MLB 2021 starts on April 1st. There are 30 teams that play 162 games each so there are 4860 games to be played. The key is to remember like no other sport MLB is a daily grind. You don’t have to bet every game and there is another slate of games tomorrow. It is exciting when MLB opens the season. We wait all winter to have MLB back. The first tip is not to lose all your money in the first weeks of the season. Every season takes on its own identity. Some seasons require underdog betting, others first five innings, then others a need to be the run line. Each season requires an adjustment for the person making the bets, so don’t bet so much that you don’t have money to wager in September as it will only be April!
Tip #2 is no matter whether a team played well in Spring Training or played poorly, those games didn’t count. Throw the records out! Do not let Spring Training influence the regular season. This is true of teams and players! Hot teams are now 0-0 and all players will have no innings pitched and no official at-bats. STL Matt Carpenter is 1-33 batting .030 and BOS Bobby Dalbec has 7 HRs this spring! The KC Royals are 14-7 and the TB Rays are 8-15. None of this matters, not even a little bit! Do not get influenced by this. It is a better practice to always use the last 30 days even when it goes back to last season! Those are real games with MLB quality players and pitchers playing every inning.
Tip#3 pay attention to COLD weather situations. As teams break from warm Florida and Arizona, they often find their home cities to be rather cold. It is not uncommon to see 40-degree weather for a week or two. This matters! The chart below shows the impact of cold weather and hot weather on baseball. It is simple, less than 49 degrees equals less offense, therefore less scoring.
Tip#4 There is no more important time for regression to the mean than the beginning of the season for starting pitchers. I am using the terminology of “regression to the mean”. This is copied directly from a Google search. “In statistics, regression toward (or to) the mean is the phenomenon that if a variable is extreme on its first measurement, it will tend to be closer to the average on its second measurement—and if it is extreme on its second measurement, it will tend to have been closer to the average on its first.” Think in terms of outliers. Going in a direction more extreme than another, the outlier is not the mean (average bar). Humans are not machines and have progression and regression toward the mean. If we could gauge those “outliers”, then we could bet on those opportunities they present. The beginning of the season presents us with starting pitchers establishing their mean averages. The regression to the mean indicates we need to identify the starting pitcher’s good, medium, and poor starts. In his first 3 starts, he should have one of each. It could carry into his 4rth start but usually, a pitcher hits all the levels in his 1st 3 starts. This is a HUGE edge.
Tip#5 Keep an eye on pitch counts. Starters will throw 110-90 pitches per game in a season. However, in the beginning, they may not be ramped up to that level so they’re only allowed to throw 60-90 pitches in a game. Try to identify those pitchers prior to their games. It is important to know if a starting pitcher is going to throw 5-6 innings or only 4-5 innings. An average pitch count per inning is 15. If you take 15 pitches times the number of innings, you can approximate the number of innings a pitcher will throw. This is helpful knowledge for “In-Game” wagering spots. For example, a pitcher might be at 45 pitches through only 2 innings, yet he has not allowed a run. He is 15 pitches over the average so he will likely not throw 6 innings. 6 innings is an average based on 6 innings x 15 pitches to get 90 pitches thrown. Based on this knowledge, we can assume the opponent will have a good chance to get to the bullpen quicker than expected, thus they will have an edge later in the game, which might be something we want to wager on.
Tip#6 Streaks are something to ride anytime but during the start of a season, they seem to be more defining than later. How many times does a team start 10-0 or close to that? Or a team doesn’t win their first game until they have played 8 games. The point here is not to guess when the streak is going to end but to play on the streak until it does end. We can make money in the middle of streaks and need to back off, but still, ride the streak once it gets to be an extreme outlier. An example of this would be to see a team go 9-0 to start a season. We can make money from games 3 through 5 or 6. The sportsbook will start to ramp up their lines on the streaking teams, so we need to capitalize in the middle of the streaks and not pay the extra prices tacked on later!
Tip#7 Do not use trends this early. Trends should be compiled from current season data and not from historic data. Since there is no data, no trend analysis should come into play. An example is not to worry about how a team hits left-handed pitching at the start of the season. The data if used is would be from season past and not relevant to 2021. Later in the season, this trend of information can be useful.