Major League dogs

Apr 20, 2010 7:01 AM

As the baseball season progresses, the more one should rely on statistics, and the more successful he should become as a bettor.

One basic tenet is if you can’t get yourself to bet straight up on a dog, then skip the game. If you love the favorite, then you can bet the -1½ run line, in which case you almost always get a plus factor.

Because most pitchers never go more than 6 or 7 innings, the favorite’s bullpen must be considered. As an illustration, take the Yankees, who are fortunate enough to have the all time best reliever (Rivera) as their 9th inning closer. This past week they won five games and lost one. One game was called in the 6th inning, so that doesn’t count, but in the other four victories, they won each by 2 to 4 runs. Four out of five ain’t bad when you are getting a plus. Incidentally, prior to this week the Sunday before if you laid the run and a half you would have gotten plus 150 as they won 7 to 3 as a visitor at Tampa.

While on bullpens, one might think the Red Sox have a good one, but they have had problems getting to Papelbon, with at least a 2-run lead. Another bullpen having huge problems is KC. Their starters are very good, but their finishers are horrible.

Even the Angels, who have always had a strong middle and late pitching staff, are having trouble closing out games. Their prime closer, Rodney, has a respectable 3 saves, but also has a 6.00 earned run average.

So far the best of the rest is Rauch, of the Twins, who was expected to be a setup man for super closer Joe Nathan. Nathan, however, was unable to play due to injury. Rauch is currently 6 for 6 in saves, but I don’t think that will last much longer.

Follow the stats and play dogs or favorites at minus one and a half runs on teams with good bullpens. Utilize the weather channel or your computer to keep apprised of winds and temperatures around the league, bet the streaks and hang in there because it’s a long season.

Speaking of long seasons, the NBA playoffs have begun.

I don’t follow the NHL much, but it looks all the dogs have won at least one game. Cream usually rises, so I’ll pick the Capitals to win it all.