Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 1:00 PM
Back when Major League Baseball used to jam all the Interleague games into a few weeks midseason, it usually became clear quickly that the American League was better than the National League. Often MUCH better. This dominance goes back years now.
It’s funny, in the earliest days of Interleague, the National League was much more successful. Pundits kept say that’s because it was easier for NL teams to switch to adding a Designated Hitter when they travelled. Supposedly IL play was UNFAIR to the American League! Then, the AL powers started spending money hand over fist and buying up talent. The AL became superior, and pundits switched to say that was because the NL didn’t know how to make proper use of the Designated Hitter when travelling. Pundits always assume it was about the Designated Hitter.
Look…it’s about TALENT! The AL has been better for many years now. Even though steroids are out of the picture…along with the ability for the richest teams to buy the guys who were benefitting the most…we still have the better teams over in that league.
Now, I’m not saying that EVERY team in the AL is better. It’s a sliding scale.
The most obvious way to see this is to look down at the bottom. Philadelphia of the NL is a ridiculous 22-45 this season, while Milwaukee is a pathetic 24-43. In the A.L, only Boston (28-39) and Oakland (29-39) were at least 10 games below .500 heading into Thursday’s games. The worst of the NL is a lot worse than the worst of the AL.
But, you know what, the NL is still in trouble if you throw out the Phillies and Brewers!
Interleague Record thru Wednesday: American League 74, National League 59
Philadelphia is 1-5 when crossing leagues, while Milwaukee is 5-7. That’s 6-12, which is obviously horrible. But, the Americans still lead the Nationals 62-53 if you take those games out. Oh, Boston and Oakland are a combined 8-4 when crossing over. So, the worst teams in the AL are able to win against the NL.
It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when handicapping game-by-game. But, all baseball handicappers should have been struck by this game-by-game sequence Wednesday night that involved the market favorites to win the NL divisions.
Washington -145 lost at home to Tampa Bay 5-0
St. Louis -145 lost on the road to Minnesota 3-1
LA Dodgers -290 lost at home to Texas 5-3
The three teams with the best Futures prices to win the NL were SWEPT as FAVORITES by a combined final score of 13-4. And, that includes the pitcher with the most dominating skill set in all of baseball…Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.
Students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping need to learn how to recognize REALITY in all sports. Oddsmakers post numbers based on perceptions. Bettors who know reality will win money over the long haul. If you’re trying to pick winners in Interleague matchups, you need to be aware that the AL is better…and that slow-reacting oddsmakers are once again failing to notice the full scope of the dynamic.
To this point in the season, the AL should be about -125 over the NL in a neutral field meeting. Or, in other words, Kershaw should never be around -290 vs. an AL contender!
Unfortunately, the schedule is spread out in such a way that you have to keep this on your radar but rarely front and center. Friday we go back to having just one IL game at a time. We don’t have multiple IL games on the same card again until the last week of June. Don’t let the hidden potential of AL value slip your minds the rest of the way.
Those of you who’d like help finding the best baseball bets on the board every night can sign up for my personal service. Top releases can be purchased right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions about extended service can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155.
The Dean of Sports Handicapping will see you again early next week. As I said last time, it will be mostly baseball here in the coursework through the next few weeks now that basketball is over. I will mix in some early football preparation notes since the offseason “annuals” are now on newsstands. The summer is a great time to build bankroll with baseball while also preparing to really unload on football when the college and pro seasons begin. Back with you Monday.
Be sure to follow:
Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters