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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 4:30 PM

We’ve been talking a lot about the NBA Playoffs in recent days. I wanted to pop in with some MLB coursework because a certain element of Advanced Sports Betting has been very profitable right out of the gate here in the 2013 season.

PITCHER INJURIES are looming very large over the daily schedule. Now, I’m not suggesting pitchers are falling like flies. But, we have many pitchers who are either battling through nagging injuries, returning from past injuries, or struggling with velocity or mechanics in a way that suggests they’re trying to hide an injury. These pitchers are consistently being mis-priced by Vegas oddsmakers, who generally post a line based on a pitcher’s career norms.

Let’s run through those categories one by one:

 

NAGGING INJURIES
These are now very easy to follow because internet media is full of team-by-team reporting, AND fantasy baseball reporting. If a pitcher had a stiff neck, or soreness in his shoulder, or stiffness in his arm (as was reported with Steven Strasburg after Monday’s game vs. Atlanta), it’s going to be reported in a variety of places. YOU need to visit these places! Major sites like espn.com or mlb.com do a good job on each pitcher’s individual page. The more you dig, the more you’ll find.

Pitchers dealing with nagging injuries are often 20-40 cents worse than normal on the moneyline. Typical gamblers love laying juice on big name pitchers. They can really take a bath here when a -160 favorite pitches like a -120 favorite…or a -120 favorite pitches like a dog. You certainly don’t want to back a pitcher amidst reports of nagging injuries. Value bettors will fade them. Whatever you do, DON’T place a big bet on a star pitcher who’s dealing with nagging injuries just on the hopes that everything will be okay. You will end up winning some of those. But, you’ll lose more than you win because you’re not getting the star arm at its best.

 

RETURNING FROM INJURIES

It’s depressing that so many starting pitchers must miss extended periods of time with Tommy John surgery, shoulder surgery, or other ailments that put them on the shelf for months. Once these pitchers are ready to return, they rarely pick up right where they left off. After being given the go-ahead, they’re still 10-30 cents worse than norms in their first few starts. They’re rusty. And, even if they’re not rusty, they’re on pitch counts that take them out in the fifth or sixth inning. That means you get a vulnerable middle reliever taking an inning or two away from the starter’s career average.

Me…I’ll almost always wait to see a couple of good starts before I bet on a returning pitcher. I don’t believe in “crossing your fingers” on baseball bets. I prefer not to fade a returning pitcher blindly, particularly if reports were good about his rehab and preparation. But, if that first start back is shaky, then I will fade him until he shows flashes of the past. Some pitchers never find their old form, and you can pick up several winners fading them before the team finally decides to give up.

 

HIDING INJURIES

It was a boon to Advanced sports bettors and handicappers when Major League telecasts started flashing velocity numbers on every pitch. If you’re paying close attention, you can literally see a hidden injury in reduced pitch speed. If you don’t have the time to monitor this on your own, many of the fantasy websites and major media sites will at least report when a pitcher has lost a few mph off his fastball. This is never a guy “relaxing.” Something’s wrong when velocity drops. Be ready to take advantage!

I’m bringing this up now because there are now virtually DAILY examples of these issues coming into play on the baseball board in Las Vegas. That creates powerful profit potential when Advanced betting edges are this plentiful. Do some homework and track down as many injury issues as you can. If you’d like some help finding the best MLB (and NBA Playoff) play, you can purchase my top selections daily right here at this every website with your major credit card.

We’ll be continuing a mix of baseball and basketball through the Spring. Don’t forget that the Kentucky Derby goes this weekend…and I’ll have selections available for purchase early Saturday. I greatly appreciate that so many of you are reading these articles and applying what you’ve learned. I look forward to seeing you again later this week for our next get-together.

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