MLB Results Over The Last 30 Games Show A Few Big Surprises
MLB RESULTS OVER THE LAST 30 GAMES SHOW A FEW BIG SURPRISES
Once you get to August, it's real easy to fall into the trap of assuming that playoff contenders win, and everybody else loses.
Las Vegas prices the games that way. ESPN presents its highlights that way, focusing on the hottest teams fighting for the playoffs and pushing everyone else to the end of the show after the footage of dogs catching Frisbees and skateboarders landing on their backsides. Unless you're paying VERY close attention, you're just not going to notice that the Oakland A's and Florida Marlins are 18-12 their last 30 games.
If you want to make money as a legal sports bettor, it's VITAL that you know which unheralded teams are playing some of their best ball of the year right now!
And, it's also important to know which big name teams are failing to reach expectations. Contenders going 16-14 aren't making anyone any money. Contenders below .500 are costing their backers a fortune.
As we run through our gauntlet of indicator stats in baseball this week, it's time to look at 30-game records for all 30 teams. We're constantly advising you to pay attention to recent form in this sport. The later you get into a season, the more misleading your newspaper stats can be. We're also constantly updating you because we know some of you are too lazy to do the work yourselves. That's why you lose!
We started with the National League yesterday when we studied Wins Minus Home Games Played. Let's start with the American League today. We won't break things down by division. We'll just look at the winners and the losers over the last 30 games. Because of publication deadlines, the data is through the games of Monday Night.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WINNERS
Tampa Bay 22-8
Chicago White Sox 20-10
NY Yankees 19-11
It's important to remember Las Vegas pricing when you look at these records. A 20-10 mark corresponds to -200 on the moneyline. If a hot team is such a big favorite that they're often laying -200 or more, then you won't show a profit backing them. Tampa Bay hasn't been that expensive lately because they've been on the road or playing the Yankees. Chicago hasn't been that pricey all year, even though they've been on a tear that began around the time of Interleague play. The Yankees you have to be careful with. A 19-11 mark sounds nice...but they're SO expensive at home that it's a level that doesn't justify investment currently.
The teams that really jump out to us here are Oakland and Cleveland. They're not in the playoff race (though Oakland is still dreaming the dream). Yet, here they are cashing tickets on a regular basis. Cleveland is no longer playing like the Ohio version of Baltimore. Oakland has playoff form of late, which is great for handicappers because the A's aren't being priced like a top team.
AL AT .500
We have three teams right at 50/50, which is worth noting because Boston and Texas are being priced much higher than this right now. Texas is supposedly a shoe-in for the playoffs (we talked about a home friendly schedule yesterday though). Boston is going to be a great team that misses out because they're in a killer division. Well, injuries have hampered the Sox lately, and Texas has cooled off even as Dallas temperatures break 100 (heat fatigue could be a real factor later in the season!). These teams AREN'T making money right now. Handicap with that in mind.
If you're only paying half attention to baseball, it can seem like all the contenders have picked up their games, and all the nobodies are falling by the wayside. That's an illusion of TV coverage. The REALITY is that Boston and Texas are playing 50/50 ball while priced as powers. Not all contenders surge to the finish. Even those who surge over 2-3 months may have a month where they tread water.
AMERICAN LEAGUE LOSERS
Kansas City 13-17
LA Angels 12-18
Focus here! Two teams who were in pennant races not too long ago have played worse than Kansas City (and not much better than Baltimore) for a month now. Are you betting them that way? Is Detroit on your go-against list? Or, do you keep betting on them figuring they're about to get hot? Are the Angels on your go-against list. Or, are you thinking of them as a playoff contender who "needs" to win. Not all contenders win. Some fall apart. LA and Detroit have fallen off the map, or at least drifted into the Bermuda triangle with KC, Baltimore, and Seattle.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WINNERS
San Francisco 21-9
San Diego 18-12
St. Louis 17-13
Let's talk prices again. You have to win two-thirds of your games to justify a -200 moneyline. You have to win 60% of your games to justify a -150 moneyline. The 18-12 marks you see above represent exactly 60%. The first three teams on the list are justify investor confidence (particularly Florida). You start to lose that with contenders like St. Louis, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Philadelphia though.
If a team is getting priced in the -180 range on a regular basis, an 18-12 mark is going to hurt you rather than help you. We know you want to load up on Atlanta and St. Louis because of the pennant races. Fight the urge until you see better form. We know you want to avoid San Diego because you just don't trust the newcomers. How long are you going to wait with this team?! They've been getting the job done, and the Vegas lines just won't catch up.
Special kudo's to both Florida and Houston here. Houston's accepted their rebuilding fate, and the players are responding well. The distractions are gone. It's now THEIR team instead of Oswalt's or Berkman's team. Sometimes a "fire sale" helps a team catch fire because new leaders emerge. Admit it, you had no idea Florida had the second best record in the NL over the last month, and Houston was tired for fourth.
There was nobody exactly at .500 over the last 30 games, so we jump right into the losers.
NATIONAL LEAGUE LOSERS
LA Dodgers 13-17
Chicago Cubs 13-17
NY Mets 10-20
The biggest surprises here are the Dodgers and the Mets. FOX showcased those two teams in a recent series. The ugly play foreshadowed today's standings. Neither team is playing well consistently. The Mets are, in fact, the second worst team in the NL over the last month...which is saying something considering all the bad teams in this league.
Kirk Gibson hasn't inspired much of a spark in Arizona. We thought that managerial change might bring more fire to the D-backs. It hasn't yet, but there's still some time this year.
Note that somebody like Washington can make you money at 14-16 because they get so little respect in the line. It's kind of funny how that team picks up its pace when Strasburg is on the DL, but goes back to fiddling around when he's getting all the headlines. You guys want more publicity, date a Kardashian.
We've got more baseball on the way the next few days. If you missed out on our summer series of conference previews, please check the archives. We finished up with Notre Dame and the Independents over the past weekend. NFL Divisional previews will start Sunday with the Hall of Fame Game. We'll run a gauntlet of those once the full exhibition slate gets rolling. Note that we'll be focusing on "Drive Points," (those scored on drives of 60 yards or more), a stat exclusively available here at JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK.
August is the perfect time to sign up for service by the way. You get the best of two sports, with a dream season continuing in baseball, and the always lucrative Preseason slate running through the month in the NFL. We'll make a lot of money together. And, you'll have a nice bankroll you can use to attack September football when the time comes.
If you're a football only guy, you can get the Preseason for $60, or BLUE RIBBON bombshells for the full season for just $199. Call 1-800-323-4453 for details on how to add in baseball too. Note that game day releases for both baseball and football can be purchased here at the website with your credit card.
Studying recent form is very important if you want to beat the bases. Only one handicapper has been able to consistently win to such a degree that his "recent form" is the same as his "past glory." That man...PROVEN WINNER JIM HURLEY!
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