WBC Semi-Finals, down to four, then we move into MLB!

As earlier suggested, this WBC event would be an event to rival any other out this year. It would be that way because of this classic’s superstar, talented players. The list is very long, so here are just a few, Mike Trout, Shoei Ohtani, Sandy Alcantara, Juan Soto, Mookie Betts, and more. The crowds have been both record-setting and cheering loudly. The atmosphere is much like playoff baseball.

Numbers can easily measure its success. It has drawn 1,010,999 fans for the first round of pool play, the most in its history. The previous record of 510,056 was set in 2017, marking a 98% increase in attendance for 2023. The average attendance of 25,275 also set a record for the first round. Mexico’s victory over Team USA on March 12 at Chase Field drew 47,534, a World Baseball Classic attendance record for any first-round game.  In Miami at loanDepot park set the record for the most-attended World Baseball Classic round ever in the United States, drawing 295,850 fans, an increase of 81%. The television rating across the globe have been more amazing! In Japan, the March 10 broadcast of the Japan vs. Korea game on TBS registered a 44.4 rating, making it the most-watched game in any country’s history of the World Baseball Classic. The game outrated all sports competitions during the Tokyo Olympics. Japan’s four first-round games averaged a 42.3 rating in the country. In Taiwan, Chinese Taipei’s four first-round games averaged 1.301 million viewers on EBC News, an increase of 151% versus the 2017 tournament. In Korea, the four games featuring South Korea on SBS/KBS/MBC averaged 1.781 million viewers, marking a 35% increase from the 2017 first-round average. In Puerto Rico, WAPA Deportes delivered a 77% increase compared to 2017 for their games in the first round. Team USA’s first game versus Great Britain on Fox and Fox Deportes averaged 1.592 million viewers, making it the most-watched first-round game in the U.S. since 2009. The record viewership also led to increased traction on social media. The World Baseball Classic social media accounts’ total engagements during the tournament’s first round were up a remarkable 564% compared to the first round of the 2017 event.

The WBC is now down to four teams remaining. According to the odds, there are clearly two favorites, Japan and USA. This tournament could see anything happen, yet I suspect that the final will be the favorites. If that holds up, it will be the largest viewed game yet!

Now, as the WBC winds down and all that energy and electricity cools off, don’t for a minute believe that MLB won’t get its turn. Granted, it is a 162-game, 8-month grind of a season, so the energy level will not ramp up until the end. However, that does not mean there will not be electric games! Far from it. MLB will have the most action-packed athletic competitions from this sport in years. The rule changes will impact the on-field version of the game, forcing viewers to pay attention as there will not be much dead time, and for the best players in the world to make more athletic plays putting their talents on center stage! The scoring won’t be significantly changed, nor the stats because of these changes, yet the game will be much more enjoyable to watch for most fans. In many ways, the purist will be happy, and the sport will gain popularity. A win-win!

Don’t forget how fantastic baseball is! We might not get to see Edwin Diaz come into the game this year due to injury, but don’t be surprised if other very cool things start to happen.

Those looking at the wagering side of things understand that baseball is a grind. It is every day for eight months. This creates opportunities galore! There is data available like no other sport. It can be thrilling, yet many times it becomes overbearing, and people give up. This year is a fantastic season to start wagering on baseball if you haven’t. The game will be fun to watch; the interest will be high, making for prime wagering opportunities. Join the fun, and win while you learn! Sign up with me: https://mlb-daily.com/premium-services/

WBC is Down to Six!

We started with 20 teams and are now down to 6. Cuba and Japan are in the final four! Two teams from this mix of the USA, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Mexico will capture the remaining two spots for the final four teams. To this point, we have seen lines ranging as high as -10000 or only run lines. The run lines have been as high as -6.5. Now that the good teams are all that is left, we see lines that are wagerable. Here are the lines for the reaming quarterfinal games.

Puerto Rico throws Marcus Stroman, and Mexico Luis Urias.

