This article is part of our MLB Picks series.
MLB Betting: Finding Value In Bullpen Mismatches
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The MLB season has quickly completed over 25% of the 162-game marathon season amid many new rule changes that have been for the better of the game.
The Tampa Bay Rays remain the top team in MLB with a 34-14 record for 74% wins and have made $1,810 per $100 bet placed. The AL East division is by far the best and most competitive one of the six divisions. The Baltimore Orioles have the second-best record in MLB at 31-16 for 66% wins and has made the $100 bettor a $1,140 profit. The Orioles trail the Rays by 2.5 games in the hotly contested divisional race that features all five teams sporting winning records.
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Bullpens are More Significant
The bullpens have become a more important factor in the games this season and the weightings of them in my predictive models have been adjusted accordingly. One of the best bullpens-dominated situational betting systems this season has been to bet on underdogs with the better bullpen ERA and WHIP. This situation has produced a 55-40 record for 58% winners and a 15.82% return on investment (ROI).
When is the Optimal Opportunity to Bet on a Favorite?
Specific situations with favorites have done well this season. Betting on road favorites in a non-divisional matchup, who is facing a team with a bullpen that is allowing 0.5 or more runs per game than the favorite's and whose bullpen WHIP is at least 0.2 greater than the favorite's has earned a 160-68 record for 65% winning tickets averaging a –163 wager and producing an 11% ROI over the past five seasons. Using the –1.5 run line bet has produced a 133-113 record for 54% winning tickets averaging a +105 wager and a robust 12.5% ROI.
Drilling down into the database a bit more, if our favorite is priced between a –120 and –170 favorites on the money line and the opponent has won less than 40% of their games on the season improves the record to a highly profitable 48-19 for 72% winning tickets averaging a –144 wager and earning a 27% ROI over the past five seasons. Using the –1.5 run line has produced a 39-28 record averaging a +114 wager and earning a 23% ROI over the past five seasons.
A Highly Profitable Situational Super System
The following situational super system has produced a 75-39 record for 66% winning bets averaging a –115 wager and earning a highly profitable 24% ROI over the past five seasons. The requirements are to bet on any team winning between 45 and 50% of their games that has lost four or five of their last six games and is playing a struggling team winning between 40 and 45% of their games.
Drilling deeper into the data if the guest is a divisional foe the record soars to 44-16 for 73% winning tickets averaging a –117 wager and earning a 37% ROI over the past five seasons.