Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 12:00 PM
That’s your homework assignment for today. Do your best to find out what’s wrong with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Last year’s National League champions are down almost 15 units one month into the new season. That’s with a record of 12-15, which shows you how overpriced the team has been from the get-go. The Dodgers were supposed to be so dominant in 2018, that being three games under .500 in the standings is the same as being almost 15 games Under on the money line.
Obviously being three games under .500 in late April isn’t the end of the world in this sport. There’s still several months to go. And, the Dodgers had a multi-month run last season that was one for the history books. They (and Houston) were playing some of the greatest regular season baseball ever played. Another run like that, and the Dodgers will win the NL West going away.
But, that’s part of the problem for too many bettors. They keep assuming the Dodgers are going to turn it around. And, they bet as if it’s already happened. You don’t get rich “timing the market” in sports betting. Well, a few do. But, square bettors typically lose their shirts because they keep betting bounce backs that aren’t ready to bounce yet.
Digging deeper into the stats will help you avoid the tendency to leap too soon, while helping you recognize the indicators that will signal a turnaround once it arrives.
Among the areas you should be studying:
*Why has the offense fallen so far from last year’s standards? Is it a direct result of a few injuries that have kept potent bats out of the lineup? Or, is the media paying too much attention to that and missing something else. Go player by player, evaluating on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and the ability to drive in baserunners. Here’s a hint, pay extra attention to the home run category, and how the Dodgers are faring compared to the rest of the Majors.
*What’s going on with the starting rotation? Has Clayton Kershaw turned mortal? Or, is he just not getting run support? Is this a staff that needs run support to look dominant? Or, can the starters control their own destiny on the mound?
*Why is the bullpen not even in the top 20 in the Majors in ERA, while playing in the league that doesn’t have the DH, and throwing its home games in a good pitching environment? Is this the linchpin problem, or just a side effect of starting pitchers not carrying enough of the load? Can the issues be fixed with a trade or a minor league call-up? The easiest thing to fix is middle relief in this sport because arms that can throw one hard inning at a time are available.
*Spend some time looking at Arizona to see what the Diamondbacks are doing right. Arizona is off to a great start this season, and is 5-1 head-to-head with the Dodgers. Flip that result, and Los Angeles is over .500 and coasting until it gets healthy. Worth remembering that the Dodgers will have trouble catching Arizona from behind (seven games back already) if the D-backs are going to make a run at 95-100 wins.
*Finally…devote extra time to the past six days…where something seemed to go haywire in terms of team chemistry. You’ve probably read that Cody Bellinger was benched for “not hustling.” That’s a red flag for team turmoil if I’ve ever seen one. Look at these money line disasters, except for one blowout Friday.
LA Dodgers (-260) lost to Miami 3-2
LA Dodgers (-360) lost to Miami 8-6
LA Dodgers (-140) lost at San Francisco 6-4
LA Dodgers (-160) won at San Francisco 15-6
LA Dodgers (-110) lost at San Francisco 8-3
LA Dodgers (-150) lost at San Francisco 4-2
Miami is a glorified minor league team this year. The Giants are hanging around, but aren’t anything special. The Dodgers just lost five of six as favorites, including those two disasters at home against Miami. I can tell you that, here in Las Vegas, the Dodgers were popular choices in money line parlays even if bettors weren’t laying the big juice on them. Kershaw was such “a sure thing” that the public had to find away to put the Dodgers in the portfolio. Cost a bunch of people a bunch of money.
Find out why!
You students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping may be wondering why I want you to focus so much on the Dodgers in today’s homework rather than the sport as a whole. The reasons are simple…
*If the Dodgers are going to keep being THIS overpriced, then you’re going to make good money betting against them. Sports books are basically handing away free money with these high Dodgers money lines. The more you understand about what’s happening, the longer you can keep pocketing that free money.
*When (or if) the Dodgers snap out of it, you’ll at the very least need to be passing their games rather than fading them. Studying key indicators will help you recognize when that time comes.
*It’s conceivable that LA can return to last year’s form once all the key pieces are back in place. Even though the Dodgers were expensive to back last year…they still showed a profit over 162 games. If David Banner is going to turn back into The Incredible Hulk, you want to be betting on the Hulk once you see the green.
If you’d like some help finding baseball (and basketball) winners this week, KELSO STURGEON’S BEST BETS can be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters office by calling office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. I do have great rates for extended packages that go through the NBA Playoffs, the MLB all-star break, or the full baseball season.
Thanks so much for your attendance and hard work. The Dean of Sports Handicapping will see you again Friday for our next class.