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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, September 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM

I told you during the summer that I’d do my best to have another baseball report when the Major League playoffs arrived. That time is now! So, let’s talk about some general strategies for picking winners when the best teams in baseball go head-to-head to determine the World Champion.

As you know, I’m not going to talk about specific teams or pitchers in an article like this. I have to protect my upcoming plays for my clients. If I absolutely LOVE one team to dominate in either league, the last thing I want to do is to publicize that before the playoffs begin! We wouldn’t get fair prices. Or, if there are certain pitchers I think will rise to the occasion, it’s obviously best not to talk about that in a web article that’s read globally.

The goal of my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping is to teach YOU how to pick more winners. Here are a few keys for doing that in the baseball playoffs…

 

PITCHING

It’s vital that you focus on strikeout rates (K’s per 9 innings) and strikeout-to-walk ratios for the following pitchers:

All starters

All “set up” men who generally pitch the eighth inning

All closers

The last thing you want to do in the baseball playoffs is hope a “pitch to contact” hurler is going to avoid trouble. He’ll have to get lucky for that to happen. When facing playoff caliber offenses, low strikeout guys allow too many big blows. Yeah, maybe they get a couple of double plays to get out of jams. They’re already down 3-0 before they know what’s hit them.

You want high strikeout starters. You want set up men who are going to protect a lead by denying good contact. And, you want closers who slam the door in the ninth. If you DON’T have ALL THREE of those in your pocket at the start of a game, you’re rolling the dice. It usually just takes one big inning to blow a playoff game open. Don’t invest in teams who have pitchers vulnerable to allowing big innings.

 

HITTING

History has made it very clear that POWER is what matters most in the postseason. Teams who live by stringing together hits during the regular season learn quickly that it’s very hard to do that against playoff caliber pitching! Hurlers are just too good to allow a few hard hit balls in a row. But, anybody is capable of making a mistake that gets deposited in the bleachers.

Look at the home run totals for all postseason teams. And, look at walks drawn as well. A walk before a homer is worth two runs. It’s easier to get two runs that way than by stringing together four singles off the guys who will be on the mound in October.

 

WEATHER AND VISIBILITY

Too many handicappers forget the role that weather and weird starting times can play in the postseason. It’s starting to cool off in many of the Eastern and Midwest cities. That generally helps pitchers and slows down aggressive offenses. And, odd starting times in the afternoon often create shadows on the field that make it particularly easy for strikeout pitchers to dominate. If you’re the type that likes picking Over/Unders as well as team side winners, be sure you know exactly what the weather conditions are going to be…and how shadows could affect two or three innings.

With game conditions in mind, it would also behoove you to do some research to determine which starting pitchers get more ground balls than fly balls and vice versa. If the wind is blowing out in nice weather, you don’t want to bet on a fly ball pitcher against a playoff caliber offense! If the wind is blowing in and its cold, a “B” or “B-“ starting pitcher who gets a lot of fly ball outs suddenly becomes a lot more imposing.

With every offense…in every game that’s being played…you need to ask this question:

How is THIS offense likely to perform against THIS starting pitcher in THESE game conditions?

That gets you most of the way there. Then factor in the strengths and weaknesses of late-game bullpen dynamics to finish off the process.

If you’d like some help picking winners all through October in the baseball playoffs (it’s a great way to build your bankroll for weekend football!), you can purchase my top plays daily at this very website with your major credit card. My representatives at the Vegas-Sports-Masters office are also just a phone call away. That number is 1-888-777-4155.

I’ll be back later this week to talk about football. I may have additional baseball reports this month depending on how things play out. Currently, I am planning to post a “World Series” discussion once the league winners have been determined. We’ll see what’s happening in the world of sports betting at that time. I’m always trying to read and react to storylines to make our coursework more meaningful. Amazing college and pro football developments seem to pop up with each new day!

Thanks again for all of your hard work here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. I hope the baseball playoffs help supplement your football winnings all through the month of October.

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