With news about George Steinbrenner passing away rocking the baseball world only two days after former Yankees’ public address announcer Bob Sheppard died, it seems almost wrong to look at the business side of the sport.
However, the MLB taking only a short break for its Midsummer Classic and will go on with its season Thursday. We will take a look at which teams have fared best from a betting perspective so far and look at a team to play on the rest of the way. All dollar amounts are based on a $100 stake per game scale. You can view the updated numbers all season long on our new MLB standings page.
San Diego Padres (51-37 +$1600)
The Padres have been an underdog or just a slight favorite in many games this season, and they have proved worth investing in them. They have fared better than any team against the money line, and you should keep watching their lines to find good value.
San Diego is first in the NL West, two games ahead of the Rockies and Dodgers. The Giants are still very much in the run for the division being only four games behind and having won seven of their last 10.
The Padres have been successful mainly because of their pitching. Mat Latos leads a strong rotation with 10 wins and only four losses. Latos has been lights out, striking out 8.4 per nine innings and walking only 2.4 per nine. The Padres always benefit from their pitcher friendly park, but their hurlers actually have the best road ERA in the majors.
Atlanta Braves (52-36 +$1100)
The Braves lead the NL East and have proven valuable at the betting window. They don’t have especially great numbers on either offense or defense, but a combination of solid play on both sides has allowed them to take the lead in one of the toughest divisions in the NL.
Tim Hudson is the only starter with an ERA below 4.13. He sits at 2.30, good for a 6th place in the majors. Hudson is tied with Derek Lowe for most wins on the team at nine, and has only four losses.
The offense has shown some power with four players hitting double-digit homeruns. However, their team batting average is only .260. The fact that they are in the NL East and their mediocre statistical numbers will lead to more games in which they are underdogs, but in which they have a good shot at winning.
New York Mets (48-40 +$600)
The Mets were the heavy underdog several times a season and that made them one of the better performing teams in money line betting so far. The Mets are second in the NL East, trailing the Braves by four games. They are half a game ahead of the surprisingly struggling Phillies.
Ace Johan Santana has struggled a little bit and hasn’t received a lot of run support. The Mets’ bats have been quiet all season, but Santana seems to have especially poor luck. He has only seven wins and five losses so far. While his 2.98 ERA isn’t the greatest, it is still better than CC Sabathia’s – the Yankees hurler has 12 wins and only three losses.
Santana has stepped it up a notch lately and has given up only three runs in his last three starts. The rest of the rotation is having a great season, but the struggling offense could be a problem for the Mets along the road. Still, keep looking at the Mets’ lines for value.
Cincinnati Reds (49-41 +$600)
The Reds have been having a great season and are leading the NL Central. They have struggled a little bit as of late and lost four in a row as well as six of the last ten. They are still a game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals and the All-Star break could help them stop their slide.
Cincinnati has won a lot of games as the underdog, and their recent struggles could lead to more favorable betting situations. The Reds don’t have the greatest pitching, but their hurlers have been consistent enough to keep the team in most games.
They expect Edinson Volquez back from the 60-day DL after the All-Star break and hope for a strong contribution from the right-hander. The Reds have been getting it done with their bets, and they are looking to continue their offensive domination. Joey Votto has been leading the way and is ranked in the top five in every major category in the NL.
Team To Play on in the 2nd half of the season
Arizona Diamondbacks (34-55 -$1900)
The Diamondbacks are dead-last in the NL West and find themselves 17.5 games behind the division-leading Padres. Their pitching staff has disappointed greatly, and they are at the bottom of the NL in team ERA (5.27).
The team has fired GM Josh Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch after the horrible start to the season. The Diamondbacks have promoted bench coach Kirk Gibson to interim manager and vice president of player personnel Jerry Dipoto to interim GM.
The one bright light on the team? Power. Six players on the team have hit double-digit homeruns, with Mark Reynolds (20) leading the way. Their team batting average (.252) ranks 13th out of 16 NL teams.
Ace Dan Haren is likely to pick up the pace in the second half of the season, and the lively bats of the Diamondbacks lineup could provide enough run-support for some wins along the way. Look at games in which Haren is the underdog with the sportsbooks and check for value in those situations.