When it comes to betting on baseball, two key factors – the same ones the oddsmakers consider – play the biggest role in your handicapping: current form and starting pitchers. And while we aren’t disputing the importance of those things, we don’t want to limit our baseball handicapping to only those factors.
Here are three outside factors every baseball bettor should consider:
This is one of the most underutilized handicapping trends in all of sports betting. If starting pitchers play such an important role in how the odds are made and how the game unfolds, than shouldn’t the guy deciding if those pitches are balls or strikes be nearly as important?
There are plenty of places that track umpire assignments and stats, giving you the insight into which masked men are a little more liberal with their strikezone and which ones love to squeeze the pitcher.
If you have an ump that generally has a wider strikezone, a pitcher that relies on placement could have a field day. But if that same pitcher runs into an ump with a stricter strike call, he could get hit while trying to paint those picky corners.
All types of weather can plague a baseball game, and understanding how it will impact each side can help you stash away some extra coin for a rainy day.
The most disruptive element is wind, which is on display in spots like Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago almost daily. Wind can either turn pop flys into home runs or downgrade dingers down to warning-track outs, which is important info to you know if you’re playing totals or dealing with fly-ball pitchers.
Rain can also play a factor in baseball games, leaving the infield grass heavy and slowing down any ground balls that would normally sneak into the outfield. It can also cause the ball to become slick, which can disrupt those potential double-play balls.
One weather factor that may not get as much attention as the ones mentioned above is heat, more specifically humidity. On those hot summer nights in Texas, a ball can carry much further in July and August than it can in May and June. Deep fly balls can transform into home runs, so know who’s on the mound and how heat will impact their performance.
With so much fuss made over starting pitching, a simple factor such as the batting lineup is now undervalued in today’s baseball betting market.
While oddsmakers spend so much time, effort and resources perfecting their numbers based on pitchers, knowing which bats are in and out, and where they’re hitting in the lineup can give baseball bettors a solid edge.
Especially, as we hit the dog days of summer and players are requiring more rest, recognizing a club’s offensive potential based on a certain batting order holds even more importance.