Betting Tips for the Second Half of the Baseball Season

Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Michael Owens/Getty Images/AFP

The second half of the baseball season is about to roll around. If you continue to make picks the rest of the way as you have, there is a possibility you could run into problems.

Just like in other sports, what sharp bettors do is think of a season like the weather, where you have seasonal changes. For example, in April, caution should be used, because what we see is not always what will happen. Case in point, the Baltimore Orioles started the year 8-9. Now they are one of the worst (or best if you prefer) bets in the majors.

May and June fall into a daily routine. But how do July, August and September play out, that’s what we are here to talk about.

The Second Half Means Time to Assess All Teams

Here is something serious MLB bettors should do at the midpoint of the season. Start with how teams are treating those working the daily MLB betting numbers at OddsTrader. What teams are trending positively and negatively and by your knowledge of following the sport every day, are the current trends sustainable looking into the future? This requires deductive reasoning and it is best to make notes that you can check before August arrives to see if you were correct and what, if any, alterations you might need to make.

Plan right now to write down every team’s record at the halfway point (81 games) and add what their runs scored and runs allowed are. From here, you can use the Pythagorean Expectation (from the Father of Baseball Sabermetrics, Bill James). Here is how it works.

Add the runs scored to the runs allowed. Divide the runs scored by the total, which will give you a percentage. Take this percentage and divide it by 162 (total games for the season). That will give you an expected Season Win Total.

Example: 335 (runs scored) + 360 (runs allowed) = 695. 335 divided by 695 = .482 percentage.

.482 x 162 = 78. Based on those numbers, this calculation figures this team should win 78 games for the season, if they play the same way.

At this time their record should be roughly 39-42 at the halfway point and if the difference is more than three games in either direction, they are over or underachieving.

There are advanced methods from this process, but this handicapper still finds it as reliable as any. When you have variations from the norm, dig deeper to understand how and why, which could provide you clues about how to wager on particular squads going forward.

Post All-Star Baseball Betting

Though oddsmakers from any sportsbook will deny it, ask any full-time bettor or wise guy/sharp handicapper, the moneylines at the OddsTrader pages and elsewhere go up on the stronger teams, along with the weakest.

This season’s top clubs that are perceived to not only have outstanding records but are considered true World Series contenders are going to be overvalued. A case in point would the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Say you bet the Dodgers at -170 over an outfit like the Mets when at home. If you have a similar team and pitching matchup that is almost identical, that new price will start at -185 and likely be higher.

The books are discouraging you from backing the Dodgers and want you to further weigh the risks. At the same time, they are attempting to make the underdog more attractive with a better payout. Or, force your hand to move to the run line, where a bullpen could take a two or three-run lead and your selection escapes by a single run and you lose.

The simple truth is you have to be more disciplined and play fewer games. More than one strong season has been torn apart in July and August. This writer has first-person knowledge.

September Can Be Unfriendly to Baseball Bettors

On the topic of fewer MLB bets, September and April have a great deal in common, they are more unpredictable.

Teams that are out of the playoff chase will often become fodder for those that are postseason bound. However, if you take San Francisco at -250 or higher for Game 1 against let’s say Colorado, and you just know the Giants are going to sweep the series, if San Fran loses the opener, you have to wager more on the next two contests just to get your money back.

These live underdogs are highly dubious. That’s why it makes more sense to find two opponents who have something to play for and research that game based on a more level playing field and make your best selection.

In the end, betting baseball in the second half requires an open mind, adaptability, and discipline to make fewer and hopefully smarter bets.

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