As 2021 Spring Training starts winding down, the beginning of the season starts ramping up! April 1 is opening day so there are 2 weeks and 2 days left in camps. These are more crucial times to get answers as to what teams are going to do with their rosters and for us to evaluate / scout pitchers.
MLB teams are going to carry 25 man rosters with a 5 man traveling taxi squad. This is to avoid any flare up problems with Covid. Most teams have started making roster cuts and moves. This means the players are going to make the team and the players who are competing for spots are the ones who remain in camp. Therefore, the quality of competition moves up. The games have more meaning if only for the purpose of the players running out of time to make an impression.
Up to this point, most pitchers have been throwing with the purpose of getting their work in. As we are getting closer to the start of the season, many pitchers will adopt a new philosophy. They need to start trying to get better out rather than just get their pitch count up. The quality of at-bats will improve based on the quality improvement of the batters. The players who were not experienced were mostly sent down. These next couple of starts will more resemble a true game than any we have had so far. It does not mean teams will be going all out to win, but the level of competition will be improving.
We are seeing pitchers at the 50 pitch marks now, and they need to able to go 90-100 by opening day. Most of them will have at least two more starts prior to opening day to stretch out longer. Some of the pitchers got off to slow starts regarding their pitch counts. We need to know who they are so when the season does open, we don’t get surprised by the length of the start.
This means it is time to start monitoring betting lines! We can dabble where we might see edges. Just like any other time, MLB is a game of streaks. Bet on winning streaks and against losing streaks. Spring Training wagering is all about betting value dogs! Please do not wager on favorites. MLB rules now stipulate no rollover innings and teams will play 9 inning games. I have not paid much attention to the lines because I had no interest in betting these games because they were truly exhibitions. I expect that will change some and I will begin looking at wagering odds for the rest of the games starting at the end of this week.