The 2011 MLB All-Star game is just two weeks away as the regular season approaches the halfway point. All 30 teams have played at least 75 games so now is a good time to take a look at which ones have been the best play against the ‘over/under’ line. The odds makers have had enough time to sharpen their pencils and tighten up their totals lines, but there is still quite a bit of opportunity out there if you know where to look.
Starting with the ‘under’ the two teams that standout the most are San Francisco in the National League and Tampa Bay in the American League. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 45 of the Giants 78 games played or 57.6 percent of the time. Recent trends have bared this out as well with seven of their last 10 staying ‘under’ the total line. San Francisco is ranked third in the NL in pitching with a team ERA of 3.21 and 13th in scoring with 265 runs, which is a perfect combination when it comes to looking for teams that tend to favor the ‘under’.
The total has stayed ‘under’ in 43 of the Rays’ 78 games or 55.1 percent of the time. Recent trends have been less convincing with this team as they are 5-5 against the total line in its last 10 games. Tampa is ranked fifth in the AL in pitching with a 3.63 ERA and seventh in scoring with 334 runs, making it a bit less reliable when playing the ‘under’.
One team that sets up perfect for the playing the ‘under’ is Seattle with a team ERA of 3.23, which is ranked second in the AL and 269 runs scored, which is ranked last. The odds makers have adjusted accordingly as just 52.6 percent of the Mariners’ games have stayed ‘under’ the total.
When it comes to playing the ‘over’ all the teams that fit the bill are in the National League. St. Louis leads the way with 45 of its 79 games going ‘over’ which equates to 57 percent of the time. The Cardinals are second in the NL in runs scored with 369 and ninth in pitching with a 3.99 team ERA. Recent trends have bared this out as well with seven of their last 10 games going ‘over’.
The next best team has been the New York Mets with 56.5 percent of their 78 games played going ‘over’ the total. The Mets are ranked sixth in the NL in scoring with an average of 4.32 runs per game, while ranking 10th with a 4.00 team ERA. Recent trends have been a little higher as six of New York’s last 10 games have gone ‘over’.
Right on their heels is Houston with 55.7 percent of its 79 games played going ‘over’. The Astros have the second highest team ERA in the NL at 4.65 and are ranked eighth in scoring with 316 total runs. The odds makers have done a good job adjusting as of late as the total is 5-3-2 in their last 10.
If you are looking for a quick way to spot value in an ‘over/under’ line, check out the home plate umpire for the game if the rotation schedule has been released. Larazo Diaz and Tim Timmons have led the way for low scoring games as the total has stayed ‘under’ in 12 of each of the 15 games these two have called this season. The average runs scored in Diaz’s games in 5.7 verses a MLB average of 8.5. Timmons’ average runs come in at 6.6.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, 12 of Tim McClelland’s 15 called games went ‘over’ the total with an average of 10.5 runs per game. Gerry Davis is a close second with 13 of 17 games going ‘over’ with an average of 10.2 runs per game.