Urias MUST stop Francisco Lindor. Lindor is 7-15 in the tournament with 6 runs scored and 5 runs batted in! They have only matched up 2 times in MLB play, where Lindor is 1-2. Puerto Rico has not hit for power, as they only have 2 home runs. Their edge has been their lineup has delivered throughout the nine guys. Lindor leads with 5 RBIs, yet there are 4 batters with 4 RBIs and 2 more with 3 RBIs each.

Stroman MUST stop Randy Arozerena! Arozerena is 7-14 with 5 doubles and a home run! He has also scored 6 times with 9 RBIs! Arozerena has seen Stroman 5 times getting a double. Joey Menses and Rowdy Tellez make up the others who do damage for Mexico. Menses leads the team with 9 hits, including 2 home runs and 6 RBIs. Menses is 2-5 against Stroman with a couple of strikeouts. Tellez has 6 hits, including a home run and a double, with 5 RBIs. He has faced Stroman 6 times with no luck going 0-6!

This becomes a battle of the big 3 for Mexico against the entire lineup for Puerto Rico. Still, Mexico will have the starting pitcher edge and Puerto Rico the bullpen edge (even without Diaz).

The likely pitching match-up for USA and Venezuela is Adam Wainwright against Martin Perez. I will look more into that later.

As far as the future odds of winning the WBC, they look like this.

I have futures tickets on Japan at +300 and USA at +330! I don’t see how Japan will not finish as the favorite, so now all they need to do is win the thing. It is also very possible to have Japan and USA in the final, but we shall see.

Join my service for only $49.99 or $200 for the entire MLB season! https://mlb-daily.com/premium-services/

The Truth and Fallocy of sports handicapping services!

 

Here is the reality of this industry. A sports bettor loses more often than
they win. This endeavor is almost impossible to beat. It is exciting and
exhilarating, which is why so many are involved, yet only 3%-5% of sports
bettors are profitable overall! I Googled the question, “What is the
average sports bettor win percentage?” I am pasting the answer here.

Different studies spit out varying results, but somewhere
between 3-5% of all sports bettors are profitable in the long run.
Some turn into very successful gamblers, while some only take home modest
winnings each year. Most of these successful gamblers have spent years
perfecting a system that works for them.

As a result of all this loss, there is a need to gain access to the bets
made by those few who win. Bettors are then willing to spend money for this
access. So far, a serious need can get satisfied via available wagering
services. Seems like a good business situation for everyone, right? Well, yes,
but not exactly. Here is the truth. There ARE services
that supply long-term winning wagers. Most of these services are expensive to
gain access to their wagers. Hence, we get just about everybody marketing their
ability to make winning wagers. Go back to the beginning! It is an absolute LIE
that most services win long-term. They rarely do, so when you use Google and
type in “Sports Handicapping Services,” the result shows 62,300,000
results! Yes, that is 62 million results! A smart deduction of this can only be
that this industry is convoluted with garbage, making finding real services
nearly impossible.

Let’s talk about how a bettor makes money. They must win their bets which
seems obvious, but they must also cover the sportsbook vigorish (also known as
“vig” or “juice”). A normal sports bet will have odds of
-110. A bettor must win 52.4% of their wagers to win the equivalent dollar
amount to cover the vig. If the bettor now uses a handicapping service, they
must also cover the expense of that money spent. This means the amount of money
wagered per game and the amount the service charges are crucial to a bettor’s
ability to afford a service. If you are a casual bettor wagering $20 per game
and a service is $100 per month, you will have trouble! A typical service will
give you 3-4 plays per day, so we use 30 days times 3 plays we get 90 plays. If
you wagered $20 per game (x90 plays) you would have wagered $1800 for that
month. Now add the $100 fee (remember that is 5 of your bets),
and we get $1900. Let’s say the service wins 52.4% of the wagers earning you
$943.20 (52.4% x $1800). If you won 50% of the wagers that is $810 plus and
$990 to the minus. Remember, the odds are at -110, and this is that effect, so
now you are losing money. Either way, there is still $100 to pay. At 52.4% you
will be in the hole $100 and at 50% in the hole $280 ($990 losses, -$810, wins,
and $100 fees). So, even if you are at 50% you lose $280 monthly! The larger
amount of money to bet per game reduces the impact of the fees unless the fees
are extremely high. This equation really needs some care by the bettor to make
sure the math works.

