We are well into the third month of the MLB season and teams have already played more than a third of their season schedules. A lot of things are becoming clearer each week. While the season still has a long way to go, there are some defining day-night performance trends that have formed for teams in 2021, and certainly bettors would be wise to make note of these trends. In most of these cases, backing or fading these 10 teams in the proper spots has been the difference between winning and losing.
Until these trends change, I would recommend riding them as they are, as you will see that the difference in the statistics behind these trends warrants consideration. There is definitely some foundation behind these numbers as well, as the differences in playing in day games or night games can include weather, vision, pregame preparation and postgame routine as well. It’s hard to argue with the results.
Here are 10 MLB teams whose results have varied greatly in day and night games this season. Note that these numbers are taken directly from this week’s MLB Team Reports, and they can be tracked daily on the matchup pages on VSiN.com.
Day: 8-11 (-118 $ units), Over/Under: 9-10, Runs for/Runs against: 5.1 - 4.3
Night: 12-30 (-1709 $ units), Over/Under: 22-18, RF/RA: 3.9 - 5.8
Steve’s analysis: Diamondbacks pitching has struggled horribly in night games, allowing 5.8 runs per game and accumulating a WHIP of 1.425, compared with 1.32 in day games. Arizona is losing night games by nearly 2.0 runs per game, and to put the 12-30 record in perspective, over a 162-game schedule, this would be just 46 wins. The D’backs are also under-.500 in day games but have hit the ball well and have recorded several lopsided wins.
Boston Red Sox
Day: 14-10 (110 $ units), Over/Under: 12-12, RF/RA: 5.2 - 4.4
Night: 23-13 (975 $ units), Over/Under: 15-19, RF/RA: 4.9 - 3.9
Steve’s analysis: Boston has been getting outstanding pitching in night games, and as a result, has produced 9.75 units of profit on a 23-13 record for bettors. The statistical margins are defining, 3.50 ERA at night as compared with 4.38 in day games, 1.321 WHIP vs. 1.375 and a healthy 10 Ks per nine innings. As the season goes into summer, there are typically more night games, which could benefit the Red Sox in the next couple of months.
Day: 9-21 (-809 $ units), Over/Under: 7-22, RF/RA: 3.2 - 4.5
Night: 15-14 (934 $ units), Over/Under: 15-13, RF/RA: 4.2 - 4.9
Steve’s analysis: In night games, Detroit has been a profit-producing club for bettors, + 9.34 units, in fact. In day games, mostly because the offense has been dreadful, the Tigers have been a sieve for backers. They are scoring 1.0 fewer runs per game in day games. The comparison in home runs hit is startling. In 29 night games, Detroit has hit 39 homers. In the 30 day games, they’ve hit just 20. There is an obvious challenge that this team is not meeting when it comes to seeing the baseball during the day.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Day: 8-10 (-808 $ units), Over/Under: 9-9, RF/RA: 4.6 - 3.9
Night: 26-15 (29 $ units), Over/Under: 23-17, RF/RA: 5.6 - 3.9
Steve’s analysis: The Dodgers certainly aren’t performing like a World Series front-runner when it comes to day games. They are actually two games under .500 and scoring a full run less per game in such games. Fortunately, L.A. has played a very high percentage (69%+) of its games at night. Looking at the upcoming schedule, the defending champs will play a day game in Pittsburgh on Thursday, one at home versus Texas on Sunday, and then not another till the following Sunday at Arizona. We’ve already seen that the D’backs have been a much better day team.
Day: 18-8 (963 $ units), Over/Under: 12-14, RF/RA: 4.4 - 4.2
Night: 15-18 (-685 $ units), Over/Under: 16-15, RF/RA: 3.5 - 3.8
Steve’s analysis: Milwaukee has been a strange case in that it’s daytime results have far exceeded it’s nighttime performance in wins and losses, despite what otherwise are fairly comparable statistics. In fact, the Brewers are allowing only 3.8 runs per game in night games compared with 4.2 in day games. You would think the won-lost numbers would be the opposite. The hitting statistics show a .205 batting average at night, .219 in day, 1.2 HRs per game at night, 1.4 in day. Their margins don’t suggest a variance of over 16 betting units between the two situations. Milwaukee has obviously been much better converting runs in days games. This is a trend that might not get my full endorsement for following at this point.
