Since the start of September, and heading into Tuesday’s games, we saw 70 baseball games carry a price of $2.00 or higher. It’s that time of year, where prices can get over the $4.00 mark with some teams, specifically the Houston Astros.
It certainly makes things difficult in trying to decipher whether or not to play the run line or stay away from the game altogether.
But why not consider the total in these games?
At this point in the campaign, you’re seeing these prices because of how far apart some of these teams are, and how the favorite is either stronger offensively or because of its starting pitcher.
There isn’t a clear indication on which way to play the total, as the over has gone 34-33-3 in those aforementioned 70 games. But there are specific teams to keep an eye on when they’re installed a favorite of $2.00 or higher.
It’s not surprising the top three teams that have gone high hail from the power-packed American League, as the Cleveland Indians are 4-1 over, the New York Yankees are at 6-3-1 and the Oakland Athletics are 4-2-1.
All three of those teams ranked in the top 15 with their September batting averages.
The Chicago Cubs led baseball through Monday’s games with 106 runs scored this month and have gone over in four of the six games they laid $2.00 or more.
On the flipside, the late-season surging St. Louis Cardinals have stayed under in four of the five games they laid $2.00 or higher. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, as they led the league with a 3.26 ERA and were the only team with a September ERA lower than 3, at 2.81, heading into Tuesday’s National League showdown with the hard-hitting Washington Nationals.
The Tampa Bay Rays were 2-4 under as they prepared to open a series at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.
The Houston Astros are dangerous because they have both depth within their lineup and a deep rotation. The well-balanced Astros were 4-6 under after their 12-3 victory over Kansas City soared past the number on Sunday.
Word to the wise, stay away from big prices over these last two weeks, unless you’re bold enough to lay the run line, and consider playing a total based on how these teams have performed this month.
After going 2-0 last Thursday, let’s look at two more games this week:
Tigers at Indians: I’m laying the run line with the Indians with this game, as I think starter Mike Clevinger will come out with a lot of motivation.
Cleveland’s crafty righty suffered his first loss since June 28 in his last start, as he made one mistake against the Twins, allowing a costly two-run home run. He is 11-3 with a 2.63 ERA and should have no trouble dominating this lineup.
He’ll get run support, as the Tribe will rattle Detroit starter Jordan Zimmerman, who is 1-11 with a 6.32 ERA this season. INDIANS RUN LINE
Padres at Brewers: The Brewers have been a fantastic destination for right-hander Jordan Lyles, who was 1-6 with a 9.57 ERA and .341 opponents’ batting average over his last nine starts for Pittsburgh and is now 6-1 with a 2.39 ERA and .209 opponents’ average in his first nine starts for Milwaukee.
Fully invested in the National League wild-card race, the Brewers will finish this series up with a solid win, as Lyles dominates a Padres lineup that was hitting just .230 in September after Monday’s series opener. BREWERS
Last week: 2-0