Submitted by Wayne Allyn Root on Monday, July 13, 2015 at 4:55 PM
Wayne Root: The Baseball Market's Biggest Mistakes
It's not often that the Las Vegas betting markets completely miss out on major developments in the world of sports. But, that's definitely happened this season in Major League Baseball. Though, to be fair, the issues I'm talking about didn't just begin in 2015. They've arguably taken over the sport this year in a way that's had oddsmakers and longtime bettors scratching their heads.
Luckily, WAYNE ALLYN ROOT is always ahead of the game! I'm the only man in the sports betting industry with a star on the "Walk of Fame" here in Las Vegas. If an oddsmaker ever gets a star, his will naturally be a few steps behind mine!
What "mistakes" am I talking about? They involve, first, the lack of recognition for how "defense" is now being played in the sport. For years, oddsmakers and sharps rightly priced pitchers based on their strikeout potential. High strikeout pitchers were most able to control their own destiny. The field of analytics and the markets agreed that those pitchers should be the biggest favorites.
But, lately the field of analytics has put together this combination of factors...
*Defensive shifts can be used aggressively to create more outs
*Hurlers who "pitch to contact" can throw in a way that helps the shifts
*Pitchers who get outs win!
In the past, you'd see high strikeout pitchers laying something like -180 at home against a "pitch to contact" opponent. And, that would often be right! In the current game, many of those matchups are now much closer to pick-em in terms of the most likely outcome. One guy throws 8 strikeouts in seven innings. The other gets a bunch of groundouts and fly outs because balls are being hit to where the fielders are...and you have a toss-up. Oddsmakers are still pricing the game at -180!
Secondly, they involve how to use middle relievers most effectively. In the past, middle relievers were often journeymen mediocrities who only came in if the starter was getting knocked around. Smart teams are now stacking their bullpen in a way that lets a few different guys throw as hard as they can for one inning. Most relievers can be effective if they know they can let it all hang out for just 10-20 pitches.
Bullpen strategy has evolved from:
*Closer in the ninth inning...to
*Set-up man in the eighth inning and closer in the ninth inning...to
*One-inning specialists in the sixth (if needed) and seventh...who then hand off to the set-up man and closer. (a gauntlet!)
Hitters used to have a window of opportunity in the middle innings when vulnerable "pitch to contact" hurlers got tired. Now...that style of pitcher is much less vulnerable because of defensive shifts....and he gets pulled from the game before he gets tired!
This is a big deal. This is why Kansas City keeps winning. This is how St. Louis is dominating the NL this season even though Adam Wainright is out for the year. This is why Pittsburgh continues to play much better than their payroll would have suggested. This is why the Houston Astros became a contender in the snap of a finger after tanking let them stockpile some young talent.
I don't want to suggest that high strikeout pitchers suddenly stink! They still get people out. But, the edge they have on the field has eroded significantly. And, if they're facing a team that has a better bullpen, any bets on the high K guy will be in trouble.
You have seen with your own eyes this year that a high K pitcher backed by a mediocre or bad bullpen is going to lose to a "pitch to contact" hurler who's backed by a good defense and top bullpen. The market will have the high K pitcher as a favorite when that's just not the case any more.
Now...the market is slowly coming around for a couple of these emerging superpowers...but it's still trailing this new reality on the whole. Be sure you look for ways to take advantage in the second half of the season.
Utilize the All-Star Break to:
*Gather up bullpen ERA's for all 30 teams so you know who's going to own innings six-through-nine. This may be the single most important stat for baseball bettors right now.
*Gather up K-Rate data for all rotation starters so you know which "pitch to contact" hurlers absolutely MUST have good defenses and bullpens behind them to survive (the best "fades" remain the low-K pitchers who aren't getting help from their teammates).
*Look at the profit/loss column for each team from the Las Vegas perspective to isolate the teams that oddsmakers and sharps are having the most trouble with. This is where it will really register with you how badly oddsmakers are pricing quality teams with strong bullpens.
Best of luck to you in the second half of the 2015 Major League Baseball season. I'll be transitioning to mostly football articles in the very near future because the NFL Preseason is just around the corner. I'll still be releasing baseball BEST BETS daily when the season resumes Friday. If you have any questions about which of my long term programs best suits your individual needs, please talk to my representative in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS during normal business hours. The All-Star Break is a great time to talk at length with my representative in the office about your investment needs.
It may be time for baseball to take a short break. But, it's ALWAYS time for you to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!