It’s official! Kansas becomes the 35th U.S. state to recognize sports gambling as a business, entertainment, and funding endeavor. This news is well deserving of a post as a ten year resident of the state of Kansas (and employee for the state for that matter). Anyways, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed and passed said bill on May 12th giving way to a whole new form of state tax funding all while betters alike rejoice! Ahh, the ole’ win-win! Below is a timeline of the history and evolution of sports gambling as we know it today.
1951 – Federal government imposes a 10% tax on all sports wagering profits from casinos/bookies
1992 – PASPA is put into law banning advertising, licensing, etc. of sports wagering of any kind is prohibited (Professional Armature Sports Protection Act)
1994 – First known and proven occurrence of games been “fixed” based on sports wagering motives (Arizona St. basketball guard – Stevin Smith)
2018 – New Jersey becomes the second state to legalize sports gambling 69 years later
Present – currently 33 states have some form of legalized sports gambling whether that be online, in the casinos, or both
This time of the year brings us the conclusion of the NFL Draft, the finish line to the lengthy and unnecessary tournament format that is the NBA Playoffs, the College Baseball World Series, and the heart of the the MLB regular season. The MLB regular season will hit the halfway point in July; by this point we have more than enough of a sample size to dive into some of the analytical trends that we can look for when making our plays. The numbers suggest favoring AWAY-UNDERDOGS on the run line (+1.5). These
teams are currently covering at a 58% rate. Tonight, those teams include: the Athletics, Orioles, and Rays. As far as the totals are concerned, the UNDER gives betters a slight edge covered at a 52% clip. Diving a bit deeper, at the individual team level the Astros are the most lucrative franchise with their games hitting the UNDER 69% of the time (31% OVER). On the other side of the spectrum, the Phillie’s games go UNDER only 40% of the time (60% OVER) The MLB Draft is about a month out (July 17th) and could we see a mid-major shortstop going first overall to the Orioles?! One mock draft has Cal-Poly shortstop, Brookes Lee, as the first overall pick (mlb.com). The Mustang’s shortstop hit .357 with 25 doubles, 15 home runs while racking up more walks (46) than strikeouts (28) this spring. CLICK HERE to access mlb.com 2022 MLB Mock Draft.
This upcoming weekend my dad and I were all set to attend a few Spring Training games in Surprise, AZ. As all of you have probably heard, these games are not going to take place across both the Cactus and Grapefruit League’s. A mixture of sadness and angry flow through my body as I have yet to attend an MLB spring training game in my 28 year old lifetime. As an avid baseball fan, coach, and guru one would have to assume that this little trip has been on my bucket list for quite sometime – and you’d be correct. With no baseball on the horizon I decided to come up with my hometown team’s “all-time” stating lineup. The Kansas City Royals have won two World Series titles and a good portion of this list and lineup helped bring those championships back to Kansas City.
For this evaluation I chose the best Royals player of all time for each position along with three starting pitchers and a relief pitcher. If the MLB lockout persists, I plan to post more where other teams are featured. My all-time Royals starting pitchers compiled 552 wins with a combined career ERA of 3.52 (Paul Splittorff, Zack Greinke, and Bret Saberhagen). Coming out the bullpens as the career saves leader for Kansas City with 304 career saves is Jeff Montgomery. The catcher for the Royals hold the single season homerun record for the club and holds a career batting average of .270. He is a fan favorite and brings a smile to everyone’s faces, especially children (Salvador Perez – 7x All Star, 5x Gold Glove, 4x Silver Slugger, World Series MVP). At 1st base, this player possesses a career .297 average while being the one bright spot for the Royals franchise during its darkest period in the late 90’s and early 2000’s (Mike Sweeney – 5x All Star). The second basemen for the Kansas City Royals dream team lead the MLB twice in number of hits and is a two time All Star (Whit Merrifield). Standing at the hot corner is a player who many would argue to be the greatest Royal of all time. This ball-player holds a career batting average of .305, leads the Royals franchise is number of base-hits along with many other statistical categories (George Brett – AL MVP, 13x All Star, 1x Gold Glove, 3x Silver Slugger, 3x Batting Title, ALCS MVP). The shortstop for this squad number is retired by the Royals and is now seen on television as a commercial spokesman and MLB Network analyst. He is a speedster and a muscle man with 160 career homeruns and 178 stolen bases (Frank White – 5x All Star, 8x Gold Glove, 1x Silver Slugger, ALCS MVP). Originally a third basemen in college, the quote-un-quote “hometown kid” was the Royal’s first round pick in 2005 out of the Nebraska University.
