Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 1:00 PM
We’ve moved our report up a day this week because JIM HURLEY wanted to provide some guidance for handicapping this month’s Major League Baseball playoffs. Those officially start Tuesday night with the National League Wildcard game matching the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs. The AL “play-in” game will be Wednesday night when the Oakland A’s visit the New York Yankees.
Waiting in the wings…
NL: Atlanta at the LA Dodgers, Milwaukee vs. Tuesday night’s winner
AL: Cleveland at Houston, Boston vs. Wednesday night’s winner
You longtime readers know that JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK covers sports from a variety of different angles. We have scouts and sources who key on talent differentials and team chemistry. We have statheads who crunch all the numbers from every box score year-round. We have computer programmers who have always been way ahead of the market with cutting edge simulations. We have trend historians who know what special situations to look for that move beyond the basic stats. And, we have friends behind the line in Las Vegas and offshore who let us know what the smart money…and what the dumb money is doing.
Today, we’re going to focus on the STAT portion of our process. Pro sports bettors have been fortunate that the mainstream media still presents baseball like it’s calling a game featuring the 1927 Yankees. You mostly hear ERA for pitchers and batting averages for hitters. Some networks push it further. But, they don’t push it anywhere near the sophistication level that’s needed to beat modern day betting markets. Everyone wants to be Vin Scully…but Vin Scully wasn’t a pro bettor!
Here are three stats from the world of analytics that JIM HURLEY suggests you study if you want to make smart bets this month. All of these stats are available for teams or individual players at fangraphs.com, and some other common baseball stat sites. Do a google search for more if you’re new to this area of analysis.
That’s a stat that was created to look and feel like ERA, but is much more accurate in terms of expressing a pitcher’s true talent. The FIP stands for “fielding independent pitching,” and focuses only on what hurlers can control themselves (strikeouts, walks, home runs allowed). The “x” at the front means it’s regressed toward a normal home run rate…because some pitchers have short term runs in this area that are misleading.
If you spend a few minutes today and tomorrow grabbing the xFIP stats for all projected starting pitchers and high-use relievers for all the playoff teams, you’ll be MILES ahead of the TV announcers you’ll be listening too in October…and well-positioned to find value against a betting market that’s still overly influenced by dumb public money. Studying ERA makes you LOSE. That’s why the general public is so bad at baseball betting. Look at xFIP.
This is a stat that properly weights the value of doubles, triples, home runs, and walks in the big picture. Batting average by itself treats all hits as the same, even though doubles and home runs are obviously a lot more important than singles most of the time. Slugging percentage counts doubles as twice as good as singles…home runs as four times as good. But, in-depth studies have shown those simple estimates don’t capture reality either. Weighted On-Base Average does, and gives you the best quick-read on hitting quality.
That’s “weighted runs created plus,” which is great for handicappers because it adjusts for park factors. Home ballparks can create illusions about hitters that point you in the wrong direction. Think about how Manny Machado’s stats took a huge dive when he switched from a home park that accentuated his strengths (Baltimore) to one that hurt them (Chavez Ravine). Go look up his season splits if you don’t believe us!
The combination of wOBA and wRC+ will put you in great shape to pick winners…or pass games you were going to bet. JIM HURLEY says you should know the TEAM numbers, and numbers from the most important hitters in each lineup. He can confidently tell you right now that you’ll save yourself at least four-to-five losing game bets because of what you learn.
Now…we’re not going to tell you EVERYTHING you need to find BIG, JUICY WINNERS here in a free web article. There are other stats we use, some of them proprietary. And, of course, no hints EVER about our simulation programs in the computer room! To enjoy the full impact of JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK, you can purchase BEST BETS in both football and baseball right here at the website with your credit card. Be sure to visit daily through October to maximize your profit potential.
If you have any questions about long term or combination packages that include both baseball and football, please call us in the office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155. The month of October is going to be something special. That’s been true for more than 30 years thanks to the proven winner that revolutionized the industry and never looked back.
Baseball will spend the next month determining its World Champion. The world of sports handicapping has only one. Just as true now as ever…you’re always going to GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!