There's no single greater factor that affects a major league baseball team than the starting pitchers on both sides. Know the ins and outs of each starter. How does he perform at home, on the road, day and night? What is his history against the opposing batters and ball park? How do his season stats compare to his more recent form. The more information you attain, the better plan of attack you will have.
Great teams can't rely on starting pitching alone anymore. Virtually every playoff team will have a solid bullpen with a reliable closer. Teams blowing 8th and 9th inning leads are more commonplace than ever as top-notch bullpen arms are a coveted commodity. Know the 'pens you can trust to close out a game and also those to avoid.
Certain NL teams play much better when they get the added bat of a DH in their lineup. Know which teams love --- and which hate -- interleague matchups.
Consider 1st 5 inning plays
Tired of taking Madison Bumgarner and having a winning bet ready to cash only to see the Giants' bullpen blow it late? Consider taking a 1st 5 inning (or first half) bet, which virtually eliminates the bullpens from affecting the outcome. Your bet will be graded based on the score at the end of the 5th inning only.
Beware of massive favorites
Yes the Red Sox seem to win every day, but when you back them at a -300 price, you lose THREE TIMES the money on a day they happen to lose. At that price you'd have to go 3-1 with them just to break even! There are smarter ways to attack the board.
Parlaying big favorites
Instead of risking way too much money on a heavy favorite straight bet, consider pairing two together if you like a couple big favorites. Suddenly a -220 and a -180 favorite can be combined for a nice plus money 2-team parlay!
Don't forget the over/under
Max Scherzer against Cole Hamels? Forget trying to flip a coin to predict the winner. Bet the UNDER and root for both as the 0's roll in on the scoreboard! A couple of gas cans pitching in Texas? Bet the OVER and root root root for the home... runs!
Runlines can be valuable
Want play the Indians with Kluber on the hill but don't want to lay -220 and don't see anyone to parlay with? Consider playing the RUNLINE (you give up -1.5 runs, meaning your team has to win by 2 or more) at a considerably better price than the moneyline. But be careful, there are a lot of 1-run games in baseball, especially in the National league!
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