This player was one of three crucial pieces to winning the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets; your left fielder, Alex Gordon (3x All Star, 8x Gold Glove, 2x Platinum Glove). To Alex Gordon’s left, the center fielder for the all-time Royals was a late round draft pick out of a junior college in Florida. This outfielder was the third pivotal piece for the Royals World Series success in 2015 (Lorenzo Cain – 2x All Star, 1x Gold Glove, ALCS MVP). Our final player for the Royals all-time franchise team is not only our right fielder, but the oldest Royal in this particular line-up. This batting is a career .290 hitter while playing for the Royals for 15 seasons (Hal McRae – 3x All Star, 1x Silver Slugger).
Click through the slideshow to take a look at each of the “all-time” Royals to put a face to the name and all of the achievements that each of them has tallied up throughout their great careers. Tonight in NCAAB I like the Cornhuskers on Senior Night over the Hawkeyes as 12.5 point dogs and the UNDER on this game of 161.5 as Iowa shot lights out the other night against Michigan St. I do not foresee them shooting this well in back-to-back games; hence, siding with the lower TOTAL margin.
As the MLB regular season begins to wind down, a lot of our attention will shift focus over to the NFL. Until the MLB postseason is underway, the majority of America will be dialed in to the NFL after the annual long-awaited start that is Week 1 of the NFL season. To catch everyone up to speed, the San Diego Padres are vastly under performing based on preseason expectations whereas the San Francisco Giants are out doing themselves based on preseason oddsmakers. The preseason Giant’s win total was set at a whopping 75.5 games won with a 0.1% chance to win this year’s World Series. The Giants eclipsed this total on August 15th against the Rockies. They went OVER their win total with almost two months left in the season; let that one sink in. I digress… listed below are the current World Series winner odds for the 2021 MLB Postseason.
Currently, the Dodgers are set as the leading favorites with the addition of future Hall of Fame pitcher Max Scherzer. Odds aside, come postseason time it is in we as sports gamblers best interest to make our plays on teams that are so called HOT; or at the very least, not bet against them.
As we approach the postseason, it is important to pay attention to the forecasted weather in each participating city since it in fact will be October. Obviously the month of October is absolutely irrelevant to Tampa Bay’s dome stadium when it comes to weather having a potential affect on the game and its outcome. However, weather might be an important factor to consider when making plays on games in New York or Boston. Coming from personal experience, cold weather situations grant the pitcher with the competitive advantage over the hitter 100% of the time. Why? You might ask. When temperatures are considered “cold” the batter is at a disadvantage because of two reasons: first, hitting is a very technical and exact science that is very difficult to master. This already very difficult “art” becomes much more difficult when the batter is having a tough time feeling his bat, body movements, etc. Second, typically the pitcher has been going at it for a handful of innings by this point allowing him to be both in a rhythm and relatively warm. On the other hand, the batter only gets to step in the batters box every ninth hitter and they may not see the ball hit to them for an inning or so. These factors make it difficult for the batter to get their bodies primed to hit a 95 MPH fastball. Think about it – it would be like racing someone of equal speed as yourself but they get to warm up and you do not, you and I both know who is winning that race. The same goes for the pitcher and batter match-up’s. This was the long version of how cold weather gives the pitcher the advantage while the batter is at a disadvantage throughout cold weather MLB games. One last note on postseason baseball; the odds makers and public gamblers tend to overvalue the home team. During the dog-days of summer travel and jet-lag are genuine factors. However, come postseason baseball for these guys the travel factors are much more minute based on the importance of each game, allowing adrenaline to take care of this void.
Making my NCAAF plays the other day, a theory dawned on me that I would like to think could give me a competitive gambling edge that I am eager to share with all of you. We’ll call it the NCAAF Chain Reaction Theory. Note: This theory/edge only works for NCAAF, not NFL. I believe that NFL teams are much more consistent than NCAAF players/teams making the “regression” portion of the theory less significant. In short, the chain reaction theory strives to predict a NCAAF O/U outcome. My inspiration behind this proposition ties into the regression theory and/or linear regression (famously noted from the film Moneyball). The regression theory explains how a player and/or teams immaculate or faulty performance(s) typically come in the form of luck or chance.
