Sitting Stephen Strasburg: The effect on baseball betting
Davey Johnson has made it official — Stephen Strasburg has only “two or three” more starts left this season. Despite leading the National League in strikeouts with 186 and despite leading the Nationals to the cusp of the playoffs, the Washington Nationals, and Johnson in particular, have made the highly debatable move of sitting Strasburg in the middle of a pennant race.
I still cannot wrap my head around it; sitting a high-caliber hurler to “save innings” when there is a legitimate chance of a World Series in the future.
In terms of managerial decision-making, sitting Strasburg does not make sense. I do not own him in any of my fantasy leagues, but I weep for those who do (especially those in high-stakes money leagues, such as the one I compete in). And, in an area more my style, it is just a bone-chilling decision after riding Strasburg to a fair amount of earnings this season. It is not often all top-five sites in SportsBooks Review begin to devalue an entire team based on the upcoming loss of one pitcher. In other words, the decision to sit Strasburg is akin to a tidal wave.
Indeed, the decision to sit Strasburg is debatable — and I am more than happy to hear all sides. But, my main concern is the loss of profit stream that was fairly consistent throughout the season. Strasburg, as a baseball betting option, was a questionable bet — at best — at the start of the season. We all saw flashes of brilliance from him when he first entered the league. But, after the major surgery, there were simply too many questions marks hanging ever his head. I understood people swooping him up in fantasy leagues. Fair enough. But, I was pretty hesitant in placing money on a game he started — and I am commonly known as the “less cautious” type around my circle of sports bettors.
However, it was May 10 when I stood up and finally took notice of Strasburg and what he was doing this season. Before that, I simply did not wager on any games he was starting. But a 13-strikout, one-run performance on the mound got my attention. Granted, he was throwing against the Pirates before they got hot entering the All-Star Break … but those are eye-opening numbers no matter what team he was facing.
Despite that, I waited until June 8 to place my first bet on the Nationals with Strasburg as the starter. The end result? Another 13-strikeout performance and a win against the Red Sox. After collecting my triple-digit winnings, I was sold on Strasburg as a legitimate bet in the moneyline system. Cold, hard cash can speak volumes.
Since that faithful June 8 day, he has only six losses. Place that against his eight wins and there were quite a few happy sports bettors out there. And I was one of them.
Aside from all the implications from the “real world” perspective, baseball bettors are about to lose a gem of a pitcher in the moneyline format. I do not use the phrase “sure bet” very often. And I certainly will not with Strasburg; I remained nervous each and every time he took the mound. But, being comfortable enough in what the numbers are showing on the statistic sheets in order to place a bet is the Mecca of baseball betting. It is a numbers game, through and through. And Strasburg dominated the numbers game for quite a few glorious weeks this summer.