This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
Yesterday: 3-0, +2.59 RWBucks
Season: 3-0, +2.59 RWBucks
Thanks for reading and following along with my undefeated season, and best of luck to you this year betting the...
[Peter Schoenke shakes fist]
...oh. I can't shut it down for the year? Shoot.
Well, as good a start as that was, let's go ahead and see if we can't keep it going. It's a short slate today. Baseball teams will usually leave a day off after Opening Day so that in the case of a postponement, fans who held tickets can get all the Opening Day hullaballoo a day later. That actually happened in Boston; the six games originally scheduled for today are mostly in warm-weather cities, places with domes, or both.
That's a potentially exploitable fact. One of the major issues in 2021 is ramping pitchers up from a 60-game season back to a 162-game one. The focus has primarily been on starters, who carry larger workloads, but you'll see it affect relievers as well. Over the last decade, teams have eliminated the use of relievers on four straight days and sharply curtailed the use of them on three straight. Early in this campaign, I expect to see them avoid using pitchers on consecutive days where they can.
So if a team used its best relievers yesterday, win or lose, it is less likely those pitchers will pitch today, perhaps enough to create an edge by betting against that team or taking the over. It's not a perfect approach; some teams have deep enough bullpens that missing one or two key guys doesn't matter, while some teams are actually better off if certain pitchers are shut down for the day. There's one play based in part on this tonight.
9:30 p.m. White Sox +108 over Angels. Last night, Lucas Giolito looked unhittable and left in the seventh with a 3-2 lead. Aaron Bummer coughed that up, however, in a 4-3 Sox loss. Bummer's failure meant that Liam Hendriks didn't pitch, and so the team's expensive new closer will be fresh for tonight.
The Angels' comeback pushed Raisel Iglesias into the game, and while he threw just eight pitches, my read of the 2021 season is that Joe Maddon will want to look elsewhere in a thin pen tonight. The White Sox are the better team, have the better starter (Dallas Keuchel versus Andrew Heaney) and even with Bummer, Codi Heuer, and Matt Foster having pitched, the better pen tonight. I'll take all that at plus money for 1 RWBuck.