By Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports
It is generally understood that the two hardest months for betting baseball in the regular season are April and September. Though your personal experience might be different, this is widely accepted.
April is a challenge because betting baseball is a data-driven method of wagering and when the year starts, we are lacking information. After a couple of weeks, we start amassing info that can help us find a rhythm to the season.
September is hard because the contending teams have more on the line, making them a tougher choice for our daily MLB picks. Teams that are out of contention, trying to figure out from day to day who wants to win and play hard can often be coin flip. And add in the oddsmakers release lines discouraging you to back favorites, many a profitable season has seen money burned the last month of a baseball year.
However, April is not impossible to win, it just requires you, the baseball bettor, to be reserved, choosy and have discipline. And if you follow this and make good choices, you will have more working capital going into the rest of the season.
How To Bet Waiting for More Intel
Betting baseball in April like it’s June, is a quick way to reduce or even drain a wagering account. Instead, be selective and create guardrails to prevent big losing days.
Moneyline upsets are common to start the season. That’s why you should find two or three underdogs a day that you can see winning.
What you are looking for is a pitching advantage in the early going. You are also seeking to find where the dog is scoring runs at or close to five runs a contest and possibly, for whatever reason, the bullpen is stronger than anticipated. Narrow your choices to one or two and if you don’t have any real plays, pass.
In looking at favorites, stay below -150, since if you bet three -170 favorites and they all lose, you have to win six other favorites just to show a profit. (6 wins = +600 / 3 -170 losses = -510)
The same previous criteria applies, find the right pitcher, hitters and bullpen on faves.
Take Teams and Players at Current Face Value
During a long 162-game season, every team and its players will have their ups and downs. However, often in April, sportsbooks will still set lines on how teams should be playing and not how they actually are, using part of the thinking of what they had for preseason prognostications.
This is where those that are paying close attention can find real value.
Every year when May starts, we look at the standings and see teams leading their divisions or are severely underperforming, which is completely unexpected. Case in point, Seattle began 2019 13-2, which was just the 17th team to begin the year with such a record since 1900. The Mariners record for that season was 68-94.
Easy strategy, go with the flow when researching the MLB odds.
Watch for Hot or Cold Bullpens
Though starting pitching remains an important factor in determining wins and losses, bullpens are increasingly a larger factor as pitch counts are the accepted manner as to when managers yank a hurler.
Though we have all been frustrated watching starters mow down 12 straight batters and give up one run over six innings, yet are pulled after hitting 100 pitches, only to watch the bullpen lose the game. That’s baseball today.
Instead of wondering why this happens, study the bullpen stats as early as seven games into the season. Each year pens change and some managers can place the right pitchers in the right spots from the start. Others, it takes six to eight weeks to define roles based on poor performance. And enough teams never have a solution all season.
Find the best and worst bullpens, match them with the right or wrong starters and watch your early season bankroll grow.
For more information from Doug Upstone visit him at Doc’s Sports or on their YouTube Channel