The Philadelphia Phillies’ chaotic first half of the season has left them with the best over mark in baseball at 53-31-3. Injuries to key pitchers and underperforming arms have helped MLB bettors take advantage of the Phillies’ skewed totals.
On the other side of the number, the Oakland Athletics hit the break as the top under play in the big leagues, posting a 31-52-3 over/under mark. A meek offense, which sits near the bottom of most statistical categories, and surprising efforts on the mound get the credit for those payouts.
The funny thing is, the Phillies and A’s aren’t known for their current positions. Since 2007, Philadelphia has been one of the better under bets while Oakland has leaned toward the over.
If you’re searching for consistency among the totals during the second half of the MLB schedule, these six teams are your best bets:
Best over bets in the second half of the season since 2007
New York Mets (187-158-16 over/under)
The Mets have been the most consistent over play during the dog days over the past five seasons and appear on track for another solid run for fans of the over. New York went into the break as the second-best over bet in 2012, boasting a 49-33-4 over/under record, and was an over machine following the break last summer, finishing the year with a 44-25-2 over/under mark.
San Diego Padres (184-160-13 over/under)
San Diego is near the bottom of the money list, however, has leaned towards the over with a 43-41-3 over/under count – most notably 24-17-2 over/under on the road. With an offense that ranks among the worst in baseball each year, the Padres’ totals are always on the slim side but it appears the summer heat helps juice those bats enough to finish on the other side of the number. They went 40-27-3 over/under following the break in 2011.
New York Yankees (182-167-17 over/under)
The Bronx Bombers live up to their nickname in the back half of the sked. Thanks to an ocean-deep lineup with big bats at just about every spot, New York is averaging 4.85 runs per game and ranks first in home runs with 134 this season. Oddsmakers inflate their home totals because of the home-run factory known as new Yankee Stadium but with the pitching staff in shambles, opponents should be able to touch up New York for a few more runs in July, August and September.
Best under bets in the second half of the season since 2007
Cleveland Indians (158-189-16 over/under)
The Tribe surprised in the first half of the season, hanging tough in the competitive AL Central. Cleveland’s pitching hasn’t been that sharp and a recent offensive outburst has led to a 42-39-4 over/under record, including a 7-3 over/under count in its last 10 games before the break. However, the Indians are the most consistent second-half under play in baseball over the past five years including a 28-45-2 over/under record in 2010. The All-Star hiatus may have cooled those bats and a slew of upcoming road games could keep their offensive production down.
San Francisco Giants (167-185-8 over/under)
The Giants are to unders as the Yankees are to overs. San Francisco’s lackluster offense and star-studded rotation has made it one of the top under plays on the back nine of the slate. The Giants record versus the total at home and away is nearly a negative of each other. They’re 12-27-3 over/under inside AT&T Park and 29-15 over/under away from it. A lot of that has to do with the road struggles of ace Tim Lincecum, who is 9-1 over/under with a 9.00 ERA as a guest this season.
Tampa Bay Rays (163-185-13 over/under)
Not all AL East teams live and die through offense. Tampa Bay entered the break with a 35-46-5 over/under count, thanks in part to a solid staff which ranks ninth in the bigs with a 3.73 collective ERA. The Rays were the best second-half under bet in 2011, going 30-37-5 over/under, and have benefited under bettors in the final two and a half months in all but one of the past five seasons. Injuries to some of the bigger bats in the lineup have Tampa Bay hitting just .232 BA – 28th in the majors.