We released 6 selections for the week, in keeping with our recent form of a pick pace below our anticipated levels.

As this is the final week of the regular season many teams “tinker” with lineups by resting players or using untested reserves. As such I am not anticipating a large number of plays for this week either.

American League Pennant and Wild Card Races

These comments include the games of Monday, September 27th.

We have maintained the last few weeks that Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Texas would win their Divisions with the Yankees taking the Wild Card. Currently this scenario is holding but the Rays are leading the Yankees by only ½ game. We still anticipate Tampa to take the Division not only because of their easier remaining schedule, but because should they end the season in a tie the Rays would be named the Division Champ by virtue of their winning their season series over the Yanks 10-8. There would not be a 1 game tiebreaker because the losing team would still make the playoffs as the Wild Card. So New York will need to make up 1½ games on Tampa in the remaining week of the season to win the Division outright.

Minnesota is still lurking 1 game behind in the race for overall best record in the American League. Here too, a tie does the Twins no good as they lost their season series to both the Yankees and the Rays. Therefore Minnesota will have to make up 2 full games this week if they are to end the Season with best record in the AL. If they do not succeed, whether they maintain a better record than the loser of the NY/Tampa duel doesn’t matter, because by statute the Wild Card Team cannot have the Home Field advantage in any series throughout the AL Playoffs.

If I am correct about the finish in the AL the playoffs would open with Texas visiting Tampa Bay and New York visiting Minnesota. The first round of the playoffs is a best of 5 played in a 2-2-1 format.


It's Tuesday, Septepmber 28th. Are you ready for some baseball? Check out the Baseball Handicapper's comprehensive schedule here of tonight's games. We include odds from all major betting sites, as well as opening units!

Let's play ball!


Last week we looked at the American League Pennant and Wild Card Races and concluded that Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Texas would win their Divisions with the Yankees taking the Wild Card. Through games of Sunday, September 19th New York was maintaining a ½ game lead on the Rays. Looking at the remaining schedules list below we see that Tampa clearly has the easier schedule down the stretch and the Yankees will need to take their final series versus the Rays in order to extend their lead. I look for the Rays to win the Division.

The team with the best overall record in the regular season is rewarded with the home field advantage throughout the American League playoffs. Currently the Yankees lead that race, but Minnesota is lurking 1 game behind. Should the Yankees and Rays split, Minnesota would have a very real chance of surpassing New York by virtue of their soft schedule. The Twins have lost their season series against both New York and Tampa Bay, so it will take the absolute best record to earn this reward. A tie with either team will result in the Yanks or Rays having the Home field advantage.

Listed below are the remaining schedules for the division teams in question and the current AL Standings.


Last week we looked at the National League Pennant and Wild Card Races and concluded that Philadelphia, Cincinnati and San Francisco would win their divisions and that the Atlanta-San Diego Wild Card race would be the one to watch. This week we will examine the last 3 weeks of the American League Season. As you are aware, the 3 division champs enter the league playoffs along with the non-division winner with the best record. They are considered the Wild-Card team.

This data is through the games of Sunday, September 12th. On the left is the traditional standings, the table on the right analyzes the Wild Card Race.


As we are in the final month of the season I thought we might take a look at the League races. This week it will be the National League, and next week the American. As you are aware, the 3 division champs enter the league playoffs along with the non-division winner with the best record. They are considered the Wild-Card team.

This data is through the games of Sunday, September 5th. On the left is the traditional standings, the table on the right analyzes the Wild Card Race.


Our Math Model for winning betting baseball requires each starting pitcher to have a minimum of 2 starts both at home and on the road. That requirement eliminated several games from consideration Sunday.

Of additional interest in Sunday’s games was that of the 16 contests, 9 featured a Road Favorite greater than a -1.10. Is this unusual? Considering 9 of 16 = 56+% it certainly is. In examining the records this season, one finds that in games that were greater than -1.10, The Road Team was favorite less than 30% of the time. So we had nearly twice as many Road Favorites than one would expect. How did these favorites do yesterday? They went 6-3, and as none were >-2.00 the Road Favorites were profitable as a group.

How about for the season?

The following statistics take into account only those games were the favorite was greater than -1.10. There is a certain margin of error in these numbers, as the same game will have many wagering lines (depending which book you look at) and the same game at the same book will have many prices from opening to the closing line. We consider a pick game to be up to -1.10 on either team. So for the purposes of this analysis we will consider those favorites greater than pick-em.