Services range in price yet a normal amount is $100 per month. I know
services that are nearly $1000 per month, so it all depends on the value to the
consumer. Then there are the ever-popular FREE handicappers on social media.
These guys are not entirely void of knowledge and can show a profit in the
short term. However, anyone not willing to charge something for their work is
NOT a professional. Thus, I ask, “Would you willingly wager your
hard-earned income based on amateur advice?” This could apply to any
service industry like electrician, stockbroker, plumber, or doctor! As a smart
deducing person, I believe this to be a fallacy world. As you make smart
choices, you must determine what service to choose and why. There
are several ways to sort out the 62 million options quickly!

Ask for transparency, not records! Record verification is weak and
completely made up! Third-party verification companies can also be bought, I
know because I have personal experience with it. Most verification companies
make money from handicapping services. The service pays them to keep their
record. But it doesn’t quite work like that. The verification company has
software tied to the lines of the games. The service inputs their plays, but
often the lines don’t match what the service gave out. It becomes a negotiation
over whether a wager should be graded win or loss, and often because the
verification service doesn’t want to lose money and wants to keep a service
happy, changes records. Regardless, there are better ways. Being that smart
person, you wouldn’t take the word of mouth from someone you don’t know. Why a
verification company you don’t know? The better way is to ask questions about
the service when they try to get you to sign up.

You need to know how they handicap games. Are they just reading trends on
Google searches or doing some homework? Don’t let a service tell you they have
systems! Wagering doesn’t work off of systems. Don’t buy into the catchphrase
“we have and get inside information.” No one has that. A legitimate
service should be wagering based on the value in their odds against the
sportsbook odds, so they will be able to detail that value in terms of
percentages they see. If they cannot, weed them out. You should be
“interviewing” your service candidates! You want to know how they
come up with their selections. A service takes pride in their work and will gladly explain most things. Certainly, you want a service able to “read
the market.” Line moves are big news. A winning bettor makes their bets
based on these regularly. Your service should have a vast knowledge of this
market! Ask them questions about it.

It is as simple as almost everyone should be using a good service. I have
been in this industry publicly supplying and selling wagers for 10 years. I
want to be paid for my work, but I also wager on every bet I provide. That is
important! I don’t want to make my living from the service; I do that from
wagering! I provide this service to teach those who want to learn, advise those
interested, and allow bettors to follow one of those in a 3%-5% long-term
winning group keeping them from all the riff-raff they could run into.

Sign up for only $49.99 monthly or $200 for a season.

Use this link: https://mlb-daily.com/premium-services/.

 

World Baseball Classic strategy and impressions so far

My strategy in wagering these games is first to recognize that 3 teams are vastly better than everyone else. They are Japan, the USA, and the Dominican Republic. When it comes to lines, they will be very large favorites until they play each other. Korea, a solid team, is expected to move on from their pool and were -500 opening favorites against Australia. At close, Korea was -660! Japan played their 1st game against Chinese Taipei and was such a large favorite there wasn’t even a line for the side! Interestingly, Australia beat Korea as one of the largest-ever upsets for the WBC. This brings into play the question of just how good are the teams that are not named Japan, USA, or DR.?

The Netherlands already won as a +180 underdog against Cuba, then Italy did the same thing as +125 dogs against Cuba. The bookmakers are going to have a difficult time setting these odds. Remember the format, starting pitching only goes 65 pitches, then has to sit for 4 games this round, expanding to 80 pitches in the next round. It means that relief pitching is critical. Yes, the best teams have that covered, but no one else does. Japan drew 15 walks! I expect the underdog will have value in most games because this tournament round is about the offense.

