Since this is my first post, I should provide a bit of an introduction. I will keep it brief, because the only part of this post you will be interested in is the information pertaining to the daily lines and some betting tips — not information about me.
Let’s cut to the chase: I began betting on baseball a few years ago and have found it much easier to earn from than any other North American sport. Simply put, not having to deal with point spreads is a fantastic thing. And, in the end, if you follow baseball on a daily basis, it’s likely you already have the knowledge to be pretty successful, because the majority, if not all, of the money lines created by Vegas simply go by starting pitchers for each team. In other words, you usually can make an educated and sure-fire bet by knowing the pitching staff of the teams … but also knowing a bit about the offense is useful, too. In the end, an ace pitcher is almost useless in the money line system if he gets no help from his offense.
As for my ongoing series about daily betting tips and lines, I will typically focus on two games from the given day. The games will not be chosen randomly. Rather, the games will be chosen on the basis of being two favorable match-ups for you. In other words, I will focus on two games that will likely end in the way Vegas has set up the money line. By betting on match-ups that promise to be the most “sure fire,” you will consistently end up on the positive side of the money line … meaning more cash for you.
As for today’s (July 26, 2012) match-ups, I am focusing on the match-up between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians, and the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Houston Astros. First, let’s tackle the Tigers-Indians clash.
As it stands, the oddsmakers heavily favor the Tigers to win with odds priced at 1.602. The Indians are sitting at 2.560 in the books. The large difference most certainly has to do with the Tigers starting Justin Verlander against the Indians’ Zach McAllister.
Verlander certainly deserves the credit he is being given by the oddsmakers. In his last three games, he has gone eight innings twice and nine innings once. In all three outings, he has registered six or more strikeouts, while only allowing three runs over the three game span. From a money-line perspective, he is the definition of a sure bet. I would argue that he has been the best pitcher in baseball since the All-Star break. His 3-0 record since the break comes with a sterling 1.08 ERA and 21 strikeouts.
On the other side, McAllister has been a strong pitcher but has not received much help from the Indians’ offense. Case in point, McAllister did not walk a batter over his 95 pitches on Saturday while striking out six and allowing three earned runs. However, his offense only provided him one run of support. From a fantasy baseball perspective, McAllister is a solid start. But, from a money-line viewpoint, he almost certainly should not receive your money over Verlander.
By all means, place your bet with the Tigers today, as it’s likely Verlander will outduel McAllister, even if both offenses came to a screeching halt.
The other match-up (Pittsburgh versus Houston) provides Dallas Keuchel and A.J. Burnett. Keuchel has been horrid his last two starts, going no more than five innings in each and allowing six and four earned runs, respectively. Over the course of the two games, Keuchel has registered only three strikeouts. These are not the type of statistics excite you when betting on a money line.
On the other side, you have Burnett pitching for the surprising Pirates. Burnett has been absolutely stellar this season, and it shows in his 11-3 record (which is among the NL leaders). The only grave concern facing Burnett is the sputtering Pittsburgh offense. If they are capable of returning to their form from just before the All-Star break, if you have nothing to worry about. However, keep in mind that Houston maintains the worst record, by far, in the majors.
Between the obvious disparity in the pitching duel and the difference in strength (ie., record) between the two clubs, it is clear the Pirates should be heavily favored in this match up. The books agree, pricing the Pirates at 1.648 and the Astros at 2.450. I have every reason to believe the Astros will struggle against Burnett and the Pirates will win this match-up easily. If you are a betting person, put your money on the Pirates.