MLB Betting – Bullpens Can Not Be Overlooked

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Follow the Bullpens

In my 19 years of handicapping baseball, I continually see novice and amateur bettors completely ignore how good a team’s bullpen is before placing a bet. Everyone is so caught up on the starting pitching match-ups to the point that it is the only thing they focus on while handicapping a baseball game. Thus, I am here to remind you that in almost all games, the starting pitcher is not going to be the only one pitching in that game. Don’t get me wrong, starting pitching is the first thing I look at as well but I also like my money on teams with good bullpens.

Years ago, starting pitchers would pitch 9 innings and three or four days later be ready to go again. Friends, that era of baseball glory is over and it’s been over for quite some time. I mean really think hard: How often do starters go nine innings in a ball game? Not very often. Complete games are becoming a shadow of the past. In this day and age, if a guy goes SIX innings of quality work, he is commended. Therefore, if we get those six strong innings from a starting pitcher, we’ve still got three more innings to go. And who comes into fill those innings? The bullpen!

After I have evaluated the starting pitchers, the teams, and the offenses of both clubs, I immediately look to see who has the stronger bullpens because they will be the guys pitching those crucial late innings. Those innings are even more crucial in a close ball game. I look for bullpens with good ERAs for starters. ERA is the best indicator of how good any pitcher is in my opinion. I also liked to see how the bullpens have fared in their last ten and last three ball games.

Just like starting pitchers, I want my money on teams that have good bullpens and bullpen pitching that has been doing well of late. I then look at the last three games and how many innings the bullpen has worked. I do not want money on a tired bullpen. I want fresh arms that are going to be able to come in and stop opposing hitters from pushing runs across. Trust me, I’ve already lost two big games because of bad bullpen work and I will do anything to not let that happen again.

After you have evaluated the starting pitching, make sure to look at each team’s bullpen. Put your money on teams who have good ERAs and who haven’t been overworked in the last three to five outings. Lastly, do a little research to find out a team or a closer’s save percentage. Nothing hurts worse then losing a game by having a closer come in and blow a lead or the game for you. All these statistics on bullpen pitching will give you a better chance of putting money in your pocket. Don’t be a sucker! Don’t overlook the importance of the bullpens!

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