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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 7:00 AM

If you’ve been following Major League Baseball this season, you know that we’re on a record pace for home run totals. That’s been a hot topic here in Las Vegas for several weeks now. Oddsmakers have tried to adjust their lines…but still may be missing out in a few key areas.

I’d say that the market has finally pushed OVER/UNDERS up to where they belong. It took several weeks for that to happen, particularly in the National League. The Over/Under split is relatively balanced in recent days (with an Under weekend just behind us). If you’re thinking of betting Overs to take advantage of all the home runs, that boat has sailed. You should have been doing that in April and May, not waiting until June.

I do think there’s still room for sharp bettors to find winners by attacking the following angles.

*Fading respected starting pitchers who are home run prone

*Fading teams with home run prone bullpens

*Fading projected superpowers who don’t have enough home run power this season

Let me stop right there for a second. It’s like the Chicago Cubs have been left in the dust by other top teams who could exploit the friendlier baseballs. The Cubbies only hit home runs when the wind is blowing out in Wrigley (unless Rizzo is leading off!).

In terms of pitching…too many handicappers forget to look at home runs from THAT perspective. Everybody knows who the sluggers are. It seems like every night is a home run derby. But, which starting pitchers lost some of their past form because fly balls are now going over the fence? Which bullpens are trying to rely too heavily on “pitch to contact” hurlers? Sharps have answered those questions very profitably. Oddsmakers still have some work to do (though, if the public keeps betting the wrong teams, sports books will make out okay).

Continuing with betting angles…

*Bet on home run based teams, particularly when they’re in the best home run parks

*Bet on home run based teams against fly ball pitchers

*Bet on pitchers who get a lot of strikeouts, which cut down on potential contact

Don’t look at the individual home run counts because you’re imagining the next Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa. Look at TEAM home run counts to see which offenses are capable of putting up big numbers consistently. Once you’ve isolated those teams, it’s easy to spot situations where they’re going to be launching souvenirs into the bleachers while lighting up the scoreboard.

Many local oddsmakers have been on the airwaves, or quoted in print media, talking about the number of bad pitchers in the Majors right now. While it’s true that some young arms are overmatched, that’s the case every season. It just becomes more noticeable in juiced ball eras (or juiced player eras). The problem with fading pitchers with lousy stats is that they often get taken out of a game before it’s won or lost. You don’t want to lay -200 against a guy just to see the game tied 4-4 in the fifth inning. And, maybe a guy who looks awful when the wind is blowing out will do fine when the wind is blowing in. Focus on situations, not raw stats.

I wouldn’t be shocked if home run counts slow down just a bit. The dog days of summer are coming up, and hitters often wear down and lose their discipline when temperatures are the hottest. Also, teams are replacing their worst pitchers with minor league call-ups who may have a better chance of performing. Nobody’s allowed to stay in the Majors if they can’t get outs, no matter what the excuses are.

I’m really enjoying handicapping the bases this season. It’s not a grind when things are going well. And, it’s even more fun when you can see the big mistakes the general public is making on a day-by-day basis. You regulars know that I’m a very picky handicapper. It’s not my style to have monster releases every day. Customers get mostly 1-unit plays, with the occasional 2-unit game if the stars are really aligned. This is how sharps bet. Find edges, bet them using proper money management, then allow time to grow your bankroll.

If you’re ready to think like a sharp and bet like a sharp, you can purchase my BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card.  If you have any questions about monthly packages, or early bird football, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155.

Las Vegas is already setting records for early football betting with the Regular Season Win totals, college football “Game of the Year” lines, and weekly NFL posted. Take care of business now so you’re ready to go when live gridiron action begins.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back with you again soon to talk more baseball.  

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