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MLB Betting Trends - Cardinals here for the long haul

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 8/24/2009 2:01:22 PM
baseball betting trendsOne of the surprising MLB betting trends this season has been the St. Louis Cardinals, who finished fourth in the NL Central last season but are now at the top of the division. While the rest of the division has fallen off, a lot of online betting handicappers want to know if the Cards’ rise is a trend or a fluke.

MLB betting trends: Cardinals strong in Central

  • Cardinals competition in Central is struggling
  • Cardinals have weathered many first half injuries
  • Potential acquisition of Holliday would bolster Cards playoff run

MLB betting trends aren’t always about whether a team is hot or not. In this case, it’s about whether a team is for real or not. The Cardinals are in first in the NL Central, although many people point to the fact that the teams in the division have fallen off, rather than the Cardinals being particularly good.

On one hand, that’s true. The Houston Astros finished 11 games over .500 in 2008 but are currently 44-44; the Milwaukee Brewers were 18 games over .500 in 2008 but two games over .500 now; and most surprisingly – to everyone including sportsbook odds makers – is the Chicago Cubs, who won the division last year, are just 43-43. Those who follow MLB betting trends weren’t expecting such a drop-off, but nonetheless, you can’t fault the Cardinals for taking advantage of it.

One reason why St. Louis figures to get stronger down the stretch of the season is because they are now finally getting healthy. They’ve played the entire season without Troy Glaus, who had 27 home runs last year, and shortstop Khalil Greene has also missed some time. They’ve also been forced to live without starting pitchers Kyle Lohse and Chris Carpenter for prolonged periods of time. But now, Glaus is expected back early in the second half of the season while Lohse is also finally healthy. Part of MLB betting trends is paying attention to injuries, and clearly, the Cardinals could get even stronger down the stretch of the season if they have a full, healthy roster to play with.

One MLB betting rumor that is floating around is the Cardinals’ potential acquisition of outfielder Matt Holliday. As the trade deadline rapidly approaches, if the Cards could acquire a big bat like him, they would undoubtedly become the Central favorite.

One thing you can always trust about the Cards is their management. From the front office to Tony La Russa to pitching coach Dave Duncan, the Cardinals will always be a reliable team. And with everyone else in the division struggling, the Cardinals are definitely a trend in the Central and not a fluke.

For more analysis on sports betting lines, check out the Betting Edge daily.

Before his arm flamed out, Dale “Skip” Lalonde was famous for his high-90s heat and power at the plate. He retired young but never turned his back on baseball, earning the nickname “Skip” for his high-school coaching prowess. A true student of the game, he loves crunching the numbers when he handicaps baseball. Email [email protected]



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