July 27 MLB Pick

New York Yankees vs New York Mets

Why are we seeing so many “unders” in baseball?

Heading into May 3rd, only five of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball have had more than half of their games go OVER the total in the 2022 season. With this low trend of OVERS, more than 57% of the games played so far have gone UNDER the total.

Here are the main reasons I believe we have seen so many UNDERS so far.

1) Humidors
I’m not a physics expert, so if you are looking for an in-depth tutorial on how humidors work, I suggest doing additional research on Google after reading this article. What I can tell you is that all 30 teams have humidors in their home stadium this season, as opposed to 2021, when only nine teams used humidors. Although the effects of humidors will differ day-to-day, there have been speculations and research suggesting that humidors can make baseballs easier for pitchers to grip while also making it more difficult for a hard hit ball to travel as far in humid weather.

2) Roster Expansion
The MLB rosters were expanded from 26 to 28 players this season. This change has helped most teams improve their pitching depth. Due to extra pitchers on the rosters, teams are less likely to go into a game with a worn-out and overworked bullpen. Managers also have more options when matching up against opposing hitters and less pressure to feel the need to stick with a starting pitcher who’s struggling.

3) The Lockout And Reduced Spring Training
In 2021 Spring Training games started on February 28th, but due to the lockout in 2022, Spring Training games did not begin until March 17th. Although this maynot seem like a huge deal, I believe the decrease in preseason preparation has made it more difficult for alot of hitters to get going early in the season.

4) Oddsmakers And The Habits of Bettors
Most fans enjoy offense, which means that betting on OVERS will be more fun to the average bettor than betting on the UNDERS. Although the humidors, roster expansion, and reduced Spring Training are all likely factors to the decrease in the offense- before the season started, it wasn’t as clear how significant those effects would be. Even still, it was in the best interest of the oddsmakers earlier to set the totals a little high, knowing that most bettors like to take the overs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 Los Angeles Angels┬ávs. Houston Astros

The Houston Astros will host the Los Angeles in the finale of a three-game series on Wednesday. The Astros won the series opener 8-3 on Monday. The second game of the series was not complete at the time of this preview.

Ohtani Time

The Los Angeles Angels have not finished with a winning record since 2015, and have not reached the playoffs since 2014. The Angels entered this season expected to break that trend, with a projected over/under win total set at 84.5, and with three-time MVP Mike Trout, and reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani currently both healthy another losing season would be unacceptable for this franchise.

The Angels lineup has mashed an MLB best 16 home runs, and are tied for second with nine stolen bases through their first 11 games. Ohtani leads the team with three home runs, two stolen bases, and also has seven RBI. Harde Walsh leads the team with eight RBI and is also one of four Los Angeles batters with four home runs.

Ohtani will get to help his own cause on Wednesday as he is scheduled to make his third start of the season. In 2021, Ohtani went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. This season has started rough for Ohtani on the mound and is 0-2 with a 7.56 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. In five career starts against Houston, Ohtani is 0-3 with a 5.56 ERA.

Astros win series opener but Altuve forced to leave game

After Monday’s home-opening win, the Astros have a half-game lead over the Athletics and Angels. Through the first 10 games, Houston has averaged 3.9 runs per game and allowed 3.5 runs per game. The Astros are fourth in MLB with 13 home runs, with nine different players who have gone deep this season.

Yordan Alvarez leads the team with three home runs and is second with six RBI. Alex Bregman leads the team with seven RBI and is tied with Kyle Tucker with two home runs. Rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena is off to a great start as he replaced Carlos Correa, who left for Minnesota in free agency. Pena leads the team with a .344 batting average and has added one home run and three RBI.

On Wednesday, the Astros will start Jake Odorizzi, who is 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA and 2.04 WHIP in two starts this season. In 24 starts last season, Odorizzi was 6-7 with a 4.21 ERA. Odorizzi has made nine career starts against the Angels and is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.60 WHIP.

Prediction: Houston Astros ML +120

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Angels may be an attractive team to back with Ohtani on the mound, but Houston has not been kind to Ohtani as a pitcher. In four career starts at Minute Maid Park Ohtani is 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. The Angels bullpen has also struggled with a 4.88 ERA this season, which is the fifth-worst in MLB. Ordozzi has not been great this season either, but the Astros bullpen has been much better with a 3.11 team ERA. Houston has also controlled this rivalry recently with eight wins in the last 10 head-to-head meetings against Los Angeles.

