Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Now that there are exactly 15 teams in both the American and National Leagues, we’re guaranteed of having at least one Interleague serious going on at all times. Over the next few days, there are actually THREE going on…which means this is a good time to review the fundamentals of Interleague handicapping.
*The American League is a lot better than the National League, and has been for many years. The AL just CRUSHED the NL last season, with no team going worse than 8-10 over the full slate, and 11 of 14 teams going .500 or better. Some critics have called the National League a glorified “Quadruple A” in recent seasons. That may be a bit of an exaggeration because the NL is still winning some World Series. But, there’s a clear and noticeable difference that handicappers can’t ignore.
*Moving Houston from the NL over to the AL will help even things up a little bit. But, only a little bit. Houston actually went 6-9 last year vs. the AL! Yes, this is a team lacking talent. Just remember that it was the NL as a unit that was crushed last year. Houston wasn’t really dragging them down much.
*The best teams in the NL were at least able to hold their own vs. the AL last season. That’s worth remembering because it keeps you from just betting the AL in every game as a blanket strategy.
2012 NL PLAYOFF TEAMS VS. AL
St. Louis 8-7
San Francisco 7-8
The Giants would go on to win the World Championship, but could only manage 7-8 in the regular season. The five playoff teams as a whole were 40-41. That means you could take them vs. bad AL teams, but should have faded them vs. the best. If you had shuttled the best in the NL over to the AL to form a 19-team league…this group would have been middle of the pack.
*The main reason the AL wins each year in my view is pitching depth. The NL can win in the World Series because they only have to go 3-4 deep in the starting rotation. Amidst a normal regular season schedule, everyone has a 5-man rotation…which brings out the dregs of the NL staffs. You’ll hear a lot of guys “blame” the designated hitter rule for giving the AL an advantage. It was these same guys 20 years ago saying that it was the designated hitter rule that was giving the NL a big advantage back then. If you’re focused on PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS, you see very quickly when one league has more talent than the other…and more depth.
The best strategies in short:
*Shade your action generally toward the American League
*Bet big against the worst pitchers in the National League
*It’s okay to bet on the best in the NL vs. the worst in the AL
*Bet on home teams in either league who play in unique ballparks
*Monitor results to see if things start trending back to the NL.
Here’s a quick review of what’s happened so far:
Cincinnati (NL) won two of three vs. the LA Angels (AL)
Kansas City (AL) won two of three at Philadelphia (NL)
Washington (NL) swept three from the Chicago White Sox (AL)
NY Mets (NL) won two of two at Minnesota (AL) with one rainout
A good start for the “senior circuit,” as NL teams are 8-3 in the first 11 games. Maybe that’s a sign that the NL is going to make a move this year. But, it’s worth noting that Minnesota is probably going to be a bad AL team, the Angels started the year with dead bats, and the White Sox got swept by the NL team many are expecting to win the pennant. The early deck was loaded for the NL with 9 of 11 games played on their home fields…and league co-favorites Washington and Cincinnati in the mix.
Here’s what we’re looking at this week…
Starting Tuesday (all 3 game sets)
Arizona at NY Yankees
Kansas City at Atlanta
Texas at Chicago Cubs
LA Dodgers at Baltimore
A couple of World Series rematches this week…particularly if you can remember back to the 1966 showdown between the Dodgers and O’s. Some of you weren’t born yet. I remember it very well. It was the last time we would see Sandy Koufax pitch.
KELSO STURGEON is still pitching winners day after day. You can purchase my top plays here at this very website with your major credit card. My College of Advanced Sports Betting was created to teach you how to pick winners. Additional help is always just a few clicks away.
Back again later this week to talk about the NBA Playoffs. The postseason gets underway Saturday and Sunday with Game One quadruple-headers. I’m glad the regular season is ending because now we’ll be down to 16 teams who are trying to win every time they take the floor. Classic handicapping will prevail because nobody’s tanking for draft position or resting their starters so they’re fresh later on. The Dean of Sports Handicapping helped INVENT “classic” handicapping!
Thanks again for all your hard work. Please keep printing out these reports so you can create a virtual textbook you can refer to in future seasons.