MLB heat wave: Best and worst bets in hot games
The saying in baseball goes, “records are meant to be broken” but that’s supposed to apply to home run tallies and hitting streaks, not game-time temperatures.
We’re not here to debate global warming. All we know the last week has been historically hot in the United States. The temperatures have been so high that it has almost - almost - made it possible to feel sympathy for pros on the baseball diamond playing in triple-digit conditions while wearing pants and socks.
Weather reports are as important as pitching matchups this time of the year for sharp MLB bettors. It looks like the worst of the heat wave is behind us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for the next time Mother Nature gives us a scorcher.
Below are the best MLB trends for betting days with game-time temperatures of 90 or higher.
BEST BET: TEXAS RANGERS
No team plays in more uncomfortably hot games than the Rangers. Unlike other warmer climate MLB cities like Houston, Arizona and Tampa Bay, Texas, which plays in Arlington, doesn’t play in a domed park. That means the Rangers are accustomed to playing ball while sweating their balls off.
The Rangers are 18-8 this season in hot games and 63-35 dating back to 2009. Texas took the first two games in the weekend series against the Blue Jays with temperatures going over 100 degrees in both contests.
WORST BET: DOME TEAMS
Just like in football, when bettors fade dome teams on the road playing in winter conditions, baseball teams that play their home games in air-conditioned buildings aren’t worth backing outside in extreme temperatures.
Dome teams are 6-18 in hot games this season, entering Sunday action, and 40-69 since 2009.
The Rays and Astros are the worst offenders here. Tampa Bay is 0-3 this season and 7-14 since 2008 while Houston is 0-3 this year and 2-14 over the last three seasons combined.
The Rays dropped the first two games in Kansas City against the Royals this past weekend with the mercury hitting the triple digits. Tampa Bay pitcher David Price tweeted, “Kidnap me from kc...too hott here.”
TOTAL TIP: BET THE OVER
The over/under trend in hot games suggests we should bet the over. That is, as long as you ignore this season’s numbers. Entering Thursday’s games, the over was just 84-100-11 in hot games.
That’s a break from the pattern we had seen in 2010, 2009 and 2008 where the over went 400-346-26. If you’re looking for a specific team to bet totals in hot games, look once again at the Texas Rangers.
The over is 18-7-1 hot games at the Ballpark in Arlington this campaign and 72-55-6 since 2008.