This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
Previous day: 2-1, +3.22 RWBucks
Season: 80-98-4, -23.16 RWBucks
I had some time Thursday to update the spreadsheet. Here's how we're doing:
Sides: 31-46, -17.93 RWBucks
Just a mess all year long. In looking more closely, I have been identifying a lot of sides based on projected run prevention, without taking the team I'm betting on's run production into play enough. That's led to a lot of low-scoring losses. There is also the unfortunate attempt to make the Twins happen – we're 0-5 on them. I'm still not identifying enough live underdogs.
Totals: 32-29-1, -2.74 RWBucks
I have found the range on these a bit, especially unders, where I'm 19-13 at plus money. I have given out more unders than overs, which will shock at least one long-time friend. I'm not convinced that play will continue to be good as the summer wears on. I think we'll have some value on overs from now into mid-August or so.
Run Lines: 3-7-1, -4.28 RWBucks
Just one given out in the last month, in a loss. I am not sure I know how to work these into the mix quite yet.
Team Totals: 9-8, +3.59 RWBucks
I know I said at one point I would try to lean on these more, and I really have not so far. Bad staff work. They're the one clear area of profit. As I've written, this narrows down the variables to "will the team score/not score."
First Five Innings (sides and totals): 3-6-4, -1.45 RWBucks
Not much in here. As with team totals, I should probably be hunting spots to make these picks more than I do.
Props: 0-2, -1.25 RWBucks
Two picks on a Spray the Board Friday that went nowhere.
Lessons? Picking the actual winners of baseball games is hard. Projecting sequencing – which has just been a killer on totals – is not possible, and you just have to stick with your reads even when your picks go 13-162 with runners in scoring position over a week. Let's keep doing that tonight, using the lines at DraftKings.
7 p.m. Red Sox (Garrett Richards) team total over 5.5 (-108) versus Phillies (Vincent Velasquez).
Whatever his talents, Vincent Velasquez simply can't hold his effectiveness even into the sixth inning, usually not the fifth. That leaves Joe Girardi choosing between his tiring starter and his disastrous bullpen. Let's figure the Red Sox can take advantage of both. 1 RWBuck.
7 p.m. Pirates (JT Brubaker)/Mets (Taijuan Walker) under 7.5 (-109).
Citi Field has become the old Astrodome, with runs at a premium even after you take into account how many seven-inning games the Mets have played at home. Tonight they put Taijuan Walker, who has been fantastic, on the mound against a bad offense team with its best starter this year pitching. This is mostly betting the ballpark, though, even on a warm night in Queens. 1.5 RWBucks.
8 p.m. Astros (Jake Odorizzi) team total over 4.5 (-115) versus Yankees (Nestor Cortes).
The Killing Machine had a tough couple of days, scoring just five runs in splitting a pair with the A's. They face the Yankees in a bullpen game tonight, with lefty Nestor Cortes Jr,. listed as the starter. This pick goes no matter who takes the mound in the bottom of the first. Cortes has been effective, and we're counting on some runs in the middle innings, after he leaves, to push this one over. 1.5 RWBucks.
10 p.m. Dodgers (David Price) -2.5 (+130) over Diamondbacks (Taylor Widener).
The Dodgers, despite what the standings say, are still the best team in baseball in my book. The Diamondbacks are the worst. David Price has been effective in shorter outings, with a 28/7 K/UIBB, and the Diamondbacks' bullpen should be able to take care of the rest here. 1.5 RWBucks.