Happy Fourth of July!
Ah yes, the Fourth of July. Beer, barbecue and firecrackers
fill the festivities in backyards and parks across the US of A where Obamacare,
Tom & Katie's breakup and the shocking discovery that Anderson Cooper is
gay will be discussed deep into the night.
There's also baseball to discuss as we crank up our weekly
look into the numerical minutiae that every baseball betting season brings. From
wagering trends to plain old everyday stats, we'll cover the ongoing MLB grind
that is now into the second half of the 2012 campaign.
Note that numbers below were through games of Monday (July
Under teams that
might surprise you
leads everyone in cashing UNDER tickets (30-48-3 O/U/P), which probably doesn't
surprise many folks given the A's weak offense, fair pitching staff and the cavernous
o.co Coliseum. The Athletics rank 28th in the majors in scoring (3.78) and
fifth with a 3.49 ERA, and they should continue to be a nice target for bettors
who favor the low side of totals.
But what might surprise some is all four AL West teams have
been UNDER winners, along with the New York Yankees paying off at a 59% clip on
that side of the MLB odds.
leads the bigs by a good amount with 5.34 plate crossings per contest. The
Rangers are only slightly leaning UNDER (37-40-3), but it's a direction the
Rangers have been trending to more lately. The Angels (32-46-2) have produced
UNDER winners at the same rate as the Yankees, but that was due to a very slow
April when Albert Pujols was the primary culprit. The Halos have upped their
scoring recently, and that has led to nine of their last 13 skipping OVER the
mark, along with one push.
Seattle (38-43-1) is a bit
with what is generally a punchless attack and an average mound corps. What
makes the Mariners a bit different is the fact that nearly 14% of their runs to
date came in a 4-game road stretch the final two days of May and first two days
of June in hitter-friendly venues at Texas and Chicago. Those games also accounted
for four of Seattle's 38 OVERS, and the M's could be an even better UNDER bet
from here on out...except for maybe their return trips to face the White Sox
(Aug. 24-26) and Rangers (Sept. 21-23).
All betting trends involving the Yankees need to be tempered
with the fact they're such a public team. Playing the OVER is also a more
popular wager, which could also factor into New York's totals record (32-46-1). It is
interesting to see such a heavy UNDER lean in games at Yankee Stadium, however,
with 26 of 41 staying below the line.
Looking just ahead to this weekend, the Mariners will be in Oakland to take on the
A's in a clash of UNDER winners. Seven of their first 10 meetings this season
have failed to reach the total, but the four games in Oakland split 2-2.
Shuffle up and deal
The impending all-star break also signals the start of the
trade season. There were signs the annual swap meet might get underway early,
but a reported deal between the Astros and Dodgers for Carlos Lee fell through
when the veteran slugger vetoed the trade per his 10/5 privileges.
still figures to be a seller and one of three NL Central squads, along with the
Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, looking to unload some high-dollar talent
over the next month. Zack Greinke is a candidate to leave Milwaukee, with the Atlanta Braves and Texas
Rangers among the early suitors. Chicago has two very attractive hurlers that
are churning up interest. Ryan Dempster is due off the DL within the next 10-14
days, and was already someone on the Dodgers' wish list before he was hurt. The
Yankees could also get into the Dempster sweepstakes, and if that fails, go
after his Cubs teammate Matt Garza who is well-versed in the ways of the AL
East from his days with Tampa
The Astros are shopping starter Wandy Rodriguez and
starter-turned-closer Brett Myers, in addition to still wanting to ship Carlos
Lee out. Myers has a $10 million option for 2013 that will kick in if he
finishes 45 games this season, which could be a stumbling block for teams
wanting a closer. If he's dealt to be a setup arm, look for some sort of new
clause to have to be done a la Francisco Rodriguez a couple of years back when
he was swapped from the Mets to the Brewers with similar games-finished
language in his contract at the time.
Speaking of K-Rod, rumors are he could be headed from Milwaukee back to the
Mets who desperately need bullpen help. New York relievers rank last in the
majors with a 4.93 ERA, and the backend of the pen has been unsettled all season.
Rodriguez has been working in setup for the Brewers this season and is 1-4 with
a 4.00 ERA.
Fading the Astros on
Saying Houston has struggled on the road is an
understatement with the Astros 9-29 away from home after dropping Monday's
series opener in Pittsburgh by an 11-2 count. They were +165 underdogs to lose
a sixth straight game Tuesday when they faced Pirates righthander AJ Burnett.
Houston has also found PNC Park to
be a tough place the past few seasons; Monday's setback left the Astros 6-13 in
Iron City since the start of the 2010 season.
Until they start consistently winning at least two of every five games away
the Astros are on my fade list. Play Pittsburgh
-140 on the MLB odds board Wednesday when Kevin Correia takes on Houston rookie Dallas Keuchel.