, are just 4-6 since, and trail division leading Tampa by 3-games in the East standings. Elsewhere, the Mariners, fresh off a 7-2 homestand, start a 6-game road swing in the Windy City, taking on the Sox. Chicago is in the midst of a 1-6 stretch in which it totaled just 17 runs. Seattle has closed to within ½-game of the West lead behind Oakland. Speaking of hot teams, two of them will meet in Los Angeles this weekend, with the Angels hosting the Yankees. The Halos have taken 11 of the L15 meetings between these teams in Anaheim and come in on a run of 5-2 in their L7. However, the Yankees have won nine of their L11 games and have yielded just 16 runs in their last seven.
In the Senior Circuit, the Cardinals, tied for the league’s best mark at 10-5, continue their West Coast road trip with a stop in San Francisco. The Giants have gone cold by losing their last four games but will send Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, and Matt Cain to the hill in this 3-game set. In Milwaukee, the rivalry between the Cubs and Brewers will continue this weekend, with the hosts trying to extend an incredible stretch of hitting. Milwaukee has won four straight games, generating 47 runs on 57 hits in the process to climb to the top of the MLB ranks in runs scored per game at 6.5. At the same time, the Cubs are scoring just 3.0 RPG and batting .224 on the road, part of a 3-7 mark away from Wrigleyville. Chicago is 10-6 in Milwaukee over the last few seasons and did take two of three from the Crew in Chicago last week. Finally, in Cincinnati, the league’s hottest team in terms of winning streak, the Padres, put their 6-game stretch on the line at Cincinnati. San Diego hasn’t been on the road though since April 11th and has gone just 2-4 while hitting .218 away from home in 2010.
It should be a good weekend to test some handicapping theories on hot teams and home/road dichotomies. Here are some of the Top StatFox Power Trends you’ll want to consider when analyzing each series:
<b><i>LA DODGERS at WASHINGTON</b></i>
<li>LA DODGERS are 14-2 OVER (+12.0 Units) vs. NL teams allowing 5.3 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was LA DODGERS 7.0, OPPONENT 5.3 - (Rating = 3*)
<b><i>ATLANTA at NY METS</b></i>
<li>ATLANTA is 32-50 (-19.9 Units) against the money line in road games in the first half of the season over the last 3 seasons. The average score was ATLANTA 4.2, OPPONENT 4.3 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>SAN DIEGO at CINCINNATI</b></i>
<li>SAN DIEGO is 5-20 (-14.8 Units) against the money line in road games vs. a poor bullpen whose WHIP is 1.550 or worse over the last 3 seasons. The average score was SAN DIEGO 3.8, OPPONENT 6.6 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>PITTSBURGH at HOUSTON</b></i>
<li>PITTSBURGH is 45-74 (-31.0 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams scoring 3.8 or less runs/game on the season since 1997. The average score was PITTSBURGH 4.2, OPPONENT 5.0 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>CHICAGO CUBS at MILWAUKEE</b></i>
<li>CHICAGO CUBS are 24-53 (-26.3 Units) against the money line in road games vs. an NL team with an on base percentage of .350 or better since 1997. The average score was CHICAGO CUBS 4.4, OPPONENT 5.6 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>FLORIDA at COLORADO</b></i>
<li>COLORADO is 10-25 (-15.9 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams scoring 4.8 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was COLORADO 3.6, OPPONENT 5.1 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>PHILADELPHIA at ARIZONA</b></i>
<li>PHILADELPHIA is 31-15 (+13.6 Units) against the money line vs. an NL team with an on base percentage of .340 or better over the last 2 seasons. The average score was PHILADELPHIA 5.5, OPPONENT 4.3 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>ST LOUIS at SAN FRANCISCO</b></i>
<li>SAN FRANCISCO is 53-34 (+20.0 Units) against the money line vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times/game over the last 2 seasons. The average score was SAN FRANCISCO 4.2, OPPONENT 3.5 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>TORONTO at TAMPA BAY</b></i>
<li>TAMPA BAY is 9-1 (+9.0 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams scoring 4.7 or less runs/game on the season this season. The average score was TAMPA BAY 6.9, OPPONENT 2.3 - (Rating = 2*)