To read our full analysis of last week's games, click here.


The Baseball Handicapper is currently +16.39 units for the 2010 season. As it was a short week, we released only 5 Best Bets bringing the season total to 109 picks. We normally project 250 to 300 plays per season, but we may fall short of that this season. There are 12 weeks remaining in the regular season not counting postseason play. To reach 250 by the end of the regular season we would need to average 12 plays per remaining week. That pace would add 144 selections to the 109 already released to total 253 (in addition to the postseason).

We do expect the pace of my selections to increase during July and August, but please remember that it is the quality of the selections and not the quantity that is important. As our method involves looking for value and situational advantages, we will only release a play when it is appropriate.

Follow the link to read more of our tips for betting major league baseball!


The Baseball Handicapper bounced back to go 5-3 and a profit of 3.44 units. The week started off 0-2 in a continuation of the prior week’s downturn, but a strong 5-1finish turned things around.

Due to the All-Star Break there will be only a few play selections this coming week. Look for the number of plays to return to normal levels in the coming weeks.

It is always important to monitor one’s strengths and weaknesses and the Handicapping business is no different. The All Star Break is a good time to see where we are winning and losing money.

Read more tips and tricks for winning betting baseball!


When betting on baseball, it’s important to keep an eye on the scoring statistics for the year. Let’s see how things have been shaping up in 2010.

American League

Hitting and scoring are still at multi-years lows in most offensive categories. Teams are averaging 4.54 runs per game in 2010, the lowest since the 1992 season. Scoring is down 0.28 runs per game from 2009. The stats for Batting Average, Home Runs, and Slugging Percentage are also at multi-year lows.

Of interest, (but not necessarily significant) is the average age of the American League Batter. At 29.4 this is the oldest average age since 1944, and only the mostly war years of 1944-46 had older batters since 1900. Scoring was down during 1944-46 as well. I will leave the reader to decide if there is a correlation between youth and scoring!

It was 1973 when the League adopted the Designated Hitter allowing older seasoned batters to play regularly (in theory). Actually the average age of the American League Batter was lower during the immediate years after this rule adoption. In 1973 the average did rise to 28.0, then an 11 year high, but in years 1974-1979 the average age was below 28.0. The trend has been higher ever since.

The Designated Hitter also brought higher scores as anticipated. In 1972 Teams averaged only 3.47 runs per game. With the new rule in place scoring immediately rose and has not been below 4.00 runs per game since.

National League

While scoring is also at levels not seen since 1992, the drop off has not been that significant. At 4.42 runs per game scoring is off by only .01 runs per game. As with the A.L the stats for Batting Average, Home Runs, and Slugging Percentage are also at multi-year lows.

As you know the National League does not have the Designated Hitter. The average age of a National league batter is 29.0, about the average for the last 7 seasons.


No scoring analysis is useful unless we correlate it to the Over/Under records to see how well the Public and Oddsmakers are adapting to this trend. For the season the record is 391/412 (Over/Under) or 51.31% towards Unders. For the last 30 days there has been 187/203 or 52.05% Unders. As with last year we look for the Under dominance to continue and expand.

If you would like to have access to more of our analyses, as well as free picks and tips to win betting baseball, become a member!


The Baseball Handicapper had a positive week going 5-3 and picking up 4.00 units. In looking back over last week we see that favorites were 62-27, a very high 69.66% (compared with 59.44% on the season). Home Dogs were only 5-18, 21.74 % compared with 44.82% on the year. We shall see if these trends continue.

Read this week's newsletter to learn more, or become a member to get our Best Bets ahead of time!


The Baseball Handicapper won both games Wednesday for +4.00 units of PROFIT. We have made today's Best Bet a FREE pick. Become a Free Member at our website and get our analysis behind the Detroit/Washington game.


The Baseball Handicapper believes that it is important to fully disclose all plays that are released to our subscribers. You will find every one of our Best Bets that we have released this year on the list linked below. Our selections will appear 15 minutes after the scheduled start of that game and will show as “Pending” under the “Pick Result”. Visit this page often to check out our winning record and to cheer along with The Baseball Handicapper!

Click here to take a look at our current performance record.


Looking for the most recent schedules and odds? Check out the Baseball Handicapper's comprehensive calendar here. We include odds from all major betting sites, as well as opening units.

