Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, May 30, 2014 at 4:00 PM
Because it’s become very clear that this is going to be a “year of the pitcher” in Major League Baseball, I wanted to spend some time talking about general principals handicappers should be using when trying to pick winners in this challenging environment. It’s not as simple as focusing on Unders. In fact, that wouldn’t do you much good because oddsmakers and professional wagerers were onto this trend very early in the season. Here’s what you need to do.
*Focus on BULLPENS
Right now, the biggest differences between teams are in the areas of long relief and set-up men. Most starting rotations are doing a pretty job of going six innings without doing much damage. There are a few exceptions of course…but those exceptions are getting yanked out of the rotation pretty quick! Develop your own Power Ratings for bullpens (looking at full bullpen ERA’s, blown saves, and quality of the closer). You’ll find that this exercise alone will do the best job of helping you evaluate win potential each night for all 30 teams. Oddsmakers are still basing their moneylines on the names of the starting pitchers. Wins and losses are being more largely influenced by middle and late relief.
*Focus on OFFENSIVE ON-BASE PERCENTAGE
The public tends to focus on home runs, even when home runs start to become scarce. They figure, “Hey, home runs are even more valuable!” The problem with that line of thinking is that home runs are becoming so rare that they don’t influence that many games! If the most potent sluggers are going to hit a homer once every 4-5 days…and there aren’t that many healthy potent sluggers…then you’re placing bets on the lottery. Teams who draw walks, get hits, and move runners around are more likely to consistently score runs for you. You should be studying team on-base percentages every day so you know which offenses will be best positioned to win bets for you.
*Focus on TRAVEL
Offenses have developed a tendency in recent years to go dead on get-away days. It’s like MLB players have decided they deserve a day off, and they barely bring intensity when they have a plane to catch after the game. This is particularly true for teams out of the pennant race picture. The season is a long grind, and there’s no reason to burn yourself out in late May or early June. And, the year of the pitcher makes it easier to hide non-efforts because the opposing pitcher will get all the credit anyway! Don’t bet on teams in a getaway spot unless you’re VERY confident there going to show up for you. Look for ways to take home teams who will be staying put at cheap prices against visitors who will be playing in a different city the next day. Vegas oddsmakers have been WAY behind the curve with this developing trend across both leagues.
Some other quick advice…don’t bet Overs in pitcher’s parks…don’t lay -1.5 runs on the run line with games totaled at 7.5 or lower…don’t bet on offenses who just lost a key hitter to injury…don’t bet on Overs when the wind is blowing in. I know most of you reading this like betting Overs because it’s fun to root for offenses to score! There are truly only a handful of spots where you should be doing that this season. Focus on games played in hitter’s parks…featuring good on-base offenses…against teams with mediocre or worse bullpen pitchers.
If you’d like some additional help picking daily winners in baseball (and through the rest of the NBA Playoffs), you can always purchase my BEST BETS right here at this very website with your major credit card. If you have any questions about packages that take you through the rest of the NBA Playoffs or to baseball’s All-Star Break, talk to one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. We have great rates that are value-priced to offer the maximum bang for your buck.
I’ll see you again early next week to preview the NBA Finals. Those don’t begin until Thursday. If San Antonio defeats Oklahoma City to win the West on Saturday Night, then my preview will run on Monday. If that series doesn’t end until Monday Night (Game Seven would be in San Antonio that evening), then my championship preview for handicappers will run on Tuesday.
Thanks again so very much for being a hardworking student here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. You newcomers will learn that hard work is always rewarded in the field of Las Vegas sports betting!