The focus for most bettors is the starting pitcher as the traditional view is that they have the biggest effect on the outcome of the game, but this is happening less and less frequently. With the recent evolution of analytics, many pitchers don’t face the opposition line-up more than twice and very rarely more than three times. This means that the bullpen will be responsible for collecting between 9 - 12 outs at the end of games and becomes equally important.
Another pitfall can be to focus too heavily on old stats, such as the win-loss record, which is undoubtedly the worst indicator of a pitcher’s performance.
A difficulty here is that you don’t always know which relief pitchers will be used in any given situation. However, most teams have set roles, such as specific players to pitch in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings if they are winning, or mop-up duty if they are losing. This allows you to plan scenarios about what you believe is the most likely outcome and subsequently, which pitchers are most likely to be involved.
Another pitfall can be to focus too heavily on old stats, such as the win-loss record, which is undoubtedly the worst indicator of a pitcher’s performance. With advanced stats so readily available, you can use more indicative numbers to inform your betting. For example, ‘FIP’, which stands for Fielding Independent Pitching gives you an adjusted average based on their individual performance after removing the defensive skills, or lack of, behind them. This gives a much better indication of their performance compared to the traditional ERA metric.
As well as this, it’s important to look at the hitter matchups and see how successful the pitchers have historically been against the hitters they will face this game. It is also noteworthy to look at the day-night splits to see if the pitchers have better records in games played in the afternoon or evening as there are many who do perform better in one than the other. Also, the stadium performance, one of the quirks of Baseball is its different parks with changing measurements and atmospherics. For example, Coors Field in Colorado is famous for its high altitude which decreases the air resistance and affects how much a pitcher can spin the ball as well as how far the ball flies when hit. As such, it is a historically difficult place to pitch.
Each individual umpire will call the strike-zone differently despite each one having the same definition of the strike zone. It’s one of the human elements of the game and it’s something you can use to your advantage. If an umpire has a tight zone then it’s good news for the hitters as the pitcher will have to throw something easier to hit or risk putting men on base for free. Alternatively, if they have a wide zone then the pitcher can throw further away from the hitter and make it much more difficult to score runs.
An underlooked part of the game is the effect the weather plays. A warm sunny day in Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out will produce a lot more home runs on fly balls hit deep to the outfield, compared to a freezing evening at the same park with a strong wind blowing in to home plate. This can often be the fine margin between winning or losing your Totals bet so brush up on your meteorological skills, or simply check the forecast online.
Even the best players go through slumps and even the most average players go through hot-streaks. Although Baseball is a team sport like no other, one player can make a difference so keep an eye out for last 7 day numbers to make sure there are no hidden surprises.
Finally, players are constantly making adjustments to their game throughout the season. Just because a player has had a poor first-half of the season it doesn’t mean that will continue through the second-half. It is worth keeping an eye on the news to see if a player is working with their coaches to change their swing or adding a new pitch as this can change their performance and subsequently the expected outcomes.
Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be in a better position to make the informed decisions when betting with bitcoin and taking advantage of Cloudbet’s industry leading odds on every MLB game this season.