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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Now that Major League Baseball teams are back from the All-Star Break, you have to make some minor tweaks to your usual approach. Advanced Handicappers should still be focused on impact players. They just have to remember how different kinds of impact players react to a vacation.

*YOUNG STARS often react badly to a layoff. They were playing well in the first half. Maybe they got to be part of the All-Star festivities. Getting out of their normal routine is a BAD thing for young stars. It takes hitters awhile to get back up to speed. Young pitchers, particularly those who aren’t on their normal rest, will likely throw below ERA norms.

*VETERAN STARS have been through this before, and are typically rejuvenated by the break. They were ready to rest. Now they’re fresh again, and focused on taking care of business down the stretch in the pennant race. Many veterans have learned to pace themselves over the years. I could name you at least TEN hitters who are very likely to be on a tear over the next 12-14 days based on their past history.

Bottom line in terms of playmakers and gamebreakers…you want to invest in veterans right after the break, but be cautious with (or even fade) young stars who don’t have much experience dealing with this particular situation.

In terms of late first half momentum at the team level, you can generally throw that out the window.

*Teams who were HOT just before the break hit their vacation at the worst possible time. They’ll lose some rhythm. If they had a set of hot pitchers, most will be thrown off their normal number of days between starts. Any sort of strategy you were using that involved “riding” hot teams must be put on the shelf for a few weeks. Let new hot teams develop in the coming days, then back them at value prices when they’re not coming off a layoff.

*Any teams who were SLUMPING right before the break were likely helped by the time away from each other. They’re not burned out. Arguments and feuds are back on the backburner. These teams will play better than they had been. Advanced Handicappers should always include the motivation factor when trying to pick winners. Often, that means going against teams who are clearly playing with no motivation. Those “go against” teams from the past couple of weeks are probably going to play better in these next two weeks because the milk isn’t sour any more in the clubhouse.

The best advice I can give you for this first weekend after the break…and the first few weeks after the break…is to invest in quality, VETERAN teams who know they have to focus on taking care of business in playoff races…and to do so at value prices. Teams like this can be steals as small or medium favorites. Sometimes, they’re even steals at high prices but you have to be careful because few opponents are pure laydowns after a vacation. The second best advice is to avoid the temptation to back young teams who ended the first half well. No matter how much money they made you the past couple of weeks, wait until they’ve established a new tone in the second half before getting involved with them.

I wish you the best of luck picking games this weekend. If you’d like some help, you can purchase my top releases right here at this website. I do have a 50-Unit High Roller Blowout of the Week posted for Friday. If you’re reading this over the weekend, please check the home page or the “buy picks” pulldown for daily features.

My next lecture in my College of Advanced Handicapping will be Tuesday. We’ll have a mix of baseball and football through the summer months. I hope you took my advice from this past Tuesday and used the All-Star Break to begin your football preparations. I do have early-bird rates for football you can take advantage of this weekend here at the website.

Thanks very much for being such an active student and embracing the coursework. I hope you’ve been printing out all the lessons so you can create a textbook you can use year round. Guidance for the games before and after this year’s All-Star Break will be just as applicable next year as they were this year. They’ll be just as applicable in 2020 as they were in 1990. I’m known as the Dean of Handicapping because I’ve been using PROVEN strategies to beat the number for DECADES here in Las Vegas. I’m confident you hard workers will be just as successful for just as long if you embrace the principals of Advanced Handicapping.

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