MLB Total Betting - Umpire Statistics
The 2017 MLB regular season has past the quarter pole in its 162-game schedule with all 30 teams having played over 40 games so far. This makes it a good time to take a closer look at the total line betting trends for some of the umpires calling balls and strikes behind home plate for all of these games.
An umpire’s strike zone is often thought as one of the game’s top intangibles when it comes to handicapping MLB games and when you stop and take a closer look at the numbers it lends quite a credibility to this particular betting trend.
Top MLB Umpires for the OVER on the Total Line
The name at the top of this list would have to be Bill Welke. Through May 22, he has been behind the plate calling balls and strikes in 10 contests and the total has gone OVER in nine of those games. This should not come as any big surprise to MLB bettors that rely heavily on umpire OVER/UNDER stats given that last season 72 percent of the 25 games he called also went OVER the closing total line with an average of 9.6 total runs scored. In the 10 games he has already called this season, the average runs scored stands at 11.4 with an average of 2.3 home runs a game.
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The next two umpires on this list would be Tom Hallion and Jim Wolf. Each guy has called nine games so far this season and the total has gone OVER 88.9 percent of the time. With Hallion behind the plate, the average total runs scored in those nine games stands at 11.1 with an average of 3.0 home runs a game. Wolf’s tight strike zone has resulted in an average of 12.3 combined runs scored in his nine games called, which is the highest total on the list. His average for home runs hit comes in at 2.44.
Adrian Johnson was tied with Welke last season with 72 percent of his 25 games called going OVER the closing total line, but it looks like he has loosened up his strike zone with only five of the first nine games he has called this season going OVER. The average number of runs scored in his 25 called games last season were 10.4 and that total has dropped to 9.2 runs this year.
Top MLB Umpires for the UNDER on the Total Line
The umpire with the one of the widest strike zones this season has been Dan Bellino, with six of his first seven games behind home plate staying UNDER the closing betting line. He leads the list with the fewest average runs scored at 5.9 in those seven called games and the average home runs hit stands at just 1.78. Bellino finished last season an even 13-13 on the closing total line in the games he called behind the plate and the average runs scored in those 26 games were 9.0. Given these results it remains to be seen if this year’s early trends hold true as the season wears on.
The total has also stayed UNDER in six of Jordan Baker’s first seven called games this season, but his average number of runs scored climbs to 6.8 in those seven contests. The average number of home runs hit also goes up a bit to 2.12. Going back to Baker’s 27 games called in 2016, he ranked pretty high on the other list with 18 of those games going OVER the closing total line on 10.5 average runs scored. To me, this heavily discounts these early 2017 results putting Mr. Baker on my ‘wait and see’ list to get a better feel where the number go from here.
Cory Blazer called a total of 28 games behind home plate in 2016 and 21 of those games stayed UNDER the closing line with a scoring average of just 6.6 total runs. So far this season in eight called games, the total has been evenly split at 4-4 on an average of 8.1 total runs per game.