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Advantage For Bettors With Interleague Totals

In case you haven’t been betting the bases this summer the story of the major league season so far has been the rise in scoring. 

Scoring has catapulted to 9.01 runs per game heading into the All-Star break, which is way up from last year’s average of 8.21 runs per game at the same time. 

You can thank the long ball for the boost in runs because MLB teams are each averaging 1.16 home runs per game this season. That’s the highest home run rate since 1.17 per game, which came in 2000 at the peak of the steroid era. 

If you ask Commissioner Rob Manfred, he says the surge in home runs is due to the way hitters are being taught to hit these days. 

If you ask bettors, they couldn’t give a used hypodermic needle if steroids are to blame or not - they just need to know that scoring is up and how it’s affecting the odds. And how it's affecting the odds is that OVERs are on the rise this year and sports books simply haven’t been able to keep up. 

The OVER/UNDER is 659-609-63 this year for a win rate of 52 percent, which puts OVERs way up compared to last year’s win rate of 49.5 percent (622-634-74). 

This rise in OVERs – which is usually points to more wins for the recreational bettor – is the reason Nevada books had their worst hold percentage for May in the last 12 years (1.5%). June doesn’t sound like it will be a whole lot better for the House after the OVER went 52.4 percent (204-185-18). 

As usual, oddsmakers have responded and totals are on the rise. Take a look: 

Average O/U odds In MLB Last 2 Seasons to All-Star break
20168.24
20157.75

That's a rise in a 1/2 run in this year versus last year and when it comes to league play, that adjustment has protected books against the bettors. Interleague totals, on the other hand, have been an absolute nightmare for oddsmakers this season as this chart illustrates: 

Over/under records in MLB this season
American League play271-270-33 
National League play283-273-21
Interleague play105-66-9 

The American League O/U is almost a perfect 50-50 when it comes to the O/U while the National League is at 51 percent. 

Interleague play turns the chart into a Sesame Street skit of 'one-of-these-things-doesn't-belong' with a winning rate for the OVER of 61.4 percent.  

It’s not an unfamiliar story for books. They have always hated Interleague play due to it's unpredicability and lack of data compared to league play.

Last year the O/U in Interleague play at the All-Star break was 79-96-12. We’re talking a tidal-wave swing of 16 percent for the OVER from one year to the next here. 

That’s enough to make an oddsmaker cry and bettors should be aware of these numbers heading into the second half. 

Unlike trends in other sports, I’m not sure this one will even out over the season. Interleague play is such a different animal compared to regular play in baseball and the same rules don't apply.

What bettors should know though is that the OVER has been killing them in Interleague action and I’m sure totals will be at least a little inflated heading into the second half of the season. 

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