Hence, previous outcomes will balance themselves out and be followed up by a performance or trend that differs from one(s) of the past. My theory is somewhat similar (but obviously different). The regression theory applies to all sports whereas mine (as previously stated) applies only to NCAAF. The easiest way to explain this assumption is by taking both teams’ past performances as opposed to a singular team/player’s past performance that the regression theory attempts to explain. Week in and week out there are countless of examples to back this theory up. If we take Team A and Team B Week 2 O/U totals and notice that both teams scores fell under the same OVER or UNDER category, then one would assume that the opposite would be much more likely to occur for Team A and Team B as they both faced off the very next week. Let me give you a real life example: Buffalo @ Nebraska (54.5 O/U) went UNDER. Both teams’ previous match-up’s ended with the total going OVER. I believe that this could be the theory of regression’s “big brother,” if you will. Take a look for these kind of “spots” in your Week 3 NCAAF plays.
My Week 3 NCAAF Picks:
VIRGINIA TECH (+3) @ WEST VIRGINIA – PICK = VIRGINIA TECH
NEVADA @ KANSAS ST. (+2) – PICK = KANSAS ST.
MISSISSIPPI ST. (-165) @ MEMPHIS – PICK = MISSISSIPPI ST. (ml)
America’s past time very well could become just that in the distant future. Once America’s most beloved sport is beginning to trend downward in ratings and viewership; which is… well, everything! Last month the MLB gifted its fans with a nostalgic experience in Dyersville, Iowa. The Yankees and White Sox squared off on a replica field/stadium from the film Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner. The 2022 MLB campaign is set to continue the Field of Dreams game that will feature the Cubs and Reds. Gladly, this clear PR stunt was quite the success for the MLB and Rob Manfred. I hope and believe that games, ideas, endeavors, etc of this nature will rectify the MLB and all that it represents so that its downward spiral changes its course. To put the MLB and its shortcomings into perspective, last year’s World Series match-up of the Dodgers and Rays captured just 9.8 million views. The 1978 World Series drew an outstanding 44.2 million views! (P. Saunders, 2021) I understand that comparing 2020 and 1978 is like comparing apples and oranges; there is much, much more to occupy us as humans today as opposed to the 70’s. However, if we compare this stat to the very comparable NFL’s Super Bowl than we would see that the NFL is thriving and the MLB is not. In 1978 (Super Bowl XII) the Broncos and Cowboys captivated 78.9 million viewers. Compare this to the most recent Super Bowl between the Bucs and Chiefs that was seen by 96.4 million viewers.
Obviously you and I do not have a crystal ball at our disposal and cannot tell the future of the of the MLB and its entirety. Though, I believe that the MLB and its partners should construct more business proposals of the like of the Field of Dreams ploy that was a clear victory for the MLB and its fans. As far as the here-and-now are concerned, the 2021 MLB crusade has presented us with more than enough of a sample size to make educated plays when gambling on MLB games. Some ordinary statistics that we should be familiar with that have accumulated over the course of the season are as follows: AWAY S/U – 46%, HOME S/U – 54%. FAVORITES – 60%, UNDERDOGS: 40%. However, the real value has came from the AWAY UNDERDOGS on the run line (+1.5); these teams are covering 57% of the time.
These are great plays when you can get these teams at +100 or better even getting +1.5 runs. As for the 2021 O/U trends, they are teeter-tottering at a 50.6% win/loss rate. Hence, those O/U lines have been very sharp all season long; thanks, but I’ll stay away for now. If we are truly itching to make an O/U play then I would advise making them when a home-favorite situation arises with that play being UNDER. One aspect of this angle that has potential for possessing value is the simple fact that the home-favorite has a better than not chance of not batting in the bottom of the 9th inning. Unlike other sports, it is in our best interests to bet against the grain when a “streak” is in occurrence. Baseball is a game of averages; averages tend to even out over time and eventually show their true self/face. As sports gamblers, we should bet against an MLB club that is riding a relatively long winning-streak. Typically, these teams will be favored in each of their current winning-streak games allowing for some value to succumb.
Enjoy this upcoming weekend that is filled with NCAAF galore! Pay attention to a school/program and the amount of seniors that they may have lost from last season. That notation is more important than the name on the front of a programs jersey. For what it is worth, from what I have seen thus far, take FAVORITES in the first half; and if they are down/not covering after the first half then take them in the 2nd half. i.e. UCF over Boise St. (2nd half cover ATS). An example of a favorite that covered the first half already in Week 1 is App St. over E. Carolina. Best of luck! As always, go dogs!!!
