The MLB schedule still has that new car smell, as sports handicappers try to sort out which early-season results hold wagering weight and which ones don’t. We look at the MLB teams producing profits for fans of the Under so far in 2015:
Tampa Bay Rays (19-16 SU, 14-21-0 O/U)
The Rays don’t have the offensive pop they once had but are surviving the post-Joe Maddon era thanks to an over-performing pitching staff that ranks seventh in the majors with a collective 3.50 ERA. The Rays staff has a slim 1.15 WHIP and has allowed more than five runs just six times so far this season. Tampa Bay does, however, live in the American League East, where power hitting still rules. Divisional rivals will have a better look at this staff as they play their second and third series with the Rays.
San Francisco Giants (17-17 SU, 14-19-1 O/U)
It’s the same story for the Giants: Great pitching, terrible hitting. San Francisco has a collective ERA of 3.58, which stands 10th in the majors, but has plated only 3.29 runs per game. There’s a true lack of power in the Giants lineup, with only 21 total home runs and a .376 slugging percentage. San Francisco sits at the bottom of the league in runners stranded, leaving an average of 7.88 men on base, and hits just .230 BA with runners in scoring position. Unless they strike a deal to add some big bats, the Giants could very well continue to swing and miss.
St. Louis Cardinals (24-10 SU, 15-18-1 O/U)
The Cardinals have sprinted out ahead of the rest of the National League Central and boast the best record in the major leagues as of Thursday. Sports handicappers can thank St. Louis’ MLB-best 2.69 ERA for that strong start. Perhaps the most impressive thing is that the Cardinals have done this well without ace Adam Wainwright on the mound, losing him for the season due to an Achilles injury. Michael Wacha has stepped into the starring role, backed by a bullpen that has a skinny 1.78 ERA with 15 saves in 18 opportunities.