The LVH Super Book released a massive list of 86 player propositions last week covering almost every major statistical category that can be found in any box score.
If you think that Ryan Braun’s past stout numbers were due to alleged banned substance use, perhaps an UNDER on his home run total is in order. The LVH has Braun’s number listed at 30½.
At this juncture of spring training most bettors and fantasy players have just started to run through all the rosters and lineup possibilities that could create some runs, but LVH Super Book manager Ed Salmons and his supervisor Chris Bennett have been at it non-stop for the last month.
Baseball is a game driven by numbers more so than any other sport and Salmons has used that passion fans have from all corners of America to create a market that no one else in Las Vegas has tapped into.
Part of the reason no other sports book does it is because it’s very time consuming. Keeping up with statistical trends of every top player and figuring out the ramifications of key players leaving a lineup is a lot of data to sort through.
The other part is because some books don’t feel the need to go out on a limb with their own number because if it loses, there is no consulting firm to blame, only themselves. In the case of the LVH, it’s all their own numbers.
Fortunately for them, the number stays pure with only baseball minded opinions taking a stab at it because there are no scalp opportunities. Some bettors become a lot less smart when it’s head-to-head with no other number to reference. The bettors who bet their own opinion with cash are the ones to be admired.
The number making process is pretty simple, but it takes a couple of baseball fanatics with a vast understanding of how the betting world works.
“Chris (Bennett) and I have been working on it for a few weeks and we each came up with our own numbers in the same categories,” Salmons said. “After that, we just kind of merge the numbers giving us a consensus and then we discuss it further before opening.
“We like to always error to the UNDER on player numbers just because injuries are such a big part of the game.”
To show just how good these guys are with their numbers we only have to look back at last season with their most popular wagered upon prop. The proposition asked whether the quartet of Phillies starting pitchers Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels would combine to win OVER or UNDER 59 ½ decisions.
The betting public bet the OVER as if the 1971 Orioles with their four man rotation of 20-game winners were reincarnated. When the final season total was tallied, the four starters combined to win 59 and it took an Oswalt win on the second to last day to get that high.
“That definitely was one of our most bet props and most of the money was on the OVER,” said Salmons who only moved the money and never touched the number despite all the large wagers tilting one way.
They hit the bullseye with that number because of their baseball knowledge, but also had the oddsmaking smarts not to move the total which would have created middle opportunities. They anticipated the public betting the OVER and built it into the opening number.
The trend over the last few years has seen pitchers dominate, or at least having a fair chance compared to the last two decades against hulking hitters who used any method to gain an edge. The numbers are bearing it as power figures are down.
For the first time since 1992, the National League home run title went to a player with less than 40 home runs (Matt Kemp, 39). Each league also had pitchers win the triple crown (lead league in wins, ERA, and K’s). This is an exciting era in baseball and the continued growth in business at the LVH with all their assortment of odds and props reflect it.
“We’ve been doing these player props for a few years now and each season we get more action,” said Salmons. “Our customers love it and some come into town just to bet these, then they go home and have action all year. We get great repeat business along the way with the new people that find out about the bets by either passing through or word of mouth.”
You’ve got about four weeks to get your bets in until the props are taken off the board.