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3 Free Picks for Tonight, Insiders also have 2 Best Bets
These are Opinions and NOT BEST BETS
Philadelphia -1.38 (Gorzelanny/Moyer) 4:05 PM PST

TAMPA BAY +1.37 (Davis/Burnett) 4:05 PM PST

BALTIMORE +1.50 (Guthrie/Harden) 5:05 PM PST

To view the write-ups please log in at our site


Handicapping Method

Side Selections:

* Line Value - Using a proprietary formula a range of prices is generated that is believed to represent fair value for a game. If the actual betting line falls out of this range than one team is considered to have line value.

* Momentum – Current form is determined for each team. A team is deemed to have either positive or negative momentum in home/away and “all games” situations.

* Proprietary Situational Analysis - This involves checking results for the most recent 3 years where momentum, line value and “live” status correlate. Sometimes this can lead to some counterintuitive results and assists in quantifying value in certain situations. “Live” status refers to our assessment that an underdog is capable of winning this game.

* Traditional Situational Analysis - This involves checking team stats and records for situations such as home/away, left and right handed starting pitchers, day/night and turf/grass records. Other stats include batting average and runs scored in situations as well as pitcher histories.

* Public Opinion – Overwhelming public opinion, especially in games that have money lines close to even, is also taken into account.

Over/Under selections:

* Total Score Line Value – As compared to our Math Model.

* Over/Under Momentum - Recent performance versus the Over/Under line.

* Situational Analysis – This includes checking statistics such as Over/Under records for each team at home/away, day/night, fly ball/groundball pitchers, ballpark specific statistics and umpire records.

* Weather – Wind (strength and direction), temperature and conditions.

Additional thoughts regarding handicapping baseball:

Over the years my strategy of betting baseball has evolved, but is still based upon the same core ideals.

As baseball is a game where you wager against a money line instead of a point spread you only have to pick the winner This can be very seductive. What could be simpler? Clearly the Yankees should take the Orioles and surely the Phillies will beat the Nationals. For many years this has consistently led the odds maker to over value the favorites.

However, when you look at baseball’s final standings year after year, you will notice that teams are rarely above 66.6% winning percentage and rarely below 33.3%. In 2009 there were no teams in either category. From the 2002 season to date, no team has gone more than .666 for the season and only the 2003 Detroit Tigers and the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks won less than .333 of their games. In the last 4 seasons only 3 teams won at least .600 of their games. In the last 5 years over 93 % of the teams won between 40% and 60% of their games. As it is typical that teams play a 3 game series, this means that over time it is unusual for teams to win more than 2 out of 3 and less than 1 out of 3.

Now clearly the individual matchups are important, but if almost all teams win between 40% and 60% then one really needs to think hard before laying a money line over 1.50. At a 60% win rate on a favorite -1.50 is break even; for example in a sample of 10 decisions, the better wins 6 units (6 x 1) on the winners and he loses 6 units (4 x 1.50) on the losers.

What I do take away from this analysis is my preference to never lay more than -1.50 and rarely do I play a dog greater than +1.50.

Lineups, injuries and players resting:

When a key player is taking the day off it is treated as a line moving announcement in the sports handicapping world. I believe these movements tend to be overdone. While it is true that over a season teams will win more games with key players than without, our time horizon is only 1 game. Baseball is a game where 8 or 9 starters (not counting the pitcher) impact the outcome, thus diluting the effect of 1 player for 1 game. Many times the hungry player off the bench will make a contribution. But also consider that a resting star is still eligible to come off the bench and hit that pinch hit home run late in the contest. If however, a key player is injured and will be out for an extended period of time this needs to be taken into consideration.


Our Best Bet hits at -1.5 Blue Jays with a 6-0 cruise victory, bringing The Baseball Handicapper's record to a ridiculous 9-4 on the season! Get on board today....


Take the LA Dodgers tonight for a 2-unit Best Bet!
The Dodgers look to sweep Arizona in Game 3 of this series. Los Angeles has won 5 of 6 and 7 of their last 10 while Arizona has lost 5 straight. For the detailed analysis on this game, sign-up as a Member for our Free Picks at our website.


TBH's Best Bet for May 6 won easily with the San Francisco Giants taking down the Florida Marlins. We called the game as our Best Bet, putting us back on the winning track in the young season!


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