<b><i>BALTIMORE at BOSTON</b></i>
<li>BALTIMORE is 16-40 (-21.4 Units) against the money line vs. a very good bullpen whose ERA is 3.33 or better over the last 3 seasons. The average score was BALTIMORE 3.9, OPPONENT 5.6 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>DETROIT at TEXAS</b></i>
<li>TEXAS is 24-9 UNDER (+13.6 Units) in home games vs. a good bullpen whose WHIP is 1.350 or better over the last 2 seasons. The average score was TEXAS 4.3, OPPONENT 4.1 - (Rating = 2*)
<b><i>MINNESOTA at KANSAS CITY</b></i>
<li>KANSAS CITY is 14-40 (-25.2 Units) against the money line in home games vs. an excellent bullpen whose ERA is 3.00 or better since 1997. The average score was KANSAS CITY 4.2, OPPONENT 6.8 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>SEATTLE at CHI WHITE SOX</b></i>
<li>WAKAMATSU is 27-15 (+13.0 Units) against the money line vs. an overused bullpen that pitches more than 3.2 innings per game as the manager of SEATTLE. The average score was SEATTLE 4.5, OPPONENT 3.6 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>CLEVELAND at OAKLAND</b></i>
<li>OAKLAND is 38-27 (+13.2 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons. The average score was OAKLAND 5.0, OPPONENT 4.3 - (Rating = 1*)
<b><i>NY YANKEES at LA ANGELS</b></i>
<li>LA ANGELS are 43-21 (+21.2 Units) against the money line at home when the money line is +125 to -125 over the last 3 seasons. The average score was LA ANGELS 5.3, OPPONENT 4.5 - (Rating = 2*)
MLB: Top MLB Weekend Power Trends 8/14-8/16
I’ve been talking about August being the month where the contenders separate themselves from the pretenders in baseball. Well, in 2009, that has certainly proved true, as only one of the divisions sees a second place team closer than 4-1/2 games to the lead, and the only real tight races right now are for the league wildcard spots. St. Louis and the Yankees in particular have really stepped it up and now enjoy nice cushions in their respective divisions. Of course, those teams, as well as the rest of the league will be in action this weekend as we reach the midway point of the month. Read on as we take a look at some of the key series’ and offer up our regular feature highlighting some of the Top StatFox Power Trends for you to consider in your wagering.
In the National League, the East Division takes center stage this weekend with the top three teams involved in influential matchups. The division-leading Phillies will go head-to-head with one of the teams trying to track them down, the Braves. Both clubs come in on winning streaks, the Phillies’ being three games, and the Braves having won five straight. In fact, Atlanta is playing some of its best baseball of the year right now and is fortunate to have this opportunity to cut into a 5-game deficit by taking on the defending champs head-to-head. Overall in 2009, the Braves own a 7-2 edge in the series, including a sweep at home at the end of June. Philly remains the best road team in baseball though, at 35-19 and comes in off a sweep in Chicago over the Cubs.
The other team still in the hunt in the N.L. East is Florida, who will have its sights set on both the division lead and wildcard lead over the next few days as it hosts current wildcard front runner Colorado. The Marlins trail by 3-games in that race and get their only chance to welcome the Rockies to Miami now. Florida took two of three in Colorado back in May. Both clubs are playing well in this series too, with the Rockies having won 10 of their last 14 games, and the Fish on a run of 6-1 in their last seven. During that seven-game stretch, Florida is scoring 7.6 runs per game while batting .330.
In the American League, there is really only one series of note, but it is a big one, as Boston travels to Texas. Those are the top two teams in the wildcard race and are separated by a mere ½ game. Unlike the teams focused on in the Senior Circuit, these clubs are scuffling a bit. The Red Sox are 3-7 in their last 10 games while Texas has only split its last 10. Making matters worse for the BoSox, they have gone 0-9 in the second half of this season on the road against teams with a winning record. At the same time, this is one of the bigger series’ for the Rangers all year, and they have a 7-1 record vs. good teams (54%-62% winning percentage) in the second half to fall back on.