These teams are not great defenders, so we will see some interesting play on the field. We have already seen the command issues pitchers. There have already been 58 walks issues in 6 games! The opportunities to score will be there. There have been 60 runs scored, with 50 runs scored in 4 of the games! Low-scoring games should not be the norm. The pitchers, as we have been discussing, are not elite, so we should see balls in play. Pitchers putting batters on base combined with balls in play should mean runs. So far, Team Netherlands has played very good defense, as their infield comprises MLB players. They have played the two games where the runs have been lower, which could be one reason why.

In terms of strategy, look at totals and think about the over first. When the best teams play the weakest ones, the scores should resemble a beer league softball game, like 11-1. The weaker teams will not score much. Panama came into this year’s event, having not scored a single run in their last 30 innings! The good teams will put up numbers. It was interesting to see the total in the Japan/Chinese Taipei game at 12.5. The game stayed under but easily could have gone over if Japan capitalized more on those 15 walks! The WBC DOES have mercy rules too. It means if one team is far enough ahead, they will call the game.

Second, look to the underdogs. The WBC brings out the “playing for their country” component, and often the underdog will fight hard! This does not apply where the underdog has no talent to compete, but this should only happen versus the elite teams. Thus, compare how good the starting pitcher is for the underdog with the idea that if he can keep them in the game, they have a chance. Only the elite teams have the best bullpens, so if the starter can keep the game close, the underdog can win in the end!

I am currently 1-1 on WBC wagers. I lost a total Over in the Netherlands/Cuba game, then won with underdog Italy vs. Cuba. I am only a little ahead right now. More to come. If you would like to follow my wagers to wager yourself, you can sign up for my service for only $49.99. https://mlb-daily.com/premium-services/

World Baseball Classic 1st game tomorrow!

This tournament starts tomorrow (March 7th)! Team Cuba plays Team Netherlands at 11 pm est on FS1! It will be the start of doubleheaders in meaningful games for the next two weeks! They start overseas in Taiwan and Tokoyo, then in the US starting March 11th. These will be lined games, and I already have a futures ticket for the championship winner.

I expect to be regularly wagering on these games. This could be the event of the year for 2023. I am going to attend the semi-final game in Miami. I am all in! Let’s go! Get access to my actual wagers for this event, plus the entire month of April for MLB games and props, for only $49.99!

THE RELEASE OF MY WAGERS HAS BEGUN!

I have released a couple of wagers so far. I have placed a WBC and MLB season wins bets. My service has taken on several new clients over the past few days. MLB is a few weeks away, and WBC is approaching. Now is a great time to get involved and follow my wagers.

I am including all of my WBC wagers in the first month of MLB! This means you can see all my wagers through April for only $49.99! You will be put into a Telegram network where you get additional advice, exclusive data, and Webbie Odds! Just use the link to get set up here: https://mlb-daily.com/premium-services/. You can email me at Webbie20MLB@gmail.com with any questions!

You can go month to month. A season-long package is available too.

Wagering and Timing

With spring training games being played, MLB futures available, and WBC approaching, this is a good time to think through wagering and, specifically, when to place your bets. An MLB future wager will not payout for months. We are in March, and the season ends in October or early November, 8-9 months away. We can look at this as money in the bank. However, we can also make a wager today; then next week, learn that two of the teams’ best pitchers have had injuries that will cause them to miss the entire season. We would not have made it if we had known this before our wager. The timing of wagering is sometimes lucky or unlucky, but we as bettors need to examine the best time for the eager.

Any wagers made on MLB team wins must be made before the season begins. We have from today until March 30th. We can make wagers on which team will win the division or the world series and which players will win the Cy Young or be the homerun champion during the season, as this is a fluid market. So now is the time to be looking at season wins.

