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MLB Betting Trends - Astros won't hang in playoff race for long

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 4/24/2012 9:56:55 AM
MLB betting trendsAmong this year’s MLB betting trends, few have been more surprising than the recent surge by the Houston Astros, which has surely lost bettors a few bucks on sports betting lines. The Astros, supposedly an afterthought in the competitive NL Central, are 11-6 in July and now sit just two games out of first. Is the surge a trend or fluke?

MLB betting trends: Astros have good players, but not enough of them

  • Offense will keep scoring runs but injuries could cripple it
  • Oswalt, Rodriguez need help in the rotation
  • Some of Houston’s success a product of an easy schedule

MLB betting trends are sometimes complicated to break down, as is the case for the Astros. Certain aspects of their success are sustainable – their best players should remain their best players all season – but others are not.

Let’s start by focusing on the good. The Astros offense is second in the NL in batting average and does have a number of weapons that should keep doing damage in baseball betting. Carlos Lee is starting to mash and MLB betting trends don’t come more reliable than that; the underrated Lee hits .297 or higher in July, August and September over his career. Miguel Tejada continues his solid season and should at least keep stinging the ball with gap power; rangy, lanky Hunter Pence should also keep developing into an above-average player.

However, two factors could put a lid on the Houston’s offense; Lance Berkman’s calf injury and a lack of depth. Berkman’s grade 2 calf strain could sap his power or at least limit his playing time, leaving a gaping hole in the lineup. The Astros have worse depth than almost any team in the NL, so even one injury can derail the offense.

Pitching wise, the MLB betting trends look very similar – great at the top, but no depth. Roy Oswalt is as consistent as pitchers get and he’ll keep putting wins on the board for Houston. Meanwhile, Wandy Rodriguez keeps defying expectations and now sports an amazing 2.72 ERA on the season. He’ll still hit the odd speed bump, but he’s a legit major-league talent. After that, though, the talent drop-off in Houston’s staff is precipitous. Russ Ortiz? Mike Hampton? Brian Moehler? Get a barf bucket! As is the case with Houston’s offense, even one injury would totally cripple the staff.

The main reason why Houston’s MLB betting trends will take a turn for the worst; the ’Stros schedule has been easy as pie this month. Of their 11 wins, two came against San Diego, two came against Pittsburgh and three came against Washington. Their four other wins came against mighty L.A. and St. Louis but Oswalt and Rodriguez started three of those.

It’s nice to see Houston return to offshore sportsbook relevance again but it won’t last. The Astros simply aren’t deep enough to sustain their success.

For more MLB betting trends and general betting tips, keep reading the Betting Edge at

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.



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