The long 162-game grind to this year’s MLB playoffs has almost reached the quarter pole as we head into the first full week of May. By now we have had a good look at all 30 teams not only in terms of wins and losses, but in their performance on the money line and the total line when it comes to wagering on the games. The following is a brief look at some early MLB betting trends as well as which teams have been the top money makers through Monday’s games.
General MLB Betting Trends
Anytime you follow a sport that piles-up close to 100 games a week, the betting trends for the actual results will quickly paint a good picture of where there was money to be made. The favorites have won 57.24 percent of the time so far and the home team has won 53.85 percent of their games. When you add both categories together, you find that close to 58 percent of the home favorites have won their games, which is a pretty solid return so far.
The total has gone OVER in 54.57 percent of all games and in 62.22 percent of all the games that have gone to extra innings so far. Hitting has slightly outpaced pitching with a third of MLB teams hitting .260 or better this season, which may be contributing to this trend.
Individual Money Makers
When it comes to a positive return on the money line, the Boston Red Sox are at the top of the list at +875 through their first 32 games. They are +366 on the road this season and +509 at home. This is not a huge surprise since the expectation level for this team dropped significantly after last season’s dismal showing, so this season’s unexpected performance has caught the Oddsmakers off guard.
The second-highest return on the money line belongs to St. Louis at +791. With a very pedestrian 7-5 record at home this season the Cardinals have basically broke even at Busch Stadium. A 13-6 road record has helped fuel a +782 return on their road games this season.
The Kansas City Royals continue to be one of the biggest surprises in the early going with an overall record of 17-11 that includes a 10-5 record at home for a +344 return and a 7-6 record on the road that has provided a +332 return.
A few other teams that have been profitable to wager on this season on the money line include Baltimore at +668, Pittsburgh at +646 and Colorado at +631. Through Monday’s games, these three had a combined record of 54-40.
By far the most profitable team on the total line has been the Oakland Athletics with 26 of their first 33 games going OVER the total. Milwaukee has also been a solid play with 21 of its first 30 games going OVER as well. Houston has had 20 of its first 30 games go OVER and the Los Angeles Angels have seen 21 of their first 31 games go OVER the total.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the total has stayed UNDER in 19 of the Chicago White Sox first 28 games and in 20 of the Texas Rangers first 30 games this year. The White Sox are ranked last in the American League in runs scored so this result makes all the sense in the world. The Rangers are ranked sixth in the AL in runs scored, but they have not lived-up to expectations of being one of the most prolific scoring teams in the league, which would account for these results.
The Bottom Line
Over the course of such a long season, hot teams go cold while cold teams can suddenly get hot. MLB betting trends have a way of changing quickly as the games continue to pile up, so the best advice is to continue to handicap teams on an individual basis. This way you will be in perfect position to ride a run on their money line or total line when the results start going in one direction or the other.