Despite sweep to Rays, Bronx Bombers backing reputation as one of the World Series favorites
June 26, 2018 3:00 AM
by Ramon Scott
Expectedly, the New York Yankees lead Major League Baseball in home runs. And it really isn’t close.
Heading into Monday, the Yankees – with seven batters in the regular lineup hitting at least 10 round-trippers this season – had belted 124 homers, 14 more than Cleveland and 15 more than rival Boston.
Unexpectedly, the Yankees just went on a run of 14 straight games UNDER the betting total and were 17 of their last 19 to the low heading into this week.
In general, we know low can be the way to go when handicapping totals, but the Bronx Bombers’ reputation wasn’t to blame for the statistical anomaly, as only two of the games that went UNDER even flirted within a run of the possibly Yankee power-inflated number.
The credit can go to the New York pitching staff, especially from the American League’s second-best bullpen, just a few notches behind Houston in ERA. The Yankees possess four of the majors’ best 25 relief pitchers in their ‘pen alone.
Another reflection of the run would be that New York is just 15th in baseball in base hits, indicating those homers often come with few, if any, runners on base.
The UNDER run didn’t exactly turn the Yankees into automatic consideration for betting on that side of the total as New York was 39-32-3 to the UNDER through Sunday, with 10 teams still playing more low-scoring games than the Yanks this season.
For example, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Washington are all playing to the UNDER at least at a 60 percent clip. Only nine of the major leagues’ 30 teams have played more OVER contests overall this season.
Other teams playing at a profitable UNDER pace this season include St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, the Cubs and the Mets. All of the mentioned teams are going UNDER more than 55 percent of the time this season.
It should be noted that no team goes OVER at more than a 55 percent clip. The few teams that go OVER a majority of the time are led by Cleveland, Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle, all going OVER at just a 53.5 percent rate or less.
ROYALS (+170, 8.5o20) at BREWERS (Wed, 11:10): Milwaukee LH Brent Suter has won seven of his last nine starts with MLB’s fifth-best run support overall, averaging five strikeouts and one walk while pitching nearly six innings, including his last two starts where he went seven. Royals are 5-11 overall and 0-3 in road day starts when lefty Danny Duffy starts. MIL, 6-3
CUBS (+110, 7.5u20) at DODGERS (Wed., 7:10): Dodgers’ LH Alex Wood had a couple of rough stints that inflated his numbers, but his last three outings, including wins in his last two, may signal a return to his consistent form. The Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks has held these Dodger bats to a .200 average over 48 PAs but is down nearly 13 units on the season. LAD, 4-3
MARINERS (-130, 8.5u20) at ORIOLES (Thu., 12:05): M’s Mike Leake gets no love from analysts, but he’s produced 11 units this season for his faithful backers and is 5-1 with a 3.89 ERA on the road. O’s Dylan Bundy gets the opposite respect of Leake, it seems, but he’s been a bright spot for Baltimore, which has won all three of his day home starts. SEA, 5-4
INDIANS (-200, 7.5) at A’S (Fri., 7:05): Indians’ Trevor Bauer has struck out 140 hitters in 107 innings and has stellar numbers but the usual favorite is down three units on the season. A’s Paul Blackburn has been roughed up twice in four starts leading to an ERA approaching nine after he faded following four good innings Sunday at the ChiSox. CLE, 5-2
ASTROS (-240, 8.5) at RAYS (Sat., 1:10): Astros’ Justin Verlander is 7-1 with a 1.34 ERA on the road. He’s held the Rays’ bats to just a .171 average over 86 PAs. Matt Andriese is part of the Tampa puzzle, rarely going more than a few innings in start or relief roles. He has a 3.68 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 44 innings. Tampa’s pen ERA is 3.68 entering the week. HOU, 5-2
BRAVES (-105, 8.5) at CARDS (Sat., 4:15): Atlanta’s Brandon McCarthy keeps things under control with control (just two walks over his last five starts), as he got a win last Sunday at home vs. the O’s with five innings of work. These Cards hit .181 against him. Luke Weaver is down five units on the season and the Cards are 0-4 in his night starts at home. STL, 5-4
GIANTS (+120, 8u15) at D’BACKS (Sat., 7:10): Dereck Rodriguez had a terrific start against San Diego last Sunday, going seven innings while allowing just one run and striking out six. Arizona’s Shelby Miller made his return on Monday after undergoing Tommy John surgery over 14 months ago. He was a short favorite at Miami. ARI, 4-3
NATIONALS (-109, 8o15) at PHILLIES (Sun., 10:35): Phils’ Jake Arrieta could be wearing down after his early resurgence, as he’s been touched up for 16 earned runs over his last four starts into Tuesday’s home game against the Yankees. The Nats’ Gio Gonzalez went Monday at TB and holds these expected Philly bats to just a .159 mark over 122 PAs. WAS, 4-3
PIRATES (-109, 8o15) at SD PADRES (Sun., 1:10): Bucs’ Jameson Tallion, who was a pick’em at the Mets last Monday has held the expected Padres lineup to around a .180 average and has allowed seven walks in his last six starts overall. Padres LH Joey Lucchesi got another shot on Monday at Texas, taking money as a ‘dog despite a poor return to the majors. SD, 5-4
RED SOX (+125, 8.5) at YANKS (Sun., 5:05): Luis Severino entered the week 11-2 overall and up over 10 units for supporters heading into last Tuesday’s game against Arrieta and the Phils. Boston’s David Price gets some unwarranted criticism, but he had won 6 of his last 7 decisions into Tuesday’s game against the Angels. NYY, 5-4.