The World Series is by far the busiest time of the year for baseball betting. Serious MLB bettors bet more money on the final series than on others, and more casual bettors are drawn to betting on the biggest games of the year. While it can be easy to make mistakes betting on the World Series, astute bettors know that the added attention on the games can provide nice opportunities for attractive value. Fore serious baseball handicappers here are five opportunities for value that can arise during the World Series:
The day after a big offensive explosion – The betting public loves offense, and the more the merrier. If the ball is flying out of the park with abandon then the public will get very excited and will assume that the production will continue. Often times, though, it doesn’t. In order for a team to score a lot of runs in a game a number of things have to all work in their favor – they need to face favorable pitching, the weather needs to be good, several hitters need to be hot, and so on. Since the ball teams that play in the World Series are both very good and playing very well it is quite unlikely that they will give up a lot of runs two games in a row. It’s also quite unlikely that several batters will be able to maintain their momentum over the course more than one game in a row. If a team is very strong offensively one game then the public will likely bet that team more heavily than they otherwise would in the next game. That means that there is more value on the other team than there might otherwise be.
Pitchers on short rest – The sports betting public is quick to dismiss the impact of short rest. They assume that there is no big difference between pitching after four days or five. There is a huge difference, though. Short rest interrupts a pitcher’s routine, and limits their ability to recuperate both physically and mentally. the public will generally assume that a pitcher on short rest will perform much like a pitcher on full rest, but that’s not the case. As a sports bettor, you can’t always assume that a pitcher will do worse on short rest – some will actually do just as well as they would on full rest. Before you can be sure, though, you need to look at the factors that affect their short rest performance – their history, the workload, who they are facing, the strength of the bullpen and so on. The public won’t look that closely at the pitcher and what they are being asked to do, so if you do then you could find some nice value.
When public action is overwhelmingly one-sided – The public isn’t known for being particularly objective – when they like a team they really like them. The public has biases that they are loyal to and which they will stick to no matter what in many cases. If the hype and media attention is focused more on one team than the other then the public action will likely be more on that team than the other. If the bias towards one team is particularly strong and the betting action is particularly unbalanced then the line could be inflated and smart baseball handicappers could find nice value betting on the less popular team.
When a pitching matchup seems one-sided – Sometimes the public will look at a pitching matchup and strongly favor one guy over the other. For example, if one bal team’s starter is an elite pitcher with years of success and plenty of accolades while the other doesn’t have a big name or a flashy record or a lot of success then the public will be very strongly on the more popular pitcher. Sometimes, though, the reputation of the starting pitchers doesn’t match their recent performance and their expectations in this game. Maybe the popular pitcher has lacked sharpness or control in recent outings, or has struggled against this opponent in the past. Or perhaps the lesser known pitcher has been pitching particularly well recently, or has performed well in big games. When public perception doesn’t match with realistic pitcher expectations sports bettors have an opportunity.
When the bullpen shows cracks – The bullpen is very important in the World Series. Starting pitchers are on short leashes, and managers will often make frequent pitching changes to get favorable matchups. If a bullpen has faced a lot of wear and tear in previous games and are showing signs of strain then betting against that team could be an opportunity. By looking back at the regular season you can get a sense of when a key member of the bullpen normally wouldn’t be available. If several members of a bullpen are beyond their ideal workload then a team could have real issues, and you could be positioned to exploit them.