September MLB brings a different type of handicapping
September 19, 2018 3:05 AM
by Ramon Scott
When it comes to betting baseball in September, major league lineups can be littered with call-ups, late scratches, and out-of-position players that would seemingly make most casual bettors tune out the national pastime until the postseason and grab their football sheets for the upcoming weekend.
But it should be noted that because of the huge influx of seasonal money put into play with the arrival of the football season, the action on baseball actually picks up; particularly on weekends, according to bookmakers around town.
Making a thorough handicap on a September baseball game when there are nearly a dozen terrific college football games about to go off can be tricky. Oddsmakers are usually doing recreation bettors no favors with chalky teams laying two dollars or more as weekend players add multi-team parlays, often including a series of big favorites, to their plethora of football bets.
Those walk-up bettors are laying upward of 20, 30 or 50 cents or more off an opening baseball line and many of those games involve just second- or third-line starters.
In these tricky situations to analyze, going against the public is always a great indicator of when to plunk down on your big ‘dog. Still, just a moderate consideration should be needed to back any professional baseball team getting upward of two dollars or more.
Betting these games, particularly on the weekends, can also be tedious since you are less likely to be emotionally invested in what should amount to routine baseball wagers. Often, those baseball tickets become just an afterthought following a full day of non-stop football.
And most importantly, line moves should be even more respected on those busy days when baseball is in the backdrop. Oddsmakers’ are more likely to side with sharps, especially since they have more irons in the fire elsewhere.
REDS (+160, 9o20) at BREWERS (Wed., 4:40): Milwaukee newcomer Gio Gonzalez walked four in 4-2/3 last time out, allowing three earned runs against Pittsburgh at home. Matt Harvey pitched well against Chicago on the road last time out, allowing no earned runs in six innings in a no-decision, and he’s been decent over his last three starts. MIL, 6-4
CUBS (-110, 7.5o20) at DIAMONDBACKS (Wed., 6:40): The Cubs’ Cole Hamels has been terrific, though he has slowed a bit over his last three outings. Still, he is 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA since coming over from the Rangers. Arizona’s Robbie Ray gives a great effort each time and rarely is saddled with a loss of late. He’s an underrated commodity here. ARI, 4-3
ANGELS (+140, 8.5u20) at ATHLETICS (Thu., 12:35): The A’s Edwin Jackson may have slowed a bit of late, but his numbers have been great, especially considering Oakland’s willingness to pick up the veteran. The Angels, Matt Shoemaker continues to work out in the rotation coming off his injury, but he hasn’t made it through six innings just yet. OAK, 5-4
RED SOX (+115, 8) at YANKEES (Thu., 4:05): Masahiro Tanaka appears serious about potentially starting the Wild Card game with his string of three straight wins currently, striking out 24 and allowing just one earned run. Boston lefty Eduardo Rodriguez had been very strong of late, as well, sans his start two outings ago in a home loss to Houston. NYY, 4-3
GIANTS (-108, 8.5) at CARDINALS (Fri., 5:15): Giants’ Madison Bumgarner got the win on Saturday but left after six innings with discomfort in his side. It seems all a matter of focus for him right now with his inconsistent starts. Cards’ John Gant has had some success against a couple of key Giants’ bats. He’s been effective but for his last start. STL, 5-4
PADRES (+200, 8o20) at DODGERS (Fri., 7:10): L.A.’s Rich Hill has held Padre bats to under a .200 avg. in over 100 PAs. He’s allowed several runs of late, but has won three straight and lost just once over the past two-plus months. Padres’ LH Eric Lauer has an ERA over five on the road but has held these Dodgers to just over a .200 average. LA, 5-2