Over the past two weeks we’ve taken a look back at a pair of old-school MLB betting systems I learned from the legendary Mike Lee. Anyone who take betting seriously has read his 71-page book entitled “Betting the Bases,” providing insight to so much more than I’ve revealed on three pages inside Gaming Today.
I just happen to fancy the Virgin Victory, the Pitching Revenge and this week’s topic, the Magical Fourth.
As you can see with the accompanying graphic, this system was 88-60 last season with a net return of +295 units. Not a big profit, but that’s also taking in consideration straight action with no run-line wagers involved. If you were to eliminate the big prices on the favored losers, and were to bet the run line, the net profit increases to +2,495 units. And that’s without taking in consideration the winning juice on some games involving a price of $1.60 or higher.
No matter how you slice baseball’s apple pie with this system, you’re ahead with the bankroll.
The philosophy of this system is very simple, as we’re looking for teams that have won three straight and play their next game at home. If we take this system one step further, in Betting the Bases, Mike insists on four rules: the team must play at home, the team has to have three straight victories, the team has to be an underdog and you only play the team once.
By doing this, it would have resulted in solid profits last season, despite limiting yourself to potential winners — especially when the run line comes into play. Underdogs in this system went 18-12 last season for a return profit of +995 units, which is +700 more than playing all 148 plays.
The best team in this situation was the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, who were 5-0 with a net profit of +505 units. In fact, the entire American League East turned in the most profit for $100 bettors, as arguably the toughest division in baseball went 19-5 with the Magic Fourth, for a return profit of +1,075 units.
Thanks to the two-time defending National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers, the National League West were the worst division in baseball. The Dodgers were 3-5 with the system, losing bettors -690 units. In five of the eight situations, the Dodgers laid $2.00 or higher, which can be costly.
I have my beliefs in how to utilize this system, as there are times I handicap games involving teams on the opposite end of the spectrum, ones that have lost three straight and are on the road for that next game. The only problem here is we likely run the risk of laying chalk most of the time since we’re playing against a struggling team on the road.
Just remember if you’re going to ride streaks in baseball, you’ll find they last longer in the second half of the season, after the All-Star Break. I can remember learning of a baseball betting system in 1991, where in the first half of the season, you look for teams that have won or lost five straight and bet against the streak in the sixth game. If you lose, you double your wager and go against the streak in the seventh game. If you lose, you double your wager and go against the streak in the eighth game.
If that team’s streak hits eight games, it’s a rare occurrence and you chalk it up as a loss. But most streaks that go on elongated runs will be after the All-Star Break, when teams are making a run to the playoffs, or have packed it in for the season and are using younger players that have been called up from their Triple-A or Double-A farm teams.
Understand the momentum of a baseball team is contagious, but only for so long. Do your handicapping, know where the visitor is coming from, or going, and remember there is a lot more going on than the streak itself. Momentum is a strong intangible, and there are reasons teams go on winning and losing streaks.
Catch them when they’re hot — right at the three-game mark — and jump off before the fall. Just as they say in the stock market: buy low, sell high. The Magical Fourth won’t disappoint you.
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