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.