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Handicapping Starting Pitchers for MLB Bets

To say starting pitchers are everything in baseball betting is a bit misleading. That said, starting pitchers remain the most important facet of wagering on baseball, thus making them the base for any solid handicapping strategy.

The old saying is that starting pitching is 90% of the game, but that adage is based on the days when four-man rotations ruled the day, starters routinely went 8+ innings, and guys tossed 250+ innings a year.

Today, with bullpen specialization and big money contracts, starters are pitching less than ever before. Starters are very important in making a wager and for oddsmakers in setting a line, but other factors matter as well.

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That includes how you should handicap the starters. A simple look at starters’ raw numbers isn’t enough. Home/road and stadium splits, head to head history, lefty/righty dynamics, injuries, streaks, and even weather can all play a roll in evaluating a starting pitcher in relation to a given line. [ Baseball Odds ]

Take home/road splits for example. A starter – and the team he plays with for that matter – can have drastically different numbers at home than on the road, or vice versa. In some cases, a pitcher’s ERA can be up to three runs higher on the road, for example, so make sure to take that into account.

In terms of stadiums, have a sense of a pitcher’s style. Is he a strikeout guy? A flyball pitcher? A groundball pitcher? A flyball thrower that excels in his cavernous ballpark might not be the best bet when he heads on the road to a bandbox like Citizens Bank Park or Great American Ball Park.

Finally, some pitchers simply have another team’s number. Take a look at a pitchers’ track record, and most importantly, if he’s heading into the start on a hot or cold streak.

Winning MLB sports bets requires in-depth knowledge of starting pitchers (as well as bullpens). And it takes training to avoid the pitfalls that can damage your bankroll. Read more baseball betting tutorials by clicking here.