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MLB umpires have been quite controversial this season.

There has been a lot of, uh, controversy surrounding the quality of the umpiring in Major League Baseball over the last while.

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Umpiring is undoubtedly a difficult job, and Major League Baseball has expanded its automated strike zone experiment to Triple-A partly as a result. Umpiring has always been a prominent topic of discussion in baseball, but this year seems to be taking the discourse to new heights.

We’ve seen players and managers get tossed for arguing calls lots of times this season and there are even Twitter accounts that track the umps and break down how bad some of them were on a given night around the league.

Some people have even dubbed the phenomenon of bad umpiring this season as the “Ump Show,” inferring that some umps might be intentionally making bad calls for attention.

We’re not sure about that last part, but we were wondering how some umps call certain teams. Many fans believe certain umpires are biased against their favorite team, but is it true?

Read below to see which umps tend to push game totals OVER or UNDER and how some teams do against the spread (ATS) with certain umpires behind home plate.

Because umpiring crews and MLB teams experience so many changes every year, we looked at just the last three seasons of data to get our results. Here are some of the outliers:

Top Five Most Profitable Umps ATS

  1. Dan Bellino – Cleveland is 8-1 ATS over the last three seasons with Bellino umpiring for a profit of $900.61 assuming a regular $100 bettor.
  2. Joe West – Philadelphia was 9-1 ATS for a profit of $782.15.
  3. Lance Barrett – Miami is 8-0 ATS for a profit of $753.04.
  4. Ted Barrett – St. Louis is 6-0 ATS for a profit of $722.63.
  5. Mark Wegner – The New York Mets are 8-1 ATS for a profit of $637.

Over the last three seasons, betting on Cleveland when Dan Bellino is behind home plate has been the most profitable bet to make. The always controversial Joe West is retired now, but Phillies fans shouldn’t have been complaining as their team was 9-1 ATS over the last three years when Cowboy Joe called their games. 

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Least Profitable Umps ATS

  1. Ben May – Baltimore is 0-8 ATS over the last three seasons for a profit of -$800.
  2. Mike Muchinski – Houston is 1-8 ATS for a profit of -$716.67.
  3. John Libka – Texas is 2-8 ATS for a profit of -$666.67.
  4. Alfonso Marquez – Boston is 1-7 ATS for a profit of -$616.67.
  5. Brian Knight – The LA Angels are 1-7 for a profit of -$613.04.

Betting on Baltimore with Ben May behind the plate has been a fool’s errand the last three years. Bettors beware.

Bet The OVER On These Umps

  1. Brian Knight – LA Angels games were 8-0 on the OVER for a profit of $731.
  2. Marvin Hudson – Detroit games were 8-1 on the OVER for a profit of $626.03.
  3. Hunter Wendelstedt – Miami games were 6-0 on the OVER for a profit of $550.03.
  4. Lance Barksdale – Tampa Bay games were 6-0 on the OVER for a profit of $546.22.
  5. Adrian Johnson – LA Angels games were 6-0 on the OVER for a profit of $540.47.

While Angels fans might not have been fond of Brian Knight calling their games as the team was 1-7 ATS when he called them, they at least got to see a show. Interestingly, while bettors lost the fifth-most money betting the Angels ATS with Knight umping, they won the most by a wide margin when betting the OVER on those same eight games.

Bet The UNDER On These Umps

  1. Lance Barrett – Houston games were 8-0 on the UNDER for a profit of $800.
  2. Lance Barksdale – Detroit games were 8-1 on the UNDER for a profit of $720.
  3. Rob Drake – San Diego games were 8-1 on the UNDER for a profit of $716.67.
  4. Carlos Torres – Toronto games were 8-1 on the UNDER for a profit of $704.76.
  5. Larry Vanover – Chicago White Sox games were 8-1 on the UNDER for a profit of $700.

Betting the UNDER on Astros games with Lance Barrett has been a great play over the last three seasons.

Another interesting name here is Rob Drake, who is not only No. 3 on this list, but pops up three more times in sorting all of the umps vs all of the teams. Drake calls games that hit the UNDER at a high rate when the Padres, Braves and Mariners are involved.

Interesting Notes

The best straight-up record was Vic Carapazza calling Tampa Bay Rays games. The Rays are 12-2 SU when Carapazza is behind home plate. 
The worst SU record was Mark Wegner calling LA Angels games. The Angels are 0-7 over the last three seasons.