Most Profitable Trends to Wager MLB: Has Baseball Become an Over or Under Game?

David Lawrence

Friday, July 3, 2015 5:54 PM GMT

We’re diving into the realm of totals when betting MLB. A conversation has recently come up as to whether baseball nowadays is an over game or whether under trends more. Or is there any trend at all? 

In Theory, It Should Be 50/50
Of course, there will be all sorts of MLB betting trends at any given point in time. For example: let’s say the weather is warmer than usual in the month of April and maybe that helps the overs. Then overs might trend for a month but remember, odds makers are forced to react. If they’re seeing high scoring games – as we saw in the NFL when they changed the rules for pass defenses – then they will adjust accordingly to balance things out. And regardless of the trends, over and under is not a correlated out from game to game. That means every single night for every single game, it’s a 50/50 proposition. It’s just like betting red and black on a roulette table. In your head you might think that after three reds in a row that black should be coming but the reality is that it’s a 50/50 proposition each and every single time. Same goes for the over/under in baseball.

 

Unders Leading The Way…Slightly
Even though we’ve prefaced the matter with the above paragraph, how are the teams doing this season? Entering July 3rd, we see that 15 of the 30 teams in the MLB right now have played more unders than overs. We also see that one team is even and 14 teams have played more overs than unders. The Padres lead the way with the best over record at 48-30-3 while the Cardinals lead the way for the unders at 29-46-3. It’s worth noting that for the over teams, only two are one game above .500 – the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers – and then every other team in that category is at least five games over .500. As for the under teams, six of them are just two games over .500 or less.

 

Look To The Umpires
If you’re looking to arbitrarily bet overs or unders on a daily basis, you’re probably not going to be profitable in the long run. You might think betting under every time in a Martingale system makes sense but then you get burned when the New York Mets play six consecutive unders as they did a couple of weeks ago. Or how about the San Francisco Giants, who enter Friday on a six-game over streak?

Instead, if you invest a little bit of time into your handicapping and simply look at the umpires, that can guide you with your totals accuracy. For example: Dan Demuth has been behind the play for 14 games this season and 11 have gone over and three have gone under. For Paul Emmel, it’s 11 over and four under. Same for Dale Scott and Bill Welke. It’s fairly clear that when these guys are behind the play, they have a smaller strike zone and force pitchers to get into it. That means either more walks or more hittable pitches. As for the other end of the spectrum, unders with Toby Basner look smart as they’re 10-2-1 and they are 10-3 with Todd Tichenor. If you want to bet totals and do minimal work, looking to the umpire stats should be your best MLB pick.