New York Yankees
Day: 9-16 (-1608 $ units), Over/Under: 8-17, RF/RA: 3.2 - 4.4
Night: 22-13 (101 $ units), Over/Under: 15-20, RF/RA: 4.1 - 3.4
Steve’s analysis: The Yankees have been a different team at night compared with the day. At night, they are a playoff contender, one capable of big things. In day games, they have performed like a last-place team. Backers of the Bronx Bombers in day games have already lost over 16 units, watching their team put up just 3.2 runs per game. You’re going to want to watch their upcoming schedule closely. The Yankees face day games on both weekend days in each of the next two weeks, first at Philadelphia, then at home versus Oakland.
San Diego Padres
Day: 11-10 (-302 $ units), Over/Under: 13-7, RF/RA: 4.6 - 4.4
Night: 26-15 (561 $ units), Over/Under: 19-22, RF/RA: 4.6 - 2.9
Steve’s analysis: San Diego’s day and night hitting numbers are nearly identical, 4.6 runs per game in each, batting average only .010 separation and right around 1.0 HR per game in both. It’s the pitching that has defined this playoff contender’s unusually better performance in night games. The Padres are 11 games over .500 at night, allowing just 2.9 runs per game as compared with 4.4 allowed in day games. The WHIP difference is an incredible .213 (1.042 to 1.255). This team’s staff is shutting down opponent lineups in the cool night air, a good sign considering the Padres have played twice as many night games as day games. Something to watch, however, starting Wednesday: Five of the next eight scheduled games are daytime starts.
San Francisco Giants
Day: 17-6 (1448 $ units), Over/Under: 11-12, RF/RA: 5.3 - 3.5
Night: 20-16 (237 $ units), Over/Under: 18-16, RF/RA: 4.5 - 3.7
Steve’s analysis: San Francisco has been among the league’s best offensive teams when playing in the daytime this season, scoring an impressive 5.3 runs per game in 23 games. That is 0.8 runs more per game than the Giants are producing at night. The pitching numbers have been comparable in both spots. Backers of the NL West leaders in day games are a healthy 14.48 units in profit. There is a nice run of five days games in their next 12, starting Wednesday in Texas, although with Evan Longoria and Mike Yastrzemski out of the lineup with injuries, maintaining that torrid offensive pace could be tough.
Day: 14-7 (1211 $ units), Over/Under: 9-10, RF/RA: 3.9 - 4.0
Night: 16-24 (-620 $ units), Over/Under: 19-19, RF/RA: 3.9 - 5.2
Steve’s analysis: As of Tuesday, there is no team with a bigger unit spread between its day and night performance than the Seattle Mariners. The daytime M’s are getting fantastic pitching and are 14-7 for + 12.11 units because of it. The nighttime M’s are allowing an ugly 5.2 runs per game and are just 16-24. In day games, the Seattle pitching staff boasts a WHIP of 1.167 and has allowed just 16 home runs. Quite the opposite at night, where the WHIP is 1.361 and opponents have hit 52 homers. Considering the offensive output in runs per game is identical in both situations, the difference can’t be contributed to the conditions.
Tampa Bay Rays
Day: 19-6 (1599 $ units), Over/Under: 15-9, RF/RA: 5.4 - 3.1
Night: 19-17 (-192 $ units), Over/Under: 20-16, RF/RA: 4.6 - 4.2
Steve’s analysis: Tampa Bay is the best daytime baseball team in Major League Baseball. The Rays haven’t been bad at night, but with a run differential of + 2.3 runs per game in day games, obviously this team is doing something different in its game prep to perform so well. The offense has scored 5.4 runs per game in the 25 daytime games and has hit 31 home runs. With a record 13 games over .500 in day baseball, it’s no surprise the defending AL champs are once again leading their division. Look forward to upcoming day games on Saturday and Sunday at home versus the Orioles.