Using Recent Form to Find MLB Dogs

Using Recent Form to Find MLB Dogs

By Wayne Root:

One of the biggest mistakes handicappers make in Major League baseball is that they let full season standings pollute their thinking when it comes to finding "live" underdogs on the nightly baseball card. You have to avoid the temptation to assume that what happened early in the season makes it impossible for bad teams to improve and offer value down the road.

It's early June! I don't care what happened in April. I don't even care what happened for most of May. It's important to know how teams are playing RIGHT NOW if you want to pick winners against the Las Vegas numbers. Oddsmakers themselves are prone to fall into the trap of letting April results cloud their thinking all season.

Check out this list of recent winners with poor reputations...

Houston 7-3
Minnesota 7-3
Chicago Cubs 6-4
NY Mets 6-4
San Diego 6-4

Houston was supposed to be a Double-A caliber team according to early season assessments. Yet, they've actually won seven of their last 10 games against Major League competition (and it was 7-2 before Thursday's loss to Baltimore). Minnesota and the Cubs were supposed to be laughingstocks. Bettors trying to fade them in recent days have been hurt. The Mets and Padres have bounced back from prior slumps to get the money in recent days too.

Now, let's look at the other end of the spectrum...

Cleveland 3-7
Detroit 4-6
Texas 4-6
San Francisco 4-6
Pittsburgh 4-6

Detroit and Texas were playing some of the best ball in the sport up until a couple of weeks ago. They've cooled off. Cleveland fell off the map when the schedule got tough. San Francisco is still getting respect in the line, but they're starting pitching has been a big disappointment.

It's smart to back underrated underdogs. It's smart to fade overrated favorites. But, it's REALLY smart if you can find underrated dogs matched up directly against overrated favorites! That's how the Houston Astros embarrassed the Los Angeles Angels last weekend (the Angels are being priced like a contender even though they're way off the pace). They key to remember is that what's happening NOW plays a big role in determining who's underrated or overrated on a daily basis. Teams aren't who they were in April.

Dropping struggling pitchers from the rotation
Dropping struggling relief pitchers from the roster
Moving a struggling closer to a less important role
Making lineup changes on offense
Firing a manager (long overdue for that this year)
Gaining experience (if it's a very young team)
Getting previously injured players back on the field
Having luck turn their way after a string of misfortunes

Having luck go against them after a string of good breaks
Losing the will to fight because wins had been coming so easily

I don't want to suggest that the Houston Astros have now become the Detroit Tigers...or that the Texas Rangers are now the Chicago Cubs. There are still talent differences handicappers must take into account. The point is...the Vegas line may be way out of whack because what happened in the first two months sent it way out of whack. Some bad teams are really better than their record in a way that's going to pay off for you in the next few weeks. Some teams that seem good aren't actually anything special, or won't be with a key injury or two (ask the Washington Nationals about that).

If you'd like some help finding the best baseball dogs (and favorites) on the board every night, sign up for my baseball program right here at the website with your credit card. You can also test out daily picks if you want to get a feel for the program. Questions? Call my handicapping office at 1-877-766-8946 for answers.

This is a HUGE weekend out here in Las Vegas. Not only are there very busy baseball schedules...but we have THE BELMONT STAKES on Saturday...and GAME TWO OF THE NBA FINALS on Sunday. It's going to be the single busiest weekend of the whole summer until football starts. That's why you're starting to see early football lines go up on the board right now. Sportsbooks want this weekend's increased traffic to leave some money in the coffers!

How about you and I take some money out of THEIR coffers? It's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!

Today’s Hot Plays