The Major League Baseball schedule is out of the blocks and producing some surprising results in April. Now, will these anomalies become the norm or will these irregularities correct themselves in the coming weeks?
That’s the thing about the baseball season: teams have 162 games to define who they truly are, and bettors who find that out first are often the ones cashing in their bets. Here are some surprising trends in our sportsbook news section from the opening weeks of the MLB schedule and whether or not baseball bettors can bank on these to continue.
New York Mets
The Mets, as it currently stands, are the best bet in baseball. New York opened the season with a 7-1 streak and have stacked +7.5 units for the Big Apple faithful. The Mets are hitting well, plating nearly five runs per game, and have been buoyed by their pitching staff, which boasts a slim 2.40 collective ERA through those first eight games.
New York was expected to fight for second in the National League East this season – not quite on the level of the Washington National but good enough to edge out a promising Philadelphia Phillies side and finish ahead of the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins. The Mets took advantage of the Phillies’ slow start to the season already and then followed that with a statement sweep of the Nationals.
Now, New York has a solid staff – and perhaps solid is a little modest. New York has a stud in Noah Syndergaard, who actually hasn’t been that great to start the year, but the club is getting good early efforts from Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey, who appears to have shaken off a two sub-par seasons in Flushing. As long as the bats back up the arms with enough runs to make it interesting, this staff could keep N.Y. on pace for a postseason spot.
The Bucs were supposed to finish at the bottom of the National League standings, so it’s a little shocking to see Pittsburgh off to such a strong debut. The Pirates opened with a 7-2 run, earning +4.7 units for the brave bettors who took their moneylines.
Pittsburgh is crushing the ball, with almost 6.5 runs per game during this hot streak. That’s been enough to survive some bad outings on the mound, and pushed the Pirates to the top of the National League Central while also earning a 6-3 Over/Under mark for total bettors.
The Pirates are in fact playing with fire here. Look at the clubs the Bucs have beaten: Cincinnati, Minnesota and Detroit. And four of those seven wins have come at home. There is a sheer lack of talent on this roster and it’s going to catch up to Pittsburgh when the quality of competition steps up. The Pirates are in Chicago for three games then could be good fade material versus – believe it or not – Miami.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals are 2-5 out of the gate but that’s not what has caught the attention of MLB bettors. Kansas City has stayed Under the total in all but one of those seven games, averaging 2.29 runs an outing and hitting only .205 BA to open 2018.
The red-hot Under run isn’t all on the Royals, however. The club isn’t doing much on the mound to counter those low scores, with a team ERA of 4.33 and a major league-low 48 total strikeouts. Given that, KC’s opposition was far from offensive juggernauts. American League Central rivals Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago are all posting less than five runs per game.
Oddsmakers are slowly walking those totals down for Royals games. There was a trio of 7.5-run totals versus the Indians and the Royals opened their set with Seattle with the total closing at 7.5. Eventually, there is going to be a tipping point. That could come versus the Los Angeles Angels, who are crushing the ball and have played Over in six of their opening 10 games.