MLB Opening Day is just over a month away and Spring Training is just two days away. Although 2021 MLB Spring Training will have limited fans, the path to normalcy is headed in the right direction. Within the past couple of seasons, a lot of new “stars” have emerged onto the scene; some have even taken the league by storm. To name a few, Juan Soto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., and Cody Bellinger. Not only are these star studded athletes “up-and-coming” but they too are becoming the face of MLB. Soto is set to make $8.5 million in just this season alone, Tatis Jr. is now a $340 million man over the span of 14 years. That’s a sweet $24.3 million per year, and Bellinger is set to earn $16.1 million this year. NOT TOO SHABBY! Considering that they are 25 (Bellinger) and 22 years old (Soto/Tatis Jr.)
Although Spring Training games technically don’t count towards a team’s regular season W-L record, there still lies some significant value that unfolds during these 33 games. Obviously these athletes too understand that these games are irrelevant in terms of their own personal stats/accolades. However, this is not to say that they are not invested or putting forth full effort. With that being said, if a player and/or team seems to be struggling during their Spring Training games then there is a good chance that this trend could persist and role over into the regular season. Whether that struggle comes from three or four batters in a line-up barely batting their weight or a couple of starting pitchers and a couple of relief pitcher’s ERA’s skyrocketing; it is probably in your best interests to stay away from those athletes and their teams come early season MLB plays. Seems pretty straight-forward, right? In addition, early in the MLB season (Spring Training and regular) look to take the dogs when the total is 9 or higher and the favorite when the total is 7 or lower. Typically when a lot of runs are projected to be scored, the odds makers expect the underdog to score a good amount of runs as well. Hence, you can find good value if we assume that an underdog can outscore the favorite once both starting pitchers nights are done and becomes a game of the bullpens. On the flip side, I would advise leaning towards the favorites when the total is on the lower side because this scenario typically means that either one or both starting pitchers are elite. When this situation arises, whose batting line-up can fail fewer times than the opposing line-up against dominant and/or momentous pitchers. More times than not, the favorite possesses a superior line-up than that of the underdog; meaning that their may be some value in the favorite, despite being the “favorite.” Thus far, it has been a wild off-season for both the MLB and
NFL. Recent MLB transaction have consisted of Elvis Andrus to the A’s for Khris Davis to the Rangers, Trevor Bauer to the Dodgers (highest paid player in 2021), Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals, George Springer to the Blue Jays, Jon Lester to the Nationals, and Blake Snell & Yu Darvish to the Padres (just to name a few). Here is the complete list of all recent MLB transactions/trades. WARNING: There’s a lot! On the flip side, the NLF has also encountered numerous trades that involve a bit of a QB carousel phenomena. In the young NFL off season, we have already seen Goff and Stafford swapping wives placing Jared in Detroit and Matthew in LA. Both Deshaun Watson and Russel Wilson are unhappy with their current franchises and want out! Deshaun wanted the Texans to hire a different head coach whereas Russell wants to run more of a West Coast style offense. To top it all off, the Colts acquire not only Carson Wentz, but his $25.4 million 2021 contract. The real winner and loser in that acquisition is a different story for a different day.
During this continuous global pandemic, what is Major League Baseball doing to “keep up with the Jones’s”? During the odd 2020 MLB season, the organization experimented with a few adjusted rules like a batter beginning on second base at the start of games needing extra innings. It did cut down on the longevity of games, but is it real baseball? Several other minuit rules were tested, including the universal DH rule. From what I have gathered, opinions are split about whether baseball should change their rules or not. Speaking of rule changes, the NFL (football in general) has been in the vast market of experimenting with new and unique leagues with new and unique rules. The NFL has birthed, if you will, the United States Football League, Arena Football League, Xtreme Football League, and Canadian Football League, etc. If there weren’t enough leagues that have tried and failed over the years, I now present to you the FCF (Fan Called Football.) Yes, you the fan get to call the plays for these squads. By the way, one of these squads is
QB’d by Johnny Manziel. A few of the rules that the FCF have implemented include: 7 vs. 7, 50 yard fields, and NO special teams. You can view the next FCF match-up tomorrow night where the Zappers face-off against the Wild Aces, only on Twitch. Although the NFL and their partners have had many failed attempts to construct “one-off” NFL leagues, they have still been profitable, entertaining (somewhat), and competitive (also somewhat). So why hasn’t the MLB tried to incorporate these “one-off” leagues? Is it because they already have the Minor Leagues and that is plenty in their minds? Baseball could easily create a league that has completed different rules that go against typical baseball rules that might encapsulate a whole new fandom market. Not to mention, it could also be a league that is utilized as a portal for experimenting with newly proposed rules that could eventually be implemented into the MLB game.