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Prediction: Houston Astros ML +120

Prediction: OVER 8.5

Rating: 5 out of 5

Both of these lineups are lethal. The Angels are second in MLB hammering 1.47 home runs per game, and Houston is fourth with 1.21 home runs per game. Given the past track records and recent struggles of both starters, expect the Astros bats to jump on Ohtani early and for the Angels to also have success off of Odorizzi. In this rivalry, 14 of the last 19 head-to-head meetings at Minute Maid Park have gone over the total, and I expect to see a high-scoring game Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 Philadelphia 76ers┬ávs. Toronto Raptors

Apr 18, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard
James Harden (1) is fouled by Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) while dribbling the ball during the fourth quarter in game two of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Playoff basketball continues on Wednesday night when the Toronto Raptors host the Philadephia 76ers in Game 3 of their first-round Eastern Conference series. After covering the spread with two double-digit home victories, the 76ers have a 2-0 lead.

Is this the year Philly competes the process?

The 76ers have been dominate through the first two games of the series, winning the opening game 131-111 and the second game 112-97. As a team, the 76ers have shot 51.6% from the floor and an NBA playoff-high 48.4% from three-point range. The 76ers now hit the road with a chance to go up 3-0. During the regular season, Philadelphia was 27-14 straight up in road games, and 21-19-1 against the spread.

Tyrese Maxey has broken out as a star this postseason, averaging 30.5 ppg, due to a 38-point Game 1, and 23 points, nine rebounds, and eight assist performance during Monday’s Game 2. MVP finalist Joe Embiid is averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds, and Tobias Harris has put up an average of 23 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks in the series. James Harden is averaging a team-high 40.5 minutes, and also leads the team with 10 assists and two steals per game to go along with his 18 ppg.

On the injury report, the 76ers are mostly clean. Matisse Thybulle (5.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg) is out for personal reasons, and Charles Bassey (2.3 ppg, 2.7 rbg) is out with a shoulder injury.

Do or die for Toronto

The Toronto Raptors beat the 76ers in three out of four games during the regular season. Due to the prior success, the Raptors came into the series as an attractive underdog with +165 odds to upset the 76ers in the first round. This series isn’t over yet, but if the Raptors cannot make some distract changes on Wednesday, it basically will be, as no NBA team has ever climbed back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

Toronto is not as healthy as Philadelphia. Rookie Scottie Barnes is listed as doubtful for Game 2, and Gary Trent Jr is questionable. During the regular season, Barnes played 74 games, averaged 15.3 ppg, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. Barnes had 15 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in the 20-point Game 1 loss. Gary Trent Jr. played in 70 regular-season games and averaged 18.3 ppg. Trent was held to nine points in Game 1 and did not score in Monday’s loss in a little under 10 minutes of action.

The Raptors shot 45.6% from the floor and 37.1% from the three-point range in the first two games in Philly. Individually, OG Anunoby has led the team with 23 ppg, followed by Pascal Siakam with 22 ppg, and Fred VanVleet with 19ppg.

Best Bets for this Game

Prediction: Toronto Raptors +2

Rating: 5 out of 5

The 76ers have had the Raptors’ number in the first two games, and from the eye test looks like they are on their way to sweep, but as the old saying goes, “a series doesn’t start until a home team loses.” I’ll admit, I’ve never been a huge fan of that overused line, but it has some merit here, especially when considering that the 76ers have failed to cover the spread in five of their last six trips to Toronto.

The Raptors covered the spread in all four regular-season games against the 76ers, and even though this is the playoffs, the evidence is there; Toronto is capable of beating Philadelphia. The Raptors have a championship coach on their side and are tough to beat in Canada, as they have covered the spread in their last four games as a home underdog. I understand that Doc Rivers is a championship coach as well, but he has also struggled to close out several series’ as a favorite with the lead in the past. The 76ers have failed to cover the spread in their last five road games and I expect to see a drop-off in this game from Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris. To what extent James Harden shows up will also be interesting.

The season is basically over for Toronto if they don’t win this game, and as a small underdog, they can’t win this game without covering. Expect the North to rise up on Wednesday, with their role players playing better at home, and turn this into a series.

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