As I mentioned last weekend, we have arrived at the moment in in the sports’ world where the calendar is void of three of the four major professional sports in America. The NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals are history and the NFL now heads into a relative dormant period before training camps get going.
That means all eyes turn to baseball and if you are going to do some wagering on what some still believe is America’s Pastime then you need to be aware of several things before you do.
Pitching Match-Ups – These are vital for more than just the obvious win-loss records. If you’re going to take you’re baseball betting seriously then you need to look at recent trends as well. Typically most sites offer you the pitcher’s most recent three starts and I advise you pay special attention to those.
Last week, Justin Verlander was starting the opening game of an important four-game series at home against the Kansas City Royals. His record was a very un-Verlander like 6-6 but his recent starts revealed an even worse stretch where he’d given up six plus runs in his last three starts. With the Royals coming in on a seven-game winning streak, it was almost too easy to go with the Royals.
Verlander was again hit hard and was sent packing with another loss.
Over/Under – If you’re going to play the over/under on Major League Baseball games then obviously you need to see the pitching match-up section above. You will however need to go a step further and analyze the batting stats for each team as well. What made choosing against Verlander easy was his recent record, but also was the hot hitting of the Royals.
Taking it a step further, pay attention to the ball park the teams are playing in as well. Is it a stadium that gives up lots of home runs? Does it have a lot of foul territory? What is the ERA of visiting pitchers?
If you find yourself looking at a game where two very good pitchers at opposing one another then you are probably best suited to take the under. Conversely, if two guys who have struggled are taking the hill then the over is probably your best play.
Regardless of the pitchers, you still need to check out the pertinent stats from both the hitting and ball park perspectives.
Win/Loss Trends – I’m a big believer in looking at teams’ records over their last ten games. The problem is that too often we just want to take the win/loss record over that stretch and run with with but it isn’t that easy. You have to also consider the opposition that the team faced over that ten-game stretch.
If the Yankees for instance go 9-1 that’s great. But who did they play over that span? If they knocked off Oakland, Toronto and Detroit over that time then you have yourself a legitimate ten game stretch. If the Yankees are knocking off the sisters of the poor then you should probably reconsider a bit before wagering on them. This of course depends upon who the opponent is too.
The most important thing you can do if you’re going to wager a single MLB game or series is put in the time. Sports betting success does not come easy and requires time. Checking into the three things I mentioned above will help you considerably, but there is no end to the stats and trends you could and should consider.