With the trade deadline having passed only a few waiver wire deals are possible for teams to improve their teams. What you see is what you get the rest of the season and those betting baseball have to start making adjustments.
The first change will be in the money lines. Team and pitching matchups which might have produced a -150 number back in late May might be -180 or higher now for the same two clubs depending on their positions in the standings. If you want to play larger favorites from here on out, prepare to fork over more cash. Oddsmakers will start padding numbers to keep the action as balanced as possible.
While studying power ratings and understanding pitching matchups will still be important, applying simple win/low techniques can all apply. For example, Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Dodgers have been two of the hottest teams in baseball for weeks. Just blindly playing them has been building bankrolls at a sustained rate for an extended period of time, with the Rays at +13.45 units since June 29 and L.A. +18.75 since June 22.
Betting streaks does take patience, diligence and timing. When is the right time to jump on a team which has won four or five in a row? If a squad wins 10 of 11, but losses two in a row, is it time to abandon them? Can you honestly bet the same team every day for weeks?
Characteristics of teams to ‘ride the wave’ with are those who either have very good pitching or hitting. Both the Rays and Dodgers have three starting pitchers which give them a much better than 50-50 chance to string three wins together and the offense is potent enough to pick up the No. 4 and 5 starters if the pitchers can keep them in the contest.
As we begin August, Detroit has won nine of ten and Atlanta is 8-2 in their last 10, just like Kansas City and Cleveland. The Tigers, Braves and Indians can score runs in bunches and the Royals have been receiving very good pitching from their entire staff. If a team has been percolating, when they lose twice in a row, stop playing them, however, keep an eye on them to see if they start another streak. Betting baseball this time of year can be very much like taking the bus, you can on and you get off.
Betting Bad Teams
For underdog players, this time of year is often sifting through the wreckage of bad teams. We know Houston and Miami are the two worst teams in baseball, yet they rank 23rd and 22nd respectively in units won/lost, making them not good or bad plays. The Astros might be the more attractive team to play against, having moved starting pitching and still stuck with a mediocre offense. It would not be a surprise to see them have a few losing streaks of seven or more before the season ends, but they will also win some series unexpectedly.
The three worst bets in baseball are the Chicago White Sox (-22.5), the L.A. Angels (-25.2) and defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants (-25.2). The Pale Hose are done at 40-65 and have to be viewed as a consistent play against team. The Angels and Giants were not supposed to be here, but for all intents and purposes, the chances of them making the playoffs would need divine intervention, which nobody would see coming.
Because their units records are so bad, typically, only a team or two finishes the season at -30 units or higher. The White Sox and Halos are prime candidates for teams who have or are about to give up.
One final thought on this subject. Take a hard look at teams which are 7-to-12 games under .500 and have a reasonable runs scored/run allowed numbers at -25 or less. Clubs like Colorado and the Cubs (throw in the Mets at -31) have not thrown in the towel and have the capability of making life miserable for a playoff contender.
This time of year, the manager and player mantra is “one game at a time”. However, general managers have to always think ahead and they can rattle off any teams next several series. Seek opportunity finding good teams facing bad teams. The Tigers have taken advantage of this of late and San Francisco ended by winning two World Series because they made the playoff by punishing teams under .500 and playing even with those who had a similar record to them.
Does this article make sense to you, let us know either way.