Is it just me, or does it seem like we have not been given college basketball in quite some time? Luckily for us, the wait is just about over! The college basketball season officially tips off November 30th with the Maui Invitational. DISCLAIMER: The Maui Invitational will not be held in Maui, Hawaii; but rather in Asheville, North Carolina. Regardless, we get college basketball! I just feel slightly bad for those kids during their recruiting visit that were told they would have the opportunity to play in Hawaii this upcoming season… sorry bud, better luck next year. Nevertheless, basketball is basketball and a season is a season; at least for the time being. Stay up to date with Joe Leonardi’s Bracketology projections and this preseason Top 25 video below…
Similar to any other NCAAB season tip-off, many teams compete in non-conference tournaments (i.e “Maui” Invitational reference above) early in their respective seasons. Many of these games feature schools that are not accustomed to the “bright lights” of ESPN coverage. Hence, nerves are inevitably a bit higher being the beginning of the season and playing games that of which are nationally televised. This can be very daunting for young athletes, especially from those smaller, non Power 5 conference program players. Think about it – when you were 19 years old, would your performance alter (for better or for worse) if you knew that you would be watched by millions of viewers. Point being, this “altered” performance is typically in the negative direction. I understand that the “bright lights” can bring out the best in some athletes; however, the latter is more frequently exuded. In recent years, these early, non-conference match-ups tend to lean towards the UNDER; especially when point spreads are in the 20’s and 30’s meaning that a “power-house” is facing off against a small MEAC school, for example.
Now, while I’ve got you, we have to talk about this unusual 2020 MLB Postseason. Hell, who am I kidding, this whole year has been unusual, to say the least. Currently, the MLB Postseason is in the midst of both the American and National League Championships. Thus far the Rays are on top of the Astros (3 games to 2) in the American League and the Braves are leading the Dodgers (3 games to 1) in the National League. Once these match-ups have concluded, we will begin the 2020 MLB World Series. Although this season, postseason, and eventually World Series will differ than all others before; nevertheless, we can still use similar tactics, principles, and trends when gambling on this year’s World Series. Teams that are able to win the ALCS/NLCS in five or fewer games have an advantage if their World Series opponent went six or more games in their series. Why is this? Well besides the obvious answer of more rest, these teams now have the opportunity to map out and set their starting rotations to their preference; whereas their opponent that just got done with a hard fought seven game series may have to just go with the next man up approach. Over the past twelve years, the World Series favorite (once WS match-up is established) has gone 5-7. That’s an alarming stat, right?! Clearly, over recent years the underdog in World Series match-ups provides us (the bettor) with incredible value. Not only are you more likely to win, but your rate of return will be greater than that of which you wagered!
If the 2020 World Series does, in fact, consists of the Rays and Braves than I beg of you to please take the UNDER in each and every game. These two franchises have elite pitching staff’s with flame throwers left and right (see what I did there?) Also in my opinion, both of these teams have very average line-ups that I believe will not be able to keep up with one another’s pitching staff’s. UNDER UNDER UNDER if our 2020 World Series match-up consists of the Rays and Braves.
Weekend Football Picks:
SOUTH FLORIDA (+11) @ TEMPLE – Pick = SOUTH FLORIDA
For better or for worse, sports are in full swing. Sure, basketball should have been wrapped up by now and baseball should have about 120 games under its belt. Nevertheless, these sports are trying during a time where there are no right answer’s. I cannot even begin to imagine the behind-the-scenes operations that are taking place among each of these respective leagues. In terms of sports gambling, obviously some of the typically do’s and dont’s of gambling differ in these unique forms of sports and their play. For instance, an obvious example includes a runner beginning on second base in the event of extra innings in baseball. This scenario may influence your decision(s) on how to make a play in these particular games.
