Laying big chalk in MLB must be selective
May 16, 2017 3:09 AM
by Ramon Scott
Far too often, casual baseball bettors are adamant about betting favorites, especially on a team’s ace, sometimes laying -200 or more on a game that counts for a mere fraction of a season.
While there is nothing wrong with playing any favorite at any given time, a seasoned bettor should consider their threshold on a moving line when laying a price.
Lines in baseball can move for a variety of reasons, but gamblers should consider when to lay off a favorite – or a dog – if they truly think a line has moved too far for no reason other than the bookmaker’s adjustment.
We can consider true line movement by tracking opening odds and significant injuries leading up to a game. Using an independent linesmaker or calculating your own line estimation can help determine whether or not it has moved too far to consider it for a wager.
Even for professional bettors, the more frequent and increased moves on favorites often make a team just unbettable. Pros are more likely to play the favorite on that first move to make sure they get out ahead of the public, even taking a small profit on a buyback, which can occur more often with the massive chalk.
Staying true to your own line will also provide more confidence when betting your underdogs. However, the further your line is off the actual number, more time should be invested in assuring you have considered all aspects of a general handicap.
NYM (+107, 9o25) at ARI (Wed., 12:40): Matt Harvey is currently just a shell of his former self although he has held this group to just a .135 mark over 57 PAs. The D’backs’ Patrick Corbin has five quality starts in eight outings so far and has held these Mets’ bats to just a .213 mark over 52 PAs.
COL (+105, 8o10) at MIN (Wed., 5:10): Rockies have German Marquez, who makes just his eighth career start, coming off astonishing eight-inning effort at the Cubs including seven no-hit frames. Twins counter with Ervin “I will follow anybody on Twitter” Santana, who has allowed one earned run or less in seven of his eight starts.
BAL (-125, 8.5o20) at DET (Thu., 10 am): The Orioles’ Dylan Bundy has lost only one of his eight starts carrying a 2.26 ERA. Tigers’ Jordan Zimmerman has an ERA over 6, but still sports a 3-2 record. Birds’ Chris Davis has two HRs off him in just 7 PAs.
BOS (-180, 6.5o25) at OAK (Thu., 7): Chris Sale goes for the major league record for double-digit strikeouts in the most consecutive starts against the free-swingin’ A’s. He owns 42 career strikeouts of this current roster in 140 PAs. He gets a relatively tough foe here in A’s ace Sonny Gray, making his fourth start since coming off the DL.
MIL (+150) at CUB (Fri., 11:20): Jon Lester has just one win to show for eight starts. He has a brief history with a few key Brewers in the likely lineup and he has dominated to the tune of a .148 BA. Wily Peralta has allowed a 5.30 ERA to-date. The Cubs have racked him up for a .352 mark over 122 PAs.
CLE (-105, 9o20) at HOU (Fri., 5:10): Corey Kluber has an ERA over 5, but has won three of his six starts. These Astros hit just .230 against him over 130 PAs, while Houston’s Mike Fiers has held these Cleveland bats to a .220 mark over 65 PAs. Fiers is on pace to surrender nearly 30 home runs.
LAA (+170, 8.5u20) at NYM (Sat., 4): Jake deGrom has double-digit strikeouts in four of his last five starts for the Mets. Angels’ hard-throwing Alex Mayer has a 5.59 ERA, but has won his last two outings.
MIA (+140, 7.5o20) at LAD (Sat., 7:10): The Dodgers’ Jose Urias is looking for his first win despite three decent starts out of four. The 20-year-old lefty has only 11 strikeouts, but 11 walks as well. The Marlins’ Dan Straily has just one win in seven starts.
SF (+140, 8.5u20) at STL (Sun., 11:15): This group of Cardinal bats has hit the Giants’ Matt Cain around to the tune of a .308 clip, but Cain has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his seven starts. Hard-luck Adam Wainwright pitched seven strong innings in a home win over the Cubs in his last start.
TEX (-135, 8u15) at DET (Sun, 5): Tigers’ Matt Boyd has held these Rangers’ bats to a .174 mark over just 46 ABs. Texas’ Yu Darvish allows these Tigers just a .194 avg. over 72 ABs.