They have been out for a few weeks now. We must understand that a wager made today is binding even if there is bad news around the corner. The cause for concern is that our odds or win number may change, causing us to get a worse price. First, NEVER bad a number! That is a golden rule of winning bettors. You do not always have to get the best number, but do not bet on the worst number! If you are presented with that scenario, hard pass! This can be said for future bets like we are discussing, but it applies to any wager you make. So we must avoid betting the worst number, which will be our first eliminator for our list of wagers we like. That will look like this. Our team is 82 wins -110 to open and now is 83.5 wins -110. Hypothetically, you have a list of 10 wagers to bet. After looking at how the numbers have changed, we can cross off 3 of them, so now we have 7 wagers we like. Of these 7 possible wagers, we need to know if the win totals have stayed the same, yet the odds have changed. It would be like this. Our team has 82 wins with Over -135, and it was 82 -110. The market likes the over, and the book moved the odds. We are now getting the same number but worse odds. We are not getting a worse number, yet our payout is worse. This is slightly different from the previous look, but it will still be a lower outcome if we win this wager. We either need to move before the number of wins changes, or we need to ride this out and either pass or take the smaller return. A winning wager is most important. The number of wins is more valuable than the odds (most of the time). There are unique situations where the odds reflect numbers move; the bettor does not realize it. This a topic for another discussion. So we choose to back burner this one and analyze the 6 others. Of these six, think hard about how they could lose! What would have to happen for our wager to fail? If you come up with some ideas pretty quickly for one or two of them, maybe these wagers should also be moved off the list. The idea is simple, we want strong wagers that can withstand 8-9 months of scrutiny, and we need to put forth strong tests to feel convicted that our wager can survive. Let’s say get it to 5 wagers we like. Now we need to shop the numbers and see if there is a likelihood that the markets will change before the start of the season. We don’t have to bet until WE HAVE TO BET. It means that as time moves forward, we get more information.

More information allows for better wagers. Wait until you have to bet. That goes for any bet! Too many people want that CLV (Closing Line Value) buzzword. CLV is not a winning bet which is what we strive for, but optimally CLV is a good gauge for winning bets. The better our numbers, the more likely we win bets. But don’t get consumed with CLV. It is not the goal, just a tool to help pave the path. My list of season wins is currently at 8 or 9. I will likely only bet 5 or 6 of these as I have yet to make a season wins wager.

When it comes to our daily routine, MLB offers overnight lines. We can bet on this market if we create lines to compare and find a value between them. On a Tuesday at around 7 pm, the books will set the lines for the games on Wednesday; thus, they are called overnight lines. These odds will not be as sharp as the odds the next day. There will have been market adjustments based on wagering into them, thus making them sharper in the morning and the next day. It could be a good idea to wager the best odds early because there is a chance you won’t be able to wager a game you like at all. After all, the odds may have moved too far away from the opening ones. It also does not mean to make only these wagers, though. Again, for clarity, the more information you can acquire, the better your ability to evaluate your wagers. Waiting on information is not taught, but should be. It is more important than many other aspects. What if you get the news that Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Shohei Otani are not in the lineup for the Angels as the manager planned a rest day for them, yet you bet that overnight? Makes you sick to your stomach. Another such concern is the starting pitcher. Maybe he woke up with a stiff neck and will not pitch today (being pushed back until tomorrow), so get some callup guy to pitch in this spot. I like to wait but am not opposed to those who don’t. If you know what you are betting and why you are betting, based on complete information, you will make better wagers than those who just fire based on numbers!

I think there is valuable information here. Season-long wagers need to be strongly tested to survive the length of time; CLV is only a tool, and winning wagers is the goal; get complete information before making your wager; NEVER bet bad numbers! If you follow this advice, you will win more bets!

First full day of Spring games complete

Yesterday, the 2023 Spring Training season began for Major League Baseball. Optimism, excitement, and baseball are happening in all the camps. As with many players getting their chances, the runs scored in the games ranged from 5 to 17! There was the excitement of seeing the new rules in action. We saw prospects like NYM Brett Baty, and NYY Jasson Dominguez hit HRs! Twins pitcher Jhoan Duran already eclipse the 100mph mark! Yes, sir, indeed, baseball is back!

