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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, June 24, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Generally speaking, it’s very tough to make big money in Major League Baseball by simply backing the same team day-after-day. You can grind out a profit that way. And, earning a living as a bettor in Las Vegas involves a combination of grinding and finding big plays. But…I’d never suggest to anyone that making a fortune is as simple as betting on a good team whenever they take the field.

Yet…backing the Pittsburgh Pirates every time they took the field this year has yielded an incredible profit of 22 units!

How incredible is that? The best American League teams are Baltimore and Oakland at about plus 9 units. Pittsburgh is more profitable than the best two American League betting teams COMBINED!



Pittsburgh +22 units

Baltimore +9 units

Oakland +9 units

St. Louis +7 units

Cleveland +6 units

San Diego +6 units

Arizona +6 units

If Pittsburgh didn’t bother to show up for any of their games over the next week, they’d still lead the majors next Monday.

Before talking about the Pirates, I want to alert Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping students to the dynamics of that list. Please take note of the following:

*It’s packed with teams who don’t get a lot of media coverage. The mainstream media almost ALWAYS overrates the teams from Los Angeles, New York, and Boston (even when they have pretty good teams). Las Vegas oddsmakers and bettors are influenced by media coverage. Pittsburgh is only 16 games over .500 in your newspaper standings…but is +22 in units because they’re an underdog so often. The big city teams would have to be about 30 games over .500 to make 22 units.

*It’s packed with teams that even the sabermetric field was skeptical of this year. All the numbers guys in their mom’s basement were assuring us that there was no way Baltimore and Oakland would play to last year’s standards. There’s still plenty of time for those teams to fall back. Through almost half the 2013 season, they’re the most profitable teams in the AL when they were only supposed to win 78 (Baltimore) and 84 (Oakland) games respectively in the markets. Oddsmakers are spending too much time listening to numbers geeks as well!

*Only seven teams out of 30 are better than plus five units this deep into the season. That’s in line with the general point about how hard it is to win money by backing the same team over and over. It’s worked with Pittsburgh…but would hardly be worth the effort (or would prove quite painful) with the other 29 teams.

Okay, what’s working with Pittsburgh?

*Their starting pitching has been amazing. They made smart gambles with A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano from the American League, realizing that many AL arms become dominant when they move over to the inferior National League.

*They acquired Wandy Rodriguez from Houston, and are letting him do what he does best.

*They’ve been very smart when it comes to developing minor league players. That’s allowed them to handle some injury situations, and unleash Jeff Locke on the league from out of nowhere. He has Cy Young numbers through his first 15 starts.

*They’ve stocked their roster with players who have something to prove. I can’t tell you how much this means in a sport like baseball, where many teams kind of go on auto-pilot once the rigors of the season kick in. Pittsburgh keeps battling. That’s why they have a winning record in one-run games. That allowed them to come from way behind Sunday against the Angels.

There are still some question marks on offense for me. And, they may be placing too much of a burden on their starting pitchers…which leads to injuries. But…this is not some miracle team that’s winning with mirrors. They’re winning with pitching and enthusiasm.

I know there are many who expect things to fall apart in the second half of the season. That’s happened before with this franchise. But, there’s more talent here than in past years…and the minor league system is more promising than it’s ever been. Maybe the best stuff is in the rearview mirror. On the other hand…maybe this team’s recent scoring surge is a sign that things are about to get BETTER! Effective pitchers backed by a productive offense will steamroll the National League.

I’ll be watching this developing story very closely as I continue to post daily selections through the summer. If you’d like some help with your own picks, you can always purchase my top games with your major credit card here at the website. I’ve been on a very nice run lately with my major releases.

We’ll get together again later this week for more coursework in my Advanced College of Sports Betting and Handicapping. Focus on the fundamentals, and YOU will become a force that Las Vegas oddsmakers have to deal with!

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