The Week in Baseball Betting By the Numbers
by Robert Ferringo - 6/17/2011
The numbers don’t lie.
Baseball is a perfect study in dichotomy. With no clock, an outdoor playing area, and a reliance on elemental aspects like wood, leather, dirt and grass, the sport is an allegory of pre-industrial Americana. It is a game played in communion with nature and seems to be a welcome relic of a distant time and place.
However, baseball can also be a defining sport in the Information Age. The game of baseball may be elemental in nature, but it is also a sophisticated mathematical construct, a symphony of statistics and a physical interpretation of integers that create the foundation of the sport. Baseball, like all sports, is a game of action. However, there is no action within the game – from pitch selections to hitting matchups to player positioning – that isn’t dictated by the digits.
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To be a winning baseball bettor you need to understand these numbers. You need to immerse yourself in these integers and really get at the core of how things are developing on the diamond. Winning and losing can come down to the simplest of equations; a statistical regression here or a missed mathematical opportunity by not pinch hitting there can have a huge impact not only on the outcome of a game, but, by extension, on your bank account. And that’s what really counts, eh?
Because after all, it’s all about the numbers.
With that in mind, here is a look at this week’s MLB By The Numbers:
0.642 – Winning percentage of Kyle Drabek, who was just sent down for the Blue Jays.
0.454 – Winning percentage for the rest of the Blue Jays staff. Admittedly, Drabek had been a train wreck recently, posting a 15.30 ERA in his last three starts. However, prior to that rough run he had posted three straight quality starts.
.500 – The National League’s record against the American League through the first wave of Interleague Play. That has to be considered a minor victory for the National League, which hasn’t beaten the A.L. in the overall “series” since 2003.
.443 – The National League’s winning percentage against the American League over the course of the last three years.
8.3 – Runs per game that the Nationals have averaged since Ryan Zimmerman returned to the lineup. For the season (10 games), they are averaging 4.9 runs per game with Zim, their top hitter, in the middle of the order.
3.7 – Runs per game that the Nationals averaged in the 58 games that they played without Zimmerman.
1-4 – Record of the Cubs in Friday afternoon day games this season. I don’t have exact numbers, but playing against Chicago – a very public team with an overrated home field (by the oddsmakers) – in this situations has been a moneymaker over the last three years.
10 – Number of times that the Indians have been held to two runs or less in their last 13 games. Cleveland is averaging just 2.4 runs per game over the course of its last seven games and they are on a 3-11 slide. After a scorching 30-15 start to the year the Indians are in the midst of a 6-16 slide.
17-19 – Cleveland’s record with Grady Sizemore in the lineup. They are 19-12 without him. Cleveland is also 20-12 with Travis Hafner in the lineup and they are desperate for him to come back.
.585 – Winning percentage of the New York Yankees in Interleague Play, best in the Majors. The Marlins (.543) have the best record in the National League while the White Sox (.577), Twins (.569), Angels (.560) and Red Sox (.569) have been other sure bets.
.372 – Winning percentage of the Pittsburgh Pirates in Interleague Play, worst in the Majors. The Orioles (.437) are the A.L.’s worst and the Padres (.424) and Diamondbacks (.446) have been consistent money burners as well.
.307 – Boston’s batting average in day games this year. That is the best mark in the league and is particularly useful when handicapping weekend series (they usually play two day games on the weekend).
.218 – Seattle’s record in day games this year, which is clearly the league’s worst.
.281 – St. Louis’ batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs. That is 14 points higher than the No. 2 team in the league (Boston, .267) and it is nearly 60 points higher than the league average (.225) in that spot. This is a good regression statistic and could mean that the Cardinals are due for a backslide. (They are currently on an 0-6 slide.)
7.23 – Average runs scored by Boston in 13 games so far in June. They are 11-2 in those games and they are 9-4-2 against the total in their last 15 games.
11-2 – Record in the last 13 games for the Minnesota Twins. This is by far their best stretch of the season and comes right before they get Joe Mauer back for this weekend’s series against San Diego.
3 – Number of times the Twins have given up more than two runs during that 13-game stretch. They have surrendered more than four runs just one time and have allowed one or zero runs in six of the 13 games. This team had the worst bullpen in the Majors and was a dead ‘over’ wager. But their starters have been incredible over the last two weeks and it has helped lighten the load.
11-5-1 – Record of the ‘under’ in games between Florida and Tampa Bay at the Rays’ home stadium.
41-12-3 – Record of the ‘under’ in Tampa Bay’s last 56 home games.
2 – Now that Chipper Jones is hurt, that is the number of Braves starters this weekend that currently have batting averages above .260. They don’t have anyone hitting over .300 and Dan Uggla – the free agent pickup that I deplored but that a lot of people lauded – is hitting a whopping .174.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports handicapper for Doc’s Sports. He is considered one of the top MLB handicappers in the country and has turned a profit in four of the last five years on the diamond with his MLB picks. He closed 2010 with $6,000 in earnings over the last four months and is looking forward to continuing his exceptional earnings.
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