The Oakland A’s, Colorado Rockies, and Washington Nationals all won games! These are expected to be the teams that will lose the most games this season. With that, I must remind bettors that there are plenty of opportunities to wager on baseball games and the surrounding props. Do not get carried away with these “games.” There may be very few situations where there is great enough value to wager until the season starts. It MUST be a very special spot.

The “games” are nothing more than organized practices! It is important to realize how managers and players view them. It is good to win anything, but they don’t count toward anything! It is a much better practice to see the improvements players have made if there were any declines, how they have returned from injury, or if a player is still injured, and how the manager might utilize lineups. A key metric to track is pitcher velocity compared to last season. Is it more or less, and by how much? The easiest way for us to tell if the pitcher should be expected to improve, maintain, or decline in performance is to monitor his velocity variance. Here is a small little reminder of velocity effects on batting averages.

As you can see, the more velocity, the less the batting average. This means that we want to see pitchers that have a reduction in velocity, especially those speeds where batters succeed (94-92 or below). When we see this, we MUST make note of it. The importance early on is vital. We can get a jump on the sportsbook lines if we identify properly a pitcher who is less effective than once was. The sportsbook line will catch up, so we want to capitalize before they can.

Baseball today also sees pitchers improve their velocity and movement of pitches. They go to specific off-season academies or training centers to better know spin rates and “action: on the ball. It wasn’t too long ago that this was never happening, so now we should also be able to capitalize on the pitchers who should have improved from one season to the next.

I will have listings for these pitchers. I charted every starting pitcher last season. The list and information on using it will be for the premium services clients.

It will an interesting season to look at the hitters. I have noticed an unusual amount of them following the lead of the pitchers, going to these off-season training camps. DriveLine Academy has hosted many hitters this season, for example. This is an area that I will now follow but haven’t done so much in the past. The specific reason is that a hitter can only impact the game as one of nine hitters, whereas the pitcher has the ball for every pitch of the game; thus, his impact is much greater on the outcome.

The elimination of the shift should also benefit hitters, so seeing just how much of an impact that has might be another area to develop. It might have two outcomes. First, a better-developed hitter, and second, more runs scored. This is a common assumption, so I expect the sportsbook to heighten its totals to capitalize on that market. We might want to study more of the opposite effect to see if we can win on the under the total side of games. Sports wagering is a better opportunity for those who do not follow the masses.

On with Jeff Dawson ECSI

This show has rule changes, bullpens, star players, Angels talk, Twins talk, value bet for a divisional winner, and more! It was a great show!

Follow me on Twitter to catch more of these shows! Twitter @Webbie20MLB Jeff is @ECSprtsinvest

2023 MLB Crystal Ball

Several things stand out in trying to get a good look at the 2023 MLB crystal ball. The disparity between teams, especially at the top and the bottom, is a vast gap. Here is a list of the teams that made the playoffs in 2022. In the AL, these teams made it; HOU, NYY, CLE, TOR, SEA, and TB. These teams made it LAD, ATL, STL, NYM, PHI, and SD in the NL. The projection models don’t provide much hope of the standings allowing new blood. I might make a case for a couple of teams, but by and large, there will not be much variance. This does not mean we won’t have an exciting season; it just means wagering futures, such as division winners, becomes a wager requiring deep thought to find value.

I broke the teams into 8 tiers regarding their offense. There are 3 elite teams (HOU, TOR, and SD), with 5 well above average teams. There are 4 teams above average and 6 teams at average. There are only 2 teams just below average and 5 teams below average. There are 4 more teams well below average and 1 team that is just awful. Here is the chart. The separate colors are the tiers. The total represents how good the players are for the team, creating an offensive value. The 3>9.9 column is the number of players a team has with offensive values in double digits. The 100 Scale column represents how much better than average or worse than average a team is, and it is shown as a percentage for some teams.