Aside from the obvious adjustments that we have recently seen in sports, let’s take a look at some of the early trends that “altered-sports” have presented. In the MLB, with little to no Spring Training for players, an increase in injury has been a noticeable early trend. Three previous Cy Young Award winning pitchers are currently on IR (not related to COVID-19) Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, and Corey Kluber. To make matters worse, the pitchers that are healthy are not pitching well. In fact, base-on-balls are up 8.9% in relation to last season. Okay, so what about the hitters? How are they doing compared to the 2019 campaign? Currently, hitters are batting at a .233 clip as a league. If this statistic holds true, it will be the lowest league batting average ever posted. However, home-runs continue to remain plentiful. According to their stats, it is apparent that our MLB athletes are not in prime “baseball” form. If we look at these trends and statistics through a sports gambling lens than we can compute that increased walks (base-runners) + increased home-runs = more total runs. Right? Hence, I highly recommend hammering those OVER’s while the lines are still relatively low/off. Speaking of poor defense, baseball is not the only major sport “in season” at the moment. We must certainly not forget about the NBA and its (surprisingly effective) bubble.
In the bubble, the NBA and its match-ups have been very cryptic in terms of where to put your money. Thus far, motivation has played the most influential determining factor of not only actually wins and losses, but gambling wins and losses as well. Even before arriving in Orlando, Florida some teams already have their playoff birth’s locked in. One would have to assume that a team fighting to be apart of the playoff picture would unconditionally put forth greater effort on the floor. Motivation alone can become quite the chess match for gamblers and even the average spectator for that matter. When you lump all of the other factors that go into a typical game it can become very frustrating and may even seem a bit random. For these reasons, I have shied away from NBA plays; at least for the time being, come playoffs: different story. If this information isn’t enough to shy you away, take into account that favorites in the bubble are 18-18-1 ATS (50%), and the game total sits at 19-17 O/U (53%). Point being, maybe the regular season bubble match-ups are too random to place any action on. I would recommend waiting until the playoffs are underway to begin risking your hard earned money.
COVID-19 (corona virus) has impacted many individuals far and wide. The virus has affected each of us in its own unique way(s). Unfortunately, some of you are out of a job because of it; or even worse, have lost a loved one in lieu of this mysterious, yet contagious virus. I truly am thankful that I have not fallen victim to either of these two scenarios. Nevertheless, if you are spending your valuable time sifting through this blog than you too have probably been negatively affected by this pandemic. Obviously all of our sports have been taken away from us until further notice!!! And where there are no sports, there is no gambling. In fact, Casino bookie stocks have dropped, on average, 63% since the pandemic made its way to the states.
Along with many of you, I always look forward to MLB’s Opening Day. The timeless game has now become timed-out. So when will the season begin? For starters, there is much more than meets the eye when orchestrating the continuation of America’s pastime. The logistical side of the sport requires far more work than just a simple start-up date. Will the season be shortened? If so, will broken records be eligible? Will players and coaches obtain full salaries? Will double-headers become a normalcy? So on and so forth. According to Vinnie Duber of NBC Sports, he believes that the MLB schedule in its entirety will need to be reconstructed. As far as I’m concerned, the season will have to be shortened. The league cannot allow for the season to extend into the winter months. Think about baseball games being played at Target Field (Minneapolis, MN) in the middle of January… Yeah, no thanks. Back to the anticipated, yet artificial MLB Opening Day; the players union and the association are hopeful for a June 1st start to the season. If the season were not shortened with its original 162 game schedule, than we would be watching playoff baseball in the month of December with a June 1st first pitch. It will be the MLB’s duty to decide if a 2020 All-Star Game/All-Star break is necessary, or if all 162 games are needed to complete the 2020 MLB season. These unanswered questions will be very interesting to take note of as they unfold. Now, if you are a baseball freak and you are on the verge of gouging out your eyes; than there is in fact a temporary “baseball-fix” for people like yourself. CBS Sports did us the honor of simulating each and every Opening Day game with superficial box scores. Click HERE to see how your team would have done on Opening Day!
I would like to use this platform to recognize those whom have passed away, been laid-off, missed out on their athletic seasons, and all others whom have been negatively affected in the ever bit slightest during these unusual times.
