MLB Picks & Division Updates: Oddsmakers Mostly Right on AL East Totals

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 11:43 PM GMT

In our second segment on totals betting odds for profit for MLB picks we move on to the American League East where the sportsbooks seem to have a good handle on all but one team.

A check of the numbers at places like WagerWeb has been pretty close, with Tampa Bay the lone exception. Let’s delve into the information and look to connect the dots.

 

Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox and Blue Jays all Over bets, for now
The New York Yankees are in first place and are 16-13 OVER (we will not count ties) thanks to their offense averaging 4.7 runs per game. In looking for buying signals on New York for MLB picks, they have made a much stronger case as a favorite (12-6 OVER) compared to an underdog (7-4 UNDER). Other than Michael Pineda, the starting pitching remains suspect or at least unproven, but baseball handicappers know MLB odds makers are going to juice the Yanks in side action, along with higher totals more often than not.

Baltimore is like most teams where they will score runs for a period than cool off. Already this season the Orioles ran off a 6-1 OVER spurt and immediately followed that with a 6-0 UNDER run. The O’s are 14-12 OVER and the average score of one of their games is 9.2 runs a contest, which is fifth-highest in baseball. Not unexpectedly Baltimore is 8-4 OVER at Camden Yards, where their short power alleys come into play. Another big factor is the Birds pitching which is 11th in earned run average in the AL and the fact they rank 13th in walks allowed in the league which adds to run totals.

Early on the sportsbooks were taking a few punches on the Red Sox and the Over. But after the Boston offense went colder than the nearby Atlantic Ocean with 8-1-1 UNDER mark over 10 games, they have stabilized to 16-14 OVER. The Red Sox numbers home and away are very similar, but taking the potential of the Fenway Park factor out, they are 9-5 OVER outside New England. Maybe a new pitching coach will help, but staff is very shaky on all levels and once the weather warms up, the BoSox hitters will come around and OVER tendencies will be in play frequently.

This season on a few occasions I have talked about Toronto’s feast or famine style of play on offense which is why despite playing in games that total 10 runs on average, they are 15-12 OVER. The best time so far this season to catch the Blue Jays at the right time is as underdogs where they are a super 10-5 OVER. This is largely matched with Toronto playing out of Canada where they are also 10-5 OVER. The way the pitching looks the Jays will be a threat most nights to go past the number and how it ultimately settles will have to go with how often they reach home plate.

 

Tampa Bay the Choice of Under’s Bettors
It was known the Rays were not going to score many runs with the players they had on their roster and most the starting pitchers had good talent and the bullpen had a chance to prevent runs if first-year skipper Kevin Cash to figure things out. All these elements have followed the script and Tampa Bay is the No. 1 UNDER wager in the majors.

The Rays offense starts to look like the Phillies on the road in scoring only 3.4 RPG versus in the usually sterile Trop Dome where they reach 4.1. Along with the aforementioned pitching, Tampa Bay is, from a betting perspective, a sensational 13-3 away from Clearwater. Like all teams having faced mostly division competition, the Rays are 17-8 UNDER in the AL East and placed them in the favorite’s role are that 11-5 UNDER.

Like most of the squads in this division, it is hard to fathom something different than we have seen will change much.