Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 1:17 PM
We’ve already talked a bit about overall handicapping strategies for Interleague play. But, now that the intense two-week stretch is upon us, I’m going to talk much more specifically about tendencies and teams I’m focused on at the moment.
You regulars know we’ve generally been doing basketball on the weekend reports in recent weeks. I’ve moved my next basketball discussion to Tuesday so it coincides with the opening day of the NBA Finals. I can assure you I’m very much looking forward to handicapping games between Oklahoma City and the Eastern Champion that will be determined Saturday Night.
Friday Night, Saturday Night, all day Sunday…and around the clock for the next two weeks, Interleague baseball will be providing multiple big money opportunities. Here’s how I plan to attack:
*I’ll be focusing on the most overpowering pitchers in either league at affordable prices. The key stat to me will be strikeout rate (K’s per 9 innings) as I ask pitchers who normally have great stuff anyway to shut down opponents who aren’t used to seeing them. And, if one league shows an early edge over the other (we talked about this last time), then I will REALLY be stepping out on overpowering pitchers from the superior league against outmanned teams from the inferior league. This lines up with my priority emphasis on Playmakers and Gamebreakers in all sports. When you’re talking about baseball, nobody has a bigger impact on a game’s result than the starting pitcher.
*I’ll be looking to fade generic hurlers who generally pitch to contact rather than getting strikeouts. This type of pitcher brings nothing to the table in Interleague because he’s like so many other guys hitters have seen before. Mediocre righthanders who don’t get a lot of K’s on mediocre (or worse) teams are great fade material in Interleague. You’ll also want to bet the Overs when these guys are pitching in hitter’s parks or in great hitting weather.
*I’ll be looking to ride teams who have been hot recently because teams in good form have historically maintained a high level of play through IL action (particularly if they’re from the superior league). Right now the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins have won 7 of their last 10 games in the American League, while Atlanta and the LA Dodgers are on four-game winning streaks in the National League. I’ll monitor those teams, and keep an eye out for other developments. I’m confident that at least two teams are going to “get hot” this weekend in a way that will matter over the next 10-14 days.
*I’ll be fading teams who have been in slumps lately, particularly if it becomes clear that one league is still inferior. Slumpers from THAT league could be in real trouble. That means YOU Houston! The Astros are 2-8 their last 10 games, and the NL has had some trouble in recent years. San Diego is also 2-8 its last 10 games (though, they’ve been in a slump all year, and they’re not even involved in IL play for a few days). Philadelphia has lost six in a row. Over in the American League, I’ll at least be wary at first of Detroit and Baltimore, who are both 3-7 their last 10 games.
*I’ll be watching the schedule closely to bet around “rivalry” series like they’re football games. That means “lookahead” and “letdown” potential in terms of the motivation factor. You generally don’t need to spend much time on that in baseball because it’s not an emotional sport. But, I can assure you that some of these rivalry teams will have letdowns in the game right after their series ends. This weekend’s rivalry matchups are Mets-Yankees and Rays-Marlins. Let’s see if any of those teams come out flat in Game One of their next series. And, let’s see who else might be caught looking ahead to a rivalry series in a series finale just before. This is a GREAT angle if you use it intelligently and combine it with other edges.
I’m not going to divulge all of my secrets because that wouldn’t be fare to paying clients. But, I do want each and every one of you to develop an arsenal of Advanced Handicapping techniques that you can use every year. Put THESE in your arsenal! If you do nothing else but look at starting pitching K-rates before each Interleague game, you’re win percentage will increase noticeably.
If you’d like some help picking Interleague games this weekend and over the next two weeks, you can go day-by-day with me right here at this website. Or, you can become a charter member of my baseball investment club that you’ve probably seen advertised. I know many of you are just now thinking seriously about betting baseball in 2012 because the NBA playoff schedule is winding down. You’re in the habit of winning every day and you like the taste that leaves in your mouth.
As I mentioned at the top, it’s back to basketball here in my College of Advanced Handicapping on Tuesday’s report when I discuss strategies for the NBA Championship round. Note that I will have a major release in Boston-Miami Saturday Night available online for credit card purchase.
Thanks again to all of you who are reading these twice-a-week reports and printing them out to create your own personal textbooks. It’s gratifying to pass on what I’ve learned over my many years here in Las Vegas. Many fine men helped me when I was getting started. I’m trying to pay back that debt by helping you understand and implement the strategies of Advanced Handicapping. See you next time,