The 2019 MLB Playoffs have been anything but dull. Now that we have had the chance to gather a small sample size from the majority of the franchises, we can now begin to develop their “playoff identities” (if you will). However, the eye test may get sports gamblers into trouble, more often than not. Don’t get me wrong, it is imperative that a better gathers a portion of his/her intel based upon their own intuition and instincts. Nevertheless, if you think that the odds-makers are basing their game-lines and money-lines based on the ole’ “eye-test” than you are sorely mistaken. Statistics, especially in baseball are very crucial factors that separate teams, determine wins and losses, and ultimately hold the fate of whether you as a better are going to cover or not. For example, here is something that the “eye-test” does not typically pick up on: Did you know that a pitcher traveling from west-coast to east-coast gives up more home-runs than their average appearance? The west to east travel, in this case, is most relevant considering that a human loses sleep hours when traveling in this direction as opposed to east to west. In fact, in a study conducted by Allada, Severini, & Song, they conclude that an eastern home team returning home to compete against a visiting team that was already in the eastern time zone nullifies the home-field-advantage factor completely. From 1992 – 2011, 54% of MLB home teams win in any given game. The fact that you can take that 54% down to 50/50 just based on travel alone may be the difference in making and cashing in our your MLB playoff plays. As for these playoffs are concerned, I would not argue one bit when leaning towards the Nationals of Washington D.C. when the Dodgers of Los Angela’s come to town. A six hour flight combined with a loss of sleep and/or time is a recipe for a big money-line cash in on the Nats! Look for the Nationals to take game three against the Dodgers this Sunday, October 6th.
I would like to touch on a couple more aspect of gambling on MLB and its playoff’s. First, a lot of these teams hit the “long-ball”… A LOT. To piggy-back on that statement, a lot of these teams’ bullpens are shaky to say the least. Hence, pound those OVERS – especially when a particular pitcher has faced a team multiple times throughout the season. Lastly, don’t forget to take a look at those starting pitcher’s WHIP (Walks + Hits per Innings Pitched).This stat is much more indicative of a pitcher’s true identity as opposed to ERA and/or overall record. Those stats are for suckers in the gambling realm.
Here is a list of the current money-lines for World Series winners:
If you are a baseball fan (or even a sports fan in general) you more than likely possess the BEAT THE STREAK app on your smartphone. BEAT THE STREAK is an app that challenges you to reach the nearly impossible record that Joe DiMaggio accomplished in 1941 by hitting into a 56 game hitting streak. This app allows you to choose any Major Leaguer with a game scheduled to record a hit on that particular day.
“So you’re telling me that I can choose any player I want to get one hit, on any day? Sounds easy.” Wrong. In fact, it’s very difficult – in my opinion. You must keep in mind that the best hitters fail 70% of the time. Or, if you would prefer to look at it from a different perspective; the best hitters in the game average 1 1/2 hits per game. Meaning that some games they will obtain four hits, some games two, and (believe it or not) some games concluding with zero hits. Which is why I would like to pass along some helpful advice that might assist you when making your daily picks.
First: instead of focusing all of our attention on the hitters, we must pay some token attention, at the very least, to the starting pitcher of the game. Obviously the batter and his trends/statistics are the more important culprit for our final pick to help us get closer to “beating the streak.” Not only are we wanting to take into account the history between the hitter and pitcher, but also how the pitcher has performed in recent starts or historically between that specific team he is facing.
Second: The number of the at bats that a hitter gets in any given game may be the difference between ending or continuing your streak. How often do you see a team that is winning or losing by a lot and they throw out their “scrub” pitchers to finish off the game, or in baseball terms – “inning eaters.” Point being, if a hitter at the top of the line-up is still hit-less towards the end of the game, he is more likely to get one more at bat than say the 8-hole hitter. This could easily be the difference between getting that much needed hit or not. One other factor to keep in mind that relates to the number of at bats relates to being either the home or visiting team. You see, it might be more advantageous to lean towards choosing road teams’ batters while trying to “beat the streak.” Why is that? In every single MLB game, the road team is always guaranteed to bat for at least 9 innings. Whereas, if the home team is winning after 8 1/2 innings, there is no bottom of the 9th inning recorded for that particular game.
Third: Have some feel for the game. If you notice that a hitter is “slumping,” stay away from him. Do not confuse “slumping” with going 0-4 with a walk in the previous game as being in a slump. Often times, when hitters (or even teams) perform poorly offensively in their previous games; they are more inclined to have a big game or score lots of runs in their next game of competition. Good luck the rest of this Major League Baseball season and don’t hesitate to comment on this post your current and highest streaks achieved!