Pitching Mismatch Hints
When examining a slate of MLB betting action for potential wagers, every handicapper always looks at who the starting pitchers are on that particular day. It makes sense because the starting pitcher is the guy who should in most cases get the bulk of the pitching duty for each given team. I, like everyone else, look at each pitcher’s win/loss records and earned run average. These are important elements to look at, but I will also explain later why it’s not the only thing a handicapper should look at.
A starting pitcher’s win/loss record gives you an indicator of how he has performed for his team while taking the rubber. I like guys with solid win/loss records. However, I also like to know what his team’s overall record is when he starts a ball game. Pitchers who pitch well and give their team’s a shot at winning will have high overall win/loss records for their teams. That’s the number I’m going to evaluate along with his own win/loss record. I like pitcher’s who put their teams in good positions to win ball games. If a guy pitches six strong innings but the game is tied or his team is only down a run has put in quality work for his club. He has done his job; he has put his team in a position to win.
Earned run average is also extremely important. I steer clear of guys with high ERA’s because they give up a lot of runs, something you don’t want your starting pitcher to do. It’s simple when betting baseball, you want your team to give up less runs then the opposition right? It may seem elementary, but ERA is the greatest indicator of how a pitcher performs in the only column that matters, runs scored.
Not only do I look at these two very important statistics for each pitcher in the current season but I also look at these statistics in categories. I like to know a guy’s win/loss record over the past two seasons against the team he’s facing. Sometimes a pitcher just doesn’t match-up well against a team or that team simply has his number. It may be that he is a right hander who is facing a team full of great left handed hitters that pound right handed pitching. All in all, I like to see a pitcher who has had success against the team he’s facing over the past couple of seasons.
The final category I look at it is how a pitcher has pitched in his last three starts. The last three starts are important because it shows you how a guy is throwing recently. It becomes more and more important as the season progresses because who cares if a guy had a couple of bad outings in April when I am handicapping a game in July or August. You see, pitchers sometimes find their groove at some point during the season. If he is pitching well in his last three or even last five starts, it shows me that he has found his zone. He may have great command over all his pitches and is pitching with confidence at a certain part of the season. In baseball, you want your money on the hot hand more times then not.
I take win/loss records for pitchers individually and his team. as well as ERA into account in all three of these categories. I want my money on a guy who has been solid all season as well over his last three to five starts. My money is also on a starting pitcher that has had good success against the team he’s facing. Sometimes a guy just knows how to take down a particular line up more so then others. When all statistics have been evaluated by category and they look good, I move on to other facets of handicapping baseball which we will discuss in articles soon to come. For now, you know what to look for when handicapping the starting pitching match-ups on a day to day basis.