MLB Betting Tips: Don't Overreact to Early Results, Profit from Them
by Aaron Smith - 4/16/2011
We are a little more than two weeks into the 2011 Major League Baseball season. Most teams now have 11 or 12 games under their belts, which means bettors have a bit of a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of each team. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are almost six months left in the regular season. Betting on baseball is unique from betting on any other sport because these teams play almost every day for a period of six months.
MLB Betting Tips: Current Standings Review
Take a look at the MLB Standings right now, and you’ll find the Boston Red Sox have the fewest wins in all of baseball. At the same time, the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals are in a tie for the lead in the American League Central. Do you really think the Red Sox are going to finish the season as one of the worst teams in the league? Will the American League Central really become a race between the Indians and Royals? It seems reasonable to assume that the answer to both of these questions is ‘no’.
Find Value in the Line
Doc’s Sports is always trying to educate bettors and help them stay ahead of the books. Finding real value is crucial to getting an edge on the books in baseball betting. There are several ways to go about finding value, but one of the best ways early in the season is to profit from early anomalies in the MLB odds. I have found over the years that those who pay too much attention to the first couple weeks of the season are often deep in the red by the middle of the year. On the other hand, those that find solid values based on the overreaction of both oddsmakers and the general public are likely to be successful.
Can you really get a solid value on preseason darlings based on a couple of bad weeks? The answer is certainly ‘yes’. The betting public is extremely fickle, which can work to your advantage in a big way if you are willing to go against the public. Many of those armchair “experts” who were predicting that Jon Lester would win the CY Young Award are now talking as if he is washed up at the age of 27. At the same time, many are starting to believe in teams that have historically been bad, just because they have put a couple of solid weeks together. Values are there to be found, because the public loves to jump on and off the bandwagon of many teams, especially early in the season.
Historical Examples of Underrated Teams
There are sports in which historical trends mean quite a bit, and I believe baseball is at the forefront of that list. The length of the season allows for many streaks within a year. However, in the end it’s generally the best teams that come out on top. The cream rises to the top in the MLB Standings, but history definitely tells us it doesn’t always start that way.
1. Florida Marlins (2003) - After 38 games in 2003 the Marlins were 16-22, and most people wouldn’t have given them a chance to even sniff the playoffs. As it turns out, the Marlins not only made the playoffs, they won the World Series. This was a good example of how a team with depth at many positions can win it all against the odds.
2. Colorado Rockies (2007) – After 80 games the Rockies were just 38-42, and no one expected much of anything from this young team. All they did was go out and win 21 of their last 22 games in the regular season. The Rockies made it all the way to the World Series before falling to the Red Sox. If you were a Rockies backer in 2007, you certainly made a mint on the successes of an ultra-talented young baseball team.
3. Boston Braves (1914) - I’m going to go way back with this one, but only because it is probably the most impressive turnaround in baseball history. The Boston Braves were 26-40 in early July, but they went 70-19 in their last 89 games and won the National League pennant by 10.5 games. The Braves kept the momentum going in the World Series when they swept the heavily-favored Athletics to win it all.
Profit from Early Season Overreactions
Next time you read about how terrible or great a baseball team is based on the first couple weeks of the season, make sure you keep it in perspective. Remember, the season is 162 games, which means there is more than enough time for the tides to change several times during the year. As a wise bettor, you should make it your goal to profit from early season overreactions!
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