MLB Over-Under Betting Trends: Pitchers have the upper hand so far

Scoring totals are down in the early part of the 2022 MLB season

Baseballs blame for offensive woes?

There were six Major League baseball games played Sunday that featured a combined total of five runs or less. Those who’ve been following MLB over-under betting trends would not have been surprised by the low scoring.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds were tied for the MLB lead with 136 runs scored in the month of April in 2021. Now, the Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants led the majors with 104 runs scored in April, 2022.

Note that the Angels and Padres each played 22 games in the month and the Giants had 21 contests, while Cincy had 25 games and Arizona 26 in April a season ago. Regardless, there have been rumblings about the baseballs having a role in some of the early struggles offensively.

Looking at April’s numbers, the average runs per game dropped from 8.5 in 2021 to 8.1 in 2022. That doesn’t seem very noteworthy, but it’s the equivalent of 10-15 fewer points in the average NBA contest.

The struggling teams leading in something

With not as many runs being scored, that has resulted in fewer games going over the total. That is catching the eyes of those who monitor the MLB over-under trends.

The most interesting trend is that the four teams who have gone over the total the most heading into Monday’s games would all currently miss the playoffs. Cincinnati, worst in the majors at 5-23, has an over record of 18-9-1, easily the top mark in MLB stats.

Cleveland, sitting at break-even (14-14), is next at 17-11, then it’s the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves at 16-13-1 and the Chicago Cubs at 13-12-2.

Three of the six teams that have gone under the MLB total the most are in the American League East. Boston is 9-20-0, Baltimore 9-18-1 and the New York Yankees 10-17-0 when it comes to going under the total. That hasn’t stopped the Yankees from having the best record in the American League.

What a difference a year makes

During the 2021 season, there were 12 teams with an over record better than .500. So far in 2022 season, three teams are right at .500, with five others having more games going over than under. There were 15 teams going over the total at least half the time during the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The offensive numbers figure to improve as temperatures rise. Time will tell if the MLB over-under betting trends change with the dog days of summer.

There have been suggestions that different baseballs might be used in the marquee games of the season. That’s troubling if it’s proven to be true, as didn’t the NFL come down on the New England Patriots based on the air pressure of the footballs a while ago?

Part of the issue might be a lack of preparation as a result of the lockout. Hitters may need longer to get into a comfort zone than pitchers, but complaints about the baseballs are starting to become more frequent as the MLB betting totals show more games with under totals.

What is the next step?

Unless those people who set the over-under totals get to have a say in which baseballs get utilized during the games, it will merely be a case of crunching the numbers to gain a betting edge when it comes to the MLB over under betting trends.

When division rivals meet for the third and fourth time, they will have more information on the opposing pitchers. That may prove beneficial for the hitters.

It is going to be a wait-and-see approach to decipher if the move was made to intentionally use baseballs that keep the run total down. It would be an odd move for the baseball hierarchy, since few things engaged baseball fans more than the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home-run record chase in 1998. McGwire hit 70 home runs that season and Sosa finished with 66. Both New York teams have players with the capability of piling up the homers with Aaron Judge of the Yankees and Pete Alonso of the Mets among the top power hitters in baseball.

There will be plenty of people keeping an eye on the run-scoring trends as the Major League Baseball season continues.

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