Why MLB Is a Sports Bettor’s Best Option
The two most popular sports for bettors are the NFL and soccer. The NFL rules the sports betting market in the United States and soccer rules on a worldwide basis. Sportsbooks have to set good lines on these sports so they can make as much money as possible.
This is bad news for NFL and soccer bettors, but it’s good news for MLB bettors.
MLB sportsbooks try to set good lines on baseball games, but they can’t do an expert level job on every game. This is just one reason why MLB is every sports bettor’s best option. Find out more reasons below.
2,430 Games Plus the Playoffs
The simple fact is that MLB offers so many games during the regular season that good handicappers have no problem finding value on a regular basis. The sportsbooks have to set lines for every game on the schedule, and it’s impossible for them to develop perfect lines for every game.
Sportsbooks have to invest their time and resources where it’s the most important to their bottom lines. The public bets on games with big market teams much more than on games between small market teams, so the sportsbooks spend more time and resources getting the lines on big games right.
The good news is that there are games every day on the MLB schedule between small market teams.
A Seattle against Oakland or Pittsburgh against Milwaukee type game is always available.
Of course, as a sports bettor and handicapper you need to look for value anywhere you can find it. This means that you can’t ignore games with big market teams when looking for value. But that’s what’s also nice about betting on Major League Baseball.
Even on the heaviest days on the schedule, you only have 15 games to handicap.
While it can be a full-time job trying to handicap every MLB game, the truth is that successful sports bettors learn how to sift through the games that don’t offer value so they can spend more time on the games that do.
PLEASE NOTE: Once the regular season is over, you have the opportunity to wager on dozens of postseason games.
I don’t bet on many MLB playoff games, because the lines are tighter and it’s harder to find value. I’m 100% focused on finding value, and I’ve learned to never force value on any game. If it’s not clear that I have an advantage, I don’t roll the dice on a 50/50 situation.
Hot and Cold Streaks
A Major League Baseball season consists of 162 games for each team. With such a long season, there are plenty of hot and cold streaks. Teams and players have hot and cold streaks, and if you learn how to identify streaks, you can use them to become a better handicapper.
Some teams get in a losing streak and they can’t seem to buy a win. Every move goes against them, and if they don’t have strong leadership, the entire team seems to give up. On the other hand, some teams get on a winning streak and everything they do works out.
A good team can use a winning streak to build an entire season that ends with a playoff run.
Some players also have extreme hot and cold streaks. Other players perform in a steadier manner, so it helps to identify the ones that tend to be more hot and cold. When a streaky player gets hot, he can carry a team for several days. This is valuable information when you’re handicapping games.
The other thing that streaks can be used for in your handicapping is regression toward the norm. Regression toward the norm means that even when a player or team has a hot or cold streak, they’re likely to regress back toward the norm or expected results.
A hitter who starts hot and hits .400 in April is going to regress back toward his regular range of batting average over the rest of the season. He might still set a new career high in batting average, but the odds are that he’s not going to hit anywhere close to .400 for the entire year. A team that loses 10 straight games is going to start winning some games to come closer to their expected record. Few teams lose more than 100 games in a season, and even truly terrible teams rarely lose more than 110 games.
The same is true for winning teams. Few teams win 100 games a year, and most good teams win 90 to 99 games. This means that a good team that wins 10 or 12 games in a row is bound to have some sort of correction before long.
Each MLB team has a small set of key players. When one or more of these key players isn’t playing, it changes the team’s value and chance to win on that day. The sportsbooks know this also, but sometimes, the lines get overcorrected because of this and you can find value.
Starting pitching is a strong handicapping ingredient, as well as star hitters.
The team with the better starting pitcher usually has an advantage. A team who has their star hitter out with an injury or getting a day off is at a disadvantage.
Good handicapping requires considering a broad range of things, but baseball offers an opportunity to start handicapping every game with key players. MLB has many good players, but only a small handful of elite players.
When you track the elite players for hot and cold streaks, injuries, and days off, it can give you a leg up when you’re handicapping games. While it’s not going to happen often, if you’re following a team closely, you might be able to get a bet down before the sportsbooks adjust after a late scratch for a key player.
Twitter is now the fastest way to get breaking news if you know how to use it well.
One of the trends I’ve used to make money betting on MLB over the years is the fact that the home team almost never get swept in a series. If you don’t believe this, simply start tracking every series in MLB this season and see how many times the home team gets swept in a three- or four-game series.
When you know that home teams almost never get swept, you can use it in a couple different ways. One of the most powerful strategies is to wait for a home team to lose the first game of a series. Then, bet on the home team using the moneyline on the second game of the series. This bet is going to win more than it loses, but if you lose this game, you can bet more on the final game of the series.
Using the moneyline, you can make money using this strategy for either home favorite or home underdogs.
Home underdogs have a cheaper price, but home favorites have a much higher chance to win. I’ve used both sides of this strategy to make money over the years, and the sportsbooks haven’t seemed interested in correcting it.
I don’t bet on many road teams in MLB. This is especially true for road favorites, because if a favored team is going to lose, the odds of it happening are higher for a road loss than a home loss. Home teams have many advantages in MLB, and they’re even more pronounced when the road team is from the other coast.
East coast teams playing on the west coast and west coast teams playing on the east coast are bad bets. I never bet on a team playing on the opposite coast. I always look at the home teams in these games and bet on some of them that have value.
Baseball handicappers have the luxury of accessing statistics on just about anything you can think of.
And new ways to look at statistics and player value are being introduced all of the time.
WAR, or wins above replacement, has launched a new set of variable for handicappers, with people trying to improve the formula every season.
You can also find new statistics that attempt to compare the defensive value of players in ways that go well beyond fielding percentage. All of these new ways to value baseball players can be useful, but you still need to determine how each advanced statistic improves your search for value.
One thing I learned quickly is that WAR is a decent way to compare hitters, but it’s a terrible way to look at pitchers.
The older statistics like WHIP, strikeout percentage, ground ball percentage, and walk percentage, along with extra base hits allowed percentage is still the best way to compare pitchers.
Use as many advanced baseball statistics as you can as long as they help you win more games. But don’t get so caught up in them that it hurts your handicapping instead of helping it.
Baseball is one of my favorite sports to bet on because there are so many games on the schedule. It’s easier to find value than betting on the NFL because there are many fewer NFL games on the schedule. Look for streaks and key player information to help you become a winning baseball handicapper.
Read more: thesportsgeek.com
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