|Jun 1st, 2008
We recently wrote an article on WHIP versus ERA in
handicapping. Despite the fact that baseball in the interest of the gambler is
predominated by football and basketball, the questions we got in regards to
that article exceeds the response of even our most popular NFL writings.
The prevailing area under discussion was inquiring how to
weigh offensive statistics relative to pitching.
There is an old cliché that pitching and defense are 80
percent of the game. A similar timeworn
saying is that good pitching beats good hitting. Putting that to the test we find that Randy
Johnson, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez
must not be all that good because they have a combined sub .500 record in the postseason.
The two with the best winning percentage would be Clemens and Martinez
who clearly had the best bats as support. All five have a higher ERA in the
postseason than the regular season and 3-of-5 by .30 or more.
The supporters of this apocryphal footnote point towards
how low scoring postseason games often are.
This inductive thought process never analyzes why such is. They ignore
pretty important facts such how managers can greatly shorten their pitching
staff, but cannot do the equivalent offensively. A five man pitching staff becomes three, but a
skipper cannot condense his batting order from nine to just five or six. It is commonplace for an ace to pitch three
games in a seven game playoff series.
How often do you ever see it during the regular season? Sans rainouts or in a very rare case of the
All-Star break, the answer is never.
No question the pitcher is the most important player on
the field, but to say he and his teammates gloves are four times as important
as their bats is poppycock but a boon for the books.
Most importantly there are two supremely substantial
components relevant to the handicapper that do not enter the equation when run
of the mill baseball fans are arguing this point over a cold brew. The
referenced “good pitching” does not always come from good pitchers. Likewise, good
pitchers don’t always bestow good pitching.
It is well beyond semantics that there is a major
distinction between the axioms, “good pitching beats good hitting” than
uttering “good pitchers beat good hitters.”
I will seize investing on hot pitching from a second-rate
pitcher against besieged bats from a great offense, just as I would lay a wager
against a slumping stud hurler especially when encumbered with nose-diving run
The value is there. We have ridden the likes of Pat Rapp,
John Snyder, Scott Sanders, Rick Krivda…the list goes
on as far as big dogs while they were in “the zone”. No handicapper on the planet has had more
success going against future Hall-of-Fame pitchers under the right state of
We have written several articles on how fantasy and
gambling information often overlap. One
thing the roto player gets a great sense of is how
much pitching can be a total crapshoot. If one were to compile a list of the
biggest surprises and disappointments every baseball season, there will always
be a disproportionate number of pitchers on that list. Oddsmakers
asymmetrically make their line based on this fluid dynamic, which gives sharp
players wide-open opportunity.
All that leaves value for us. As
Mike Foreman, of BetUs
Sportsbook points out, “books have
had to offer ‘Listed Pitchers’ and ‘Action’ wagers because a pitching change
can make such a huge difference.” However you can’t specify, “Bonds must
We remind you again the basic math that makes a win-loss
record almost irrelevant in baseball.
You need only hit 40 percent of 150 dogs (your price after the juice) to
break even, but 60 percent of 150 favorites.
The difference between the sharps and squares in baseball is so often
the sharps know how to win hitting 46 percent, while the squares often hit 65
percent and get buried.
The gambling aristocrats are those who anticipate when
“good pitching” comes from inferior pitchers or when high society hurlers come
up with bad pitching and/or get minimal run support. As one need not have an above .500 record to
have a winning record in baseball handicapping, and the whiz kids know they
must anatomize how the oddsmakers assay the varying factors.
Substantiating which pitchers and teams the oddsmakers
over or undervalue has one prerequisite that the dumb bunnies disregard—how
much the linesmakers evaluate each dynamic to begin with.
Ah, but how to specifically handicap offense? Guess what our next article is regarding?
Duffy’s plays are part of the Dream Team at GodsTips, the
anchor of OffshoreInsiders.com He is perhaps the most published and
respected author on sports gambling theory and has been featured as a regular
guest as the handicapping expert on the Rick Ballou
Show on Sporting News Radio, Gamblers Zoo national radio show, the Meat and
Potatoes gambling show, Pro Fantasy Sports Internet radio and Grogan’s Fantasy