Makinen: Early situational MLB betting records to watch

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We’re about 6-1/2 weeks into the 2023 MLB season already, meaning teams have played around 40 games on average, or approximately 25% of their season schedules. I’ve always been of the belief as a bettor that it’s never too early to get a good feel for the tendencies of teams when it comes to various scheduling situations. Knowing which spots they perform best and worst in regularly can give you an edge in handicapping each day’s matchups. With that in mind, I thought the quarter-pole mark would be a good time to take a look at what used to be the VSiN  MLB Team Report when Point Spread Weekly was still being published, and I’ve highlighted some of the most interesting early season situational records that have arisen.

Here are several different scheduling angles that have produced definitive results thus far in divisional/team sorting order. You can find the entire current VSiN MLB Team Report at the conclusion of this article.

 

AL East angles

Baltimore is 18-6 (+11.2 units) in night games as compared to just 8-8 (+0.1 units) in day games.

Steve’s thoughts: This is an interesting one as a key reason why Baltimore currently boasts the second-best record in all the league. Most games are at night, so this is an important scheduling spot to excel in. The Orioles are allowing just 3.3 RPG in these contests as compared to 5.7 in day tilts.

 

Toronto is 12-3 (+6.8 units) at home as compared to just 12-13 (-3.3 units) on the road.

Steve’s thoughts: Clearly Toronto has played an inordinate amount of games on the road thus far. The Blue Jays have matched their early season win totals at home and on the road despite playing 10 fewer games in Toronto. With seven straight games this week in front of the home folks, however, this team could use this stretch as a springboard to close the gap on Tampa Bay in the standings.

 

AL Central angles

Chicago White Sox are 9-21 (-12.2 units) in league games as compared to 5-7 (+0.1 units) in interleague games.

Steve’s thoughts: The White Sox have been an absolute mess in the early going, and their record versus American League opponents has a lot to do with it. They have won just nine of 30 such games, scoring just 3.5 runs per game in the process. The record in interleague games (5-7) isn’t much better percentage-wise, but the offense produces 5.8 RPG in those contests.

 

Cleveland is 13-9 (+3.25 units) versus right-handed starters as compared to just 6-12 (-12.4 units) versus left-handed starters.

Steve’s thoughts: To be perfectly honest, this angle seems to be somewhat random, as the Guardians are scoring 3.5 RPG vs. RH starters and 3.6 vs. LH, yet have a much worse record. Don’t dive too hard into this angle just yet.

 

AL West angles

Houston is just 8-11 (-11.35 units) at home as compared to 13-8 (+4.75 units) on the road.

Steve’s thoughts: You’d expect the Astros to boast a 13-8 record on the road at this point in the season. They have and will continue to be a solid profit-producing team on the road. To have gone just 8-11 in their first 19 home games when favored in all but two of them is unusual for the defending champs, however. It’s one of the primary reasons Houston is looking up at Texas currently in the AL West standings.

 

Oakland is 1-17 (-15.9 units) in day games as compared to 8-16 (-3.15 units) in night games.

Steve’s thoughts: There’s really no valid reason to put your money behind Oakland at this point, but if you must, do so in night games. The A’s are scoring 4.8 RPG at night as compared to 2.5 in the day. With that type of discrepancy, there is clearly something more to the horrible daytime struggles.

 

NL East angles

Miami is just 5-12 (-6.25 units) in divisional games but 15-9 (+5.6 units) in all other games.

Steve’s thoughts: The NL East is a tough division for sure. Miami and Washington are overmatched against the Mets, Braves, and Phillies. While struggling against their divisional foes so far in 2023, the Marlins have managed to hang around the .500 mark by playing well in all other games. Fortunately, the new MLB schedule calls for fewer divisional contests this year.

 

New York Mets are 14-11 (-2.35 units) versus right-handed starters as compared to just 6-10 (-9 units) versus left-handed starters.

Steve’s thoughts: I explained earlier how the versus righties/lefties dichotomy for Cleveland might be a fluke at this point. I wouldn’t say the same for the Mets however, as they are scoring 5.1 RPG vs. righties so far as compared to 2.8 versus lefties.

 

NL Central angles

Chicago Cubs are 8-4 (+4.25 units) versus left-handed starters as compared to just 11-17 (-7.3 units) versus right-handed starters.

Steve’s thoughts: The Cubs have been raking against lefty pitchers so far in 2023, putting up 6.2 RPG and winning the contests by 3.4 RPG. The offensive production vs. right-handers has been 4.3 RPG, nearly a two-run dropoff.

 

Cincinnati is 12-9 (+3.65 units) at home as compared to just 6-13 (-5 units) on the road.

Steve’s thoughts: You must go back to 2012 to find the last time that Cincinnati played over-.500 baseball on the road or produced a season profit away from home for bettors. The Reds are already on track to keep that streak going in 2023.

 

NL West angles

Colorado is 7-7 (+2.4 units) versus left-handed starters as compared to just 10-17 (-3.25 units) versus right-handed starters.

Steve’s thoughts: Unfortunately for the Rockies, they have faced nearly two times as many right-handed starters as left-handed thus far. Almost as if opposing managers are lining up their rotations accordingly. The run-production difference has been 1.7 RPG and validates the much better record vs. southpaws.

 

San Francisco is 2-7 (-5.25 units) in divisional games.

Steve’s thoughts: The NL West standings are unusual at this point, and if teams like the Padres and Giants don’t wake up soon, they may find themselves in deficits too large to overcome. San Francisco continues to be one of the league’s biggest enigmas. Odds makers seem to love this team as they are regularly overpriced. In divisional contests so far, they’ve won just two of nine while yielding an unsightly 6.6 RPG.

FULL AL AND NL TEAM REPORTS