Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM
If you visited the site within the past day or so you’ve seen my report on using “Power vs. Weakness” in all sports to beat the Las Vegas sportsbooks. Today, in my College of Advanced Handicapping, I want to focus specifically on baseball.
Whenever I release a 50-Unit play or higher in baseball, it’s because I believe I have at least an 80% chance of winning the game. Sometimes the threshold is even higher. But, at 80%, you’re looking at the equivalent of a -400 favorite on the moneyline. Baseball games are rarely priced that high. Clearly when I have numbers pointing to that kind of win rate, I’m going to step out big.
I know many of you have heard over the years that there’s too much “parity” in baseball…so that there’s no such thing as a team that can be counted on to win 80% of the time no matter how big their edges are in a given matchup. Well, there IS more parity in baseball than you see in a sport like college football or college basketball, and probably even the NBA. But, these situations DO come up and I know how to find them.
Let’s start by looking at how some of the best teams (power) have done this year vs. losing teams (weakness). These are won-lost records through Monday Night’s action of select Over .500 teams vs. Under .500 opposition:
Baltimore 10-4 (71% win rate)
Atlanta 14-6 (70%)
Toronto 15-7 (68%)
Arizona 24-12 (67%)
Pittsburgh 20-10 (67%)
NY Yankees 15-8 (65%)
Tampa Bay 15-8 (65%)
If there are teams who will win 65-70% of their games vs. losers, then there MUST be situations within that subset that are even higher. By that I mean…the best pitchers on these teams facing the worst pitchers on bad teams…the hottest of these teams facing any opponent in a slump…slugging teams on this list playing a day game with the wind blowing out against a fly ball pitcher. If I’m telling you I have a game that’s in an 80-90% win scenario, I mean it. It should be easy for you to see how a game could qualify that high once you know what the top teams are capable of.
Let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. These are select Under .500 teams vs. over .500 opposition.
San Diego 11-28 (28% win rate)
Seattle 15-34 (31%)
Minnesota 15-29 (34%)
Chicago Cubs 15-27 (36%)
The Padres have lost more than 70% of the time this season vs. winning teams as it is. It’s just not a stretch to see how that could move up to 80-90% if a given set of circumstances are in play.
Now…to this point I’ve only been looking at full season records. There are stages WITHIN a season where certain teams will catch fire or fall apart. The Los Angeles Angels have been on a very nice run since Albert Pujols started hitting. They could certainly grade out now in a way they wouldn’t have back in May. Colorado had a horrible recent slump through Interleague play, as did Miami. Those teams weren’t on the “bad” list above…but their problems were so great during their slumps that an opponent could easily qualify for big game status against them.
Here are the key categories in baseball that capture the essence of my Power vs. Weakness approach.
Offense: (you want runs on the board)
Pitching: (you want high K pitchers who can overpower an opponent)
Bullpens: (you want dominant closers who slam the door)
Managers: (go against guys who are in over their heads or who have lost their teams)
Game Conditions: (use ballparks and weather for bonus boosts)
If you’re like most do-it-yourself handicappers, you look at the won-lost records of the teams involved, and the ERA of their starting pitcher. That can work…but it’s a lazy shortcut to a Power vs. Weakness approach that will probably fall short because you’re not betting big enough on your most dominant edges and you’re not paying enough attention to offense and managing.
If you’d like some help finding the best plays on the board every day, you can sign up for my personal service right here at the website. I do have game day releases available for credit card purchase if you’d like to test the waters.
My next lecture in my College of Advanced Handicapping will be Friday. We’ll be focused on baseball for the time being…but I will include some early football guidance at various points during the summer. I know all of you are excited about the coming college and pro seasons. And, summer IS the time you need to be preparing your attack on the markets. Thanks for your continued attendance. I continue to advise everyone reading this to print out the reports so you can create a textbook you can refer to year round. Now, go look at today’s baseball schedule from the Power vs. Weakness perspective.