Here are 10 stats/tips that I like to use when betting on the MLB. We are 90-65-10 on the year (up 8 units).
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WHIP- Stands for walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP = (Walks + Hits) / Innings). A very good WHIP is under 1, a good WHIP is 1-1.3, 1.4 and over is poor. This is a great indicator of success when looking to handicap a game.
Pitching is about run prevention and base runners lead to run prevention. It makes sense that you’d want to know how well a pitcher prevents base runners. Walks and hits are the two primary ways runners get on base. WHIP will show you how many base runners does this pitcher allow per inning. This is a great metric to use when betting on the MLB.
FIP- Stands for Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), or essentially adjusted ERA. It is similar to ERA, but it focuses solely on the events a pitcher can control for the most part throughout the game. This includes strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches, and home runs. It removes results on balls hit into the field of play (so errors are taken out of the equation and is based on league average numbers) Where the “FIP constant” puts FIP onto the same scale as the entire league’s ERA: ((HR x 13) + (3 x (BB + HBP)) – (2 x K)) / IP + FIP constant ( if you were interested in run the calculation yourself for a given year.
WOBA- wOBA is based on a simple concept- Not all hits are the same equal. Batting average assumes that they are. On-base percentage does too, but does one better by including other ways of reaching base such as walking or being hit by a pitch. Slugging percentage weights hits. OPS is a good metric and we can arrive at a more accurate number easier.
Pitcher vs Batter– PvB is used to see historical statistics of batters vs the respective pitcher on the mound for a given day. The link attached will give you a few data points, including batting average, at-bats, hits, wOBA, etc. There is something to be said about a line-up going into a game with very good numbers against a pitcher. Baseball is such a mental game between the pitcher and the batter, so this is something that a batter can bring to the plate knowing they play well against a specific pitcher. This is a great angle to use when betting on the MLB.
Betting Against the Public- This is something that goes for all sports but is just as important in the MLB. Download the Action App for free using this link to have access to the bet/money percentages.
Weather- When the weather drops, batting average decreases and unders are more prevalent, well, for the most part. When the temperature drops under 40 degrees, pitchers start losing control, with a lack of grip on the ball. Batting averages are still down when the temperature is under 40, but runs are up. This is probably due to the increase of pitchers that are lose control, causing a fastball to just sit right in the middle of the zone, with a lack of velocity (causing more extra-base hits, home runs). This is something that 99.9% of the betting population does not know, and now you are in the .1% who does. Obviously, we are entering the summer, but as the postseason rolls around in September/October, this will be a factor to consider when betting on the MLB.
F5 Betting- First 5 inning betting is similar in a sense to 1st half betting in football and basketball. In baseball, as most of you know, pitching is everything. First 5 betting should be utilized when you have a good gauge of how the two starters will perform. Also, this can be a strategy when you like a starting pitcher but a team has a bad bullpen and is a different angle to take when betting on the MLB.
Division matchups- Since 2005, divisional underdogs have gone 6,693-8,755 (43.3%). On the surface, this seems like a losing record. However, because of the plus-money payouts (think +120, +150, +170), divisional underdogs produced +51.34 units won ($100 bettor made $5,134) via ActionNetwork.
Wind Blowing In– If the wind is blowing in, it leads to more unders. This is because home runs may not be fly ball outs. Since 2005, when the wind is blowing in at 5 MPH or more, the under has won 55.1% of the time, close to +100 units won.
Park Factors– Certain ballparks are more susceptible to runs (or lack of). Parks such as Coors Field on average allow more runs (top of the list) and parks such as Wrigley Field are the bottom of the list. Park factors include variables such as weather, altitude, dimensions etc.
Let me know if you have any questions on some of these stats and tips. This is just a high level of some of these terms for you to chew on but this will give you a good start of really understanding how the professionals handicap baseball.