This week’s column will switch gears to baseball and focus on what I like to call “morphing” teams – ones that started poorly but may be showing signs of turning a corner.
These teams provide “bet on” value in the betting markets moving forward, started out strongly but might be regressing a bit and may provide “bet against” value in the markets in the days and weeks ahead.
The Cincinnati Reds are a prime example of a team that couldn’t have possibly started worse as they opened up the 2018 season with a dismal 8-27 record through 35 games. The Reds have suffered through woeful starting pitching and a bullpen that has been every bit as bad. The lineup took a long time to get going and their manager Bryan Price was fired.
However, we have seen Cincinnati put together their best stretch of baseball by far over the span of the last week. Cincinnati as of this writing has won six straight games, cashing tickets for their backers at attractive underdog prices of +135 or better in four of those games.
What has changed? Cincinnati’s offense has started to produce and collectively as a group hit better as they’ve scored 29 runs during the course of their current six-game win streak.
A few of their starting pitchers have started to right the ship and pitch better after rough beginnings to the season, specifically Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle and Sal Romano. In their last three starts, Castillo has a 3.06 ERA, Mahle has a 2.08 and Romano has a 2.25.
The improved starting pitching has been noticeable and the much maligned bullpen has started to develop some much needed quality arms at the back end to close out games as situational lefty Amir Garrett has emerged and done well in the pen along with closer Raisel Iglesias who has surrendered just three runs in 19.2 innings pitched in the closer role.
Things do not suddenly seem so grim for the Reds who are still getting very generous prices because of their awful and horrendous start to the season. Cincinnati is likely to remain a below .500 team for the entire season but that doesn’t mean they can’t turn profits for baseball bettors in the short term. The “buy” sign is currently there on Cincinnati in my opinion and the time to take advantage of their recent surge and uptick in performance is right now.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Arizona Diamondbacks who have spent much of the season as the top team in MLB in profitability as they have earned their backers over +10 units of profit as they sit 24-16. I think Arizona will be priced expensively for some time moving forward providing value to cash in against them as they start to come back to the pack at least a little bit.
Make no mistake, this is a solid baseball team but they are not going to keep winning at the current clip and will be overvalued because of that hot start, providing bettors with good value and opportunities to look to go against Arizona in the near future.
In the course of a long 162 game baseball season, be on the watch for teams that run hot and cold at various points. Riding teams on either end of rollercoaster waves could prove profitable for savvy bettors.