Recent Trends Result in AL Central Totals Strategy

al central division

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 7:06 PM GMT

As the division race in the AL Central heats up, our MLB handicapper spots two trends that should clash and result in a betting edge. Read on as he suggests how to bet totals in the AL Central's unbalanced schedule from now through August.

The American League Central Division is hotly contested at the moment, with the Indians, Royals and Twins within a few games of each other at the top. The Indians were my preseason pick to win the division and are the only team with a positive run differential within. It could be said that Kansas City is overperforming its true talent level as are the Twins. The Tigers have scored the most runs in the division but can’t win a game on the road to save their life. It will be an interesting finish to see how this division shakes out.

Also hot are the bats of three teams within the division, as the Indians (3rd), Tigers (5th), and Royals (7th) are among the top offenses in the MLB over the last 30 days according to accrued WAR. The Indians have a healthy .275 BAA and .345 OBP over that time frame. Detroit is even better with a .283 BAA and .347 OBP, but WAR calculations punish them for their bad defense. Then there is the very balanced Royals offense, which over the last 30 days has batted .272, swatted 38 homers, and swiped 17 bases while playing the best defense of the three teams.

So, as we get into the unbalanced division schedule in the last part of the year, these hot offenses will be playing each other quite often and also the other two teams in the division – the White Sox and Twins. Here is where our trends clash, as over the last 30 days the Twins and White Sox are ranked 29th and 30th in overall pitching according to WAR. So three of the top offenses in the league right now will be going up against the last two pitching staffs in the league in multiple spots in the coming weeks.

How do we take advantage? First, make sure you have a book that offers team totals, such as 5Dimes. I’ll be looking to back those 3 hot offenses with team total 'overs' in multiple spots against the Twins and White Sox. I’ll also be looking at full game 'overs' in that division overall, with the exception of the Indians, who have the 2nd best pitching staff in the MLB over the last 30 days. This strategy should result in an edge in multiple games over the next month as these teams face each other coming down the stretch.

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