Right now MLB baseball handicappers and sportsbooks are seeing a direct correlation between the standings in the NL Central and the potential to defeat the betting odds day after day.
St. Louis has the best record in the majors and low and behold is crushing the MLB Odds and making big time money this early in the season for those choosing them for sports picks. What has made the Cardinals so tremendous and why are others in the division either treading water or almost drowning by comparison? The vastly improved St. Louis offense to go along with lights out pitching has been the difference.
Cardinals Offense Carrying On
It felt like a miracle St. Louis won 90 games during the regular season a year ago, as for most of the time manager Mike Methany’s club was averaging 3.5 to 3.6 runs a contest. A late September surge raised their total to 3.8. In the postseason, the Cardinals did not tally a ton of runs but gave a glimpse of what they could accomplish by certain players being more aggressive early in at bats and in hitter’s counts.
This campaign the Cards are up to 4.5 RPG and have five different players hitting above or around .300 and six individuals with an OBP of anywhere from .333 to .468. Not question the St. Louis pitching has been off the charts, but a big aspect of the best start since 1900 for St. Louis is an offense that can place a great deal of pressure on opponents.
Cubs and Reds Hitters Have Elements to Repair
Chicago has a number of young studs and with youth comes exuberance and over aggressiveness. From Jorge Solar, Addison Russell to Kris Bryant, opposing pitchers are taking advantage of their inexperience when they have two strikes and punching them out. But this is not relegated to just the young guys as veterans Starlin Castro and Dexter Fowler have been struck out 20 or more times. The Cubs lead the NL is strikeouts and when you do not put the ball in play, the defense is not under pressure and cannot make a mistake. Joe Madden’s crew is scoring 4.2 RPG and is fourth in the league in walks, but needs more plate discipline to ring up more runs and be more useful for MLB picks.
Cincinnati has a chasm in their lineup. Joey Votto, Zack Cosart and Brandon Phillips are all having very good offensive seasons, all hovering at .300 or better batting averages and solid OBP’s marks. Unfortunately, the next highest batting average among the other regulars is Todd Frazier at .224 and the rest of the Reds players below that anemic figure. No matter how well the Reds best three hitters perform, it is virtually impossible to think of Cincy being a .500 team without more from the rest of the group.
Pirates and Brewers Whiffing and Lacking Discipline
At present, four of the top seven teams in the NL with the most strikeouts residences in the NL Central. This high degree of fanning can cool the temperature in the stadiums, but also make fans hot under the collar. Milwaukee and Pittsburgh are in the top four behind the Cubs. What plays into the Brewers scoring 3.3 RPG and the Bucs at 3.6 RPG is not only all the K’s, but helping opposing pitchers by seldom taking a walk. Only Colorado has fewer free passes than these two squads and if you lack the discipline at the dish to swing and miss as often as they do and only have a free swinger mentality, those making wagers at places like GTBets have no option but to bet against you.