Last Updated: 2019-09-01
Sides aren’t the only thing that are altered by Major League Baseball’s September call-ups. Totals are also affected to an extent, which makes sense, as some line-ups are filled with players who haven’t seen much, if any, action in the big leagues before. We’ll take a look at several totals situations that have made themselves known in September over the course of the last five years.
High Totals Go Over
Over the last five years, games with a total of 10 or higher have gone over to the tune of an 83-61-5 record and have been good for an ROI of +9.2%, which isn’t bad at all for such a simple method. In a bit of a surprise, games involving a pair of American League teams have over at a much higher rate, checking in with a 42-25-3 record and an ROI of +17%, while games involving National League teams are 41-36-2, good for a modest +2.4% ROI.
As with a lot of trends, it does reach the point of diminishing returns, meaning that the higher you go, the worse your results become. Games with a total of 11 are pretty much a 50-50 proposition, but once again the AL partially saves the day, with a 5-2-1 record. The National League does have the two biggest over parks, Coors Field and Wrigley Field when the wind is blowing out, but the Rockies are 19-24-1 at home in September with a total of 11 or more.
Rookie Starters Tend to Go Over
While positional players get time to audition their skills in September the same holds true for pitchers and a number of them show why they weren’t in the big leagues until September. If you take just those starters who have yet to earn a win on the season and bet those games over the total, you’d have a 105-95-9 record and a modest +1.9% ROI, which is nothing to get too overly excited about. But if you just wagered on those games where the total was 9 or higher, your mark would increase to 57-39-5 and a 14.6% ROI.
Low Total Games Tend to Go Under
The last one we’ll look at is those games with an extremely low total, meaning those games that are 6.5 or lower have gone 37-45-2, so under bettors would have shown an ROI of 5.8%. It doesn’t happen that often, but these games are worth paying attention to. All games with a total of 6.5 or less have shown a 5.5% ROI over the past five years regardless of when they were played, but they have performed slightly better in September. Games involving two National League teams have fared a little better here, going 30-37-2 for an ROI of +6.2%.
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