We have those stand-out 3 teams at the top! They are at least twice as good as the average offense! Including the next-tier teams, 8 teams are 73% better than an average team! and 12 teams are worse than average! There is NO WAY the bottom-tier teams can compete for playoff spots with others; thus, we have this vast gap. We can eliminate CIN, WAS, COL, OAK, DET, PIT, KC, CHIC, ARI, and MIA. We can not exclude MIL or TEX only because they will appear elsewhere in better light later. Of the teams in the blueish colors, only two were not included in the playoffs for 2022 (LAA and MIN). These should be a good starting point for value leading into 2023. CLE was the worst team getting into the playoffs, but they were also in the easiest division. The offense is not everything but a good differentiator because many teams can pitch.

Regarding starting pitching, we will see similar teams near the top. However, TEX and their off-season additions have put themselves there. Once we see how teams start games with pitching and how plentiful their offense is, we can get a feel for how good they are. Some teams will score more easily than others; thus, if those who struggle to score do not have elite pitching, they are behind the others. In the case of NYY, it works exactly the opposite of that. NYY is in the above-average offense category but is #1 in starting pitching. It means their offense does not have to work quite as hard, yet they will still win games. NYY solidified its pitching with the Rodon signing. TEX finds themselves here as well. The additions of DeGrom, Eovaldi, and Heaney have propelled them to #2! Anyway, here is that list.

We can see that 7 of the top 10 are playoff teams from 2022. TEX, MIL, and LAA are now in the top 10 that did not make the playoffs a season ago. This will again lead to the right paths for values. We should be looking at those 3 teams. It is no coincidence that LAA is now showing up on offense and pitching. The addition of Tyler Anderson, a return to health for Carlos Rendon, a new addition of Hunter Renfroe, plus further development for Taylor Ward has this team ready to make a run.

The bullpen is an area that seems to go unnoticed until the playoffs start. Once that happens, whenever the bullpen gate opens, a reliever enters the game and throws a triple-digit fastball that no one can hit! These are where wins stay wins or wins become losses. It is important to have a deep bullpen and a strong backend. Here is the list of bullpens for 2023. These are ranked by FIP, accentuating the value of limited contact.

Before looking too deeply, we see LAA near the bottom; this concerns how far we expect them to rise. Again, the top teams are familiar with ATL, NYM leading the NL, and SEA, CLE leading the AL. I want to show a couple of these pens so you see what a hitter must face.

ATL
NYM
SEA
CLE

It is amazing to me! It is just impossible for batters to win these matchups regularly. The pitching is too dominant!

So after reviewing these situations, I have a short list of teams that could surprise me in the standings for 2023. Leading the list is Los Angeles Angels. They appear in the top 2 tiers of offense and the top 10 of starting pitching. I don’t believe they will win the AL West over HOU. However, they can compete with SEA for a possible Wild Card spot. MIN is on the list. They need to beat the most average of all the division winners in CLE. MIN appears on the above-average offense list and in the middle of the pack in starting pitching. They are in the top 10 regarding the bullpen. Here is that starting rotation.

The acquisition of Pablo Lopez and the return of a healthy Kenta Maeda are promising. Tyler Mahle spent his offseason at DriveLine pitching school! joe Ryan and Sonny Gray are no slouches! I expect a better return for MIN out of this starting staff. They signed Carlos Correa, and have a healthy Byron Buxton! I think this is a team who can win the division. They are +280 to do that. TEX will need a lot to go their way, yet they are much improved in the starting pitching area. They are below average offensively and in their bullpen. I do not believe this team is moving past SEA or LAA, let alone catching HOU at the top. MIL in the NL is possible because their starting staff is so good. However, they are well below offensively and have lost their keen edge in the bullpen. STL is no slouch as the division winner, either. I have made a case for four teams. I truly believe that only MIN is wager worthy!

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