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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 12:57 PM

It can be very dangerous to put too much weight on early season records in Major League Baseball. One of the most important aspects of Advanced Handicapping really applies to the current standings. Look forward, not backward!

If you’re focused on won-lost records, you’re likely to end up being a few steps behind the curve. You obviously have to study games as they’re being played, and review the results and stats from all the games. But, you have to avoid the tricky trap of letting short term anomalies affect your betting.

A couple of recent examples:

*The Miami Marlins started the season 8-14, which was a huge disappointment because many had picked them to be one of the breakout teams of 2012. A few too many bettors and handicappers decided it was all hype, and they started fading the Marlins. As I write this Tuesday morning Las Vegas time, Miami is now 15-14. They’ve won SEVEN games in a row heading into tonight’s game at Houston. That 8-14 start misdirected too many people. Now, we’re close to the other extreme happening. Miami isn’t as good as a 7-game winning streak might suggest. Evaluate player performance. Just don’t fall pretty to gamblers’ fallacies.

*The Los Angeles Angels were 6-14 in their first 20 games this year. You all know about the horrible start to the season that Albert Pujols had. The team was down in the dumps, and it looked like they mortgaged the future on free agents just to get WORSE! Things have definitely picked up in recent days. The Angels are 7-3 their last 10 games, and are starting to look like a contender again. They’ll have a big test in a few days when they visit the AL West leading Texas Rangers. Will the 6-14 Angels play in that series? Or the 7-3 Angels?

There are a few preseason contenders who have started the season in disappointing fashion. ANY of these teams could be due to warm up in the next few weeks.



NY Yankees 15-13

Cincinnati 15-13

Detroit 14-14

San Francisco 14-15

Philadelphia 14-16

Arizona 14-16

Boston 12-16

That’s seven teams who were picked to be division winners or Wildcard contenders who are a combined five games under .500 about 28-30 games into the season. The Los Angeles Angels can go on that list too because their “Regular Season Win Total” estimate in Vegas was around 92-93 games. They were supposed to better than Texas! That gives us eight contenders who are a combined nine games under .500 so far. (Note that Miami was seen as a potential breakout team, but their projected wins of 85 didn’t quite make them a playoff team)

I’m very confident that at least 2-3 of those teams are about to get hot. And, I’m poised to release 50-unit and 100-unit plays on them at affordable prices when they have meaningful pitching advantages. I’m also confident that a couple really are .500 type teams who were overrated to start the season. Fading them for value will continue to pay off for me and my clients.

Use your handicapping strategies, and my Advanced principals to figure out what’s most likely to happen TODAY, then keep doing that EVERY day. Focus on the skill sets of the players…the health of the lineups…the ability of the best pitchers to impose their will on opponents. Skill sets are more meaningful than recent randomness!

I’ve given you some guidance already this year for evaluating teams and pitchers. I’ll be doing that all summer long right here on these pages. Today seemed like an important time to step in and remind you about the pitfalls of putting too much weight on the overall standings in the first month. I know a lot of you are avidly following the NBA playoffs, while just kind of casually paying attention to the bases. Casual bettors have been getting spanked because they’re focused too much on the wrong things.

My next College of Advanced Handicapping coursework will be presented Friday. I expect to outline strategies and theories for the second round matchups in the NBA Playoffs. Oklahoma City and San Antonio have already advanced, and it’s possible that the other six teams will be known as quickly as late Wednesday Night! Baseball and basketball will both get coverage the next few weeks because of peak interest. This weekend, we really need to focus on those second round matchups.

If you’d like some help picking winners here in May or for the full season, you can do that right here at this website. Game day selections go up at a convenient time for credit card purchase. I have great rates for longer term packages too. My 50-Unit Upset Game of the Week in the NBA goes Tuesday Night. I’m 7-1 in the NBA the past four days, making this a great time for you to try out the service.

Thanks again for your attendance. My College of Advanced Handicapping continues to bring in new students each and every week. I’m gratified that so many of you are attending regularly and benefitting from the coursework. See you Friday!

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