Those series’ figure to have the most impact on the standings this weekend, but there are 12 other matchups available from a betting perspective, so be sure to visit the GAME MATCHUPS page each day for the latest key info. In the meantime, feast on these Top StatFox Power Trends that will be in play over the next few days.
PITTSBURGH at CHICAGO CUBS
PITTSBURGH is 9-26 (-16.6 Units) against the money line vs. an NL team with an on base percentage .325 or worse this season. The average score was PITTSBURGH 2.8, OPPONENT 4.9 - (Rating = 2*)
WASHINGTON at CINCINNATI
WASHINGTON is 3-16 (-12.3 Units) against the money line in road games vs. NL teams scoring 4.3 or less runs/game in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was WASHINGTON 3.4, OPPONENT 4.9 - (Rating = 1*)
COLORADO at FLORIDA
FLORIDA is 20-37 (-17.6 Units) against the money line in home games vs. a good bullpen that converts on 75%+ of their save opportunities over the last 3 seasons. The average score was FLORIDA 3.8, OPPONENT 5.8 - (Rating = 1*)
SAN FRANCISCO at NY METS
SAN FRANCISCO is 49-33 (+18.9 Units) against the money line vs. teams averaging 2.75 or less extra base hits per game over the last 2 seasons. The average score was SAN FRANCISCO 4.2, OPPONENT 3.5 - (Rating = 1*)
PHILADELPHIA at ATLANTA
ATLANTA is 7-20 (-15.7 Units) against the money line in home games when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) in the second half of the last 3 seasons. The average score was ATLANTA 3.6, OPPONENT 6.0 - (Rating = 2*)
HOUSTON at MILWAUKEE
MILWAUKEE is 23-35 (-17.1 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a losing record this season. The average score was MILWAUKEE 4.8, OPPONENT 5.5 - (Rating = 2*)
SAN DIEGO at ST LOUIS
ST LOUIS is 14-3 (+9.9 Units) against the money line vs. teams outscored by opp by 0.5 or more runs/game on the season this season. The average score was ST LOUIS 6.3, OPPONENT 3.4 - (Rating = 1*)
LA DODGERS at ARIZONA
LA DODGERS are 16-3 (+12.7 Units) against the money line when playing against a bad team (Win Pct. 38% to 46%) this season. The average score was LA DODGERS 6.0, OPPONENT 3.3 - (Rating = 2*)
LA ANGELS at BALTIMORE
LA ANGELS are 14-0 OVER (+14.1 Units) vs. good fielding teams - averaging <=0.6 errors/game in the second half of this season. The average score was LA ANGELS 8.3, OPPONENT 6.0 - (Rating = 6*)
KANSAS CITY at DETROIT
DETROIT is 33-42 (-18.5 Units) against the money line vs teams who strand 6.9 or less runners on base per game in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons. The average score was DETROIT 4.9, OPPONENT 5.4 - (Rating = 1*)
TORONTO at TAMPA BAY
TORONTO is 16-25 (-13.3 Units) against the money line vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times/game this season. The average score was TORONTO 4.8, OPPONENT 4.6 - (Rating = 1*)
BOSTON at TEXAS
BOSTON is 0-9 (-10.3 Units) against the money line in road games when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of this season. The average score was BOSTON 2.2, OPPONENT 5.3 - (Rating = 2*)
CLEVELAND at MINNESOTA
CLEVELAND is 14-5 (+11.2 Units) against the money line in road games when playing against a team with a losing record in the second half of the last 2 seasons. The average score was CLEVELAND 5.5, OPPONENT 4.7 - (Rating = 1*)
CHI WHITE SOX at OAKLAND
OAKLAND is 2-11 (-10.2 Units) against the money line when playing against a marginal winning team (Win Pct. 51% to 54%) this season. The average score was OAKLAND 4.2, OPPONENT 6.0 - (Rating = 1*)
NY YANKEES at SEATTLE
NY YANKEES are 20-6 (+12.2 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams allowing 4.7 or less runs/game in the second half of this season. The average score was NY YANKEES 5.9, OPPONENT 4.1 - (Rating = 1*)