Taking MLB's Temperature

Handicapping Tips From Legendary High Roller TONY SALINAS!


I was looking over the weather reports for Sunday baseball action, and I couldn't believe how low the temperatures were all over the country for the second Sunday in May. It was like the whole country had become Seattle!

Well, actually it was 62 degrees in Seattle according to the boxscore at ESPN's website. That was one of the HOT SPOTS!

Check out the temperatures across the Majors Sunday afternoon...

Mid 60's: Texas
Low 60's: Seattle, Los Angeles
High 50's: Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago, Oakland
Low 50's: Cincinnati, New York, Minnesota
High 40's: Pittsburgh, Cleveland

When you live year-round in Las Vegas, it's easy to forget how much cooler it is everywhere else. We've been high 80's most of the month, and it gets a lot hotter through the summer as you know. I think oddsmakers forget about that when you post the lines.

You regulars know I put a lot of weight on the weather. Most of my energy is directed toward wind conditions at the ballparks. You assume seasonal weather everywhere, and focus on whether the wind is blowing in or out. But, when there's unseasonal weather in play, you have to factor that into your handicapping.

Here are some general rules:

*HOTTER than normal means Overs. Hitters like warm weather. Starting pitchers wear out faster in hot temperatures, meaning the worst part of the bullpen gets involved in the game.

*COLDER than normal means Unders. Hitters don't like the cold. The ball doesn't carry as well. And, starting pitchers stay fresh longer. Some people are under the illusion that cold weather hurts pitchers. They point to early season stats for that. Just remember that pitchers coming out of Spring Training aren't in regular season form yet. Poor early results are more connected to THAT than cool temperatures. When everyone's up to speed, cool temperatures help pitchers.

*VERY HOT can actually help Unders just because nobody wants to stay out on the field! This was more of a factor back in the artificial turf days. It would be 110 or 120 on the plastic, and you'd see 2-1 games because everybody wanted to get the game over with quick. It still comes up occasionally, particularly on day games in July.

Now, I'm not saying that EVERY game will follow these tendencies. We had some Overs Sunday afternoon even with things being so much cooler than normal. Overall, there were more Unders than Overs...and there was even a perfect game! You're trying to find influences that will help you GET THE BEST OF IT over the long haul. Then, you combine the factors (temperatures, wind, umpires, streaks, pitching histories) to try and find the very best options. If all of your strategies are winning strategies, they're going to get you the money over the long haul. Focusing on game temperatures will help you do that.

Have you been studying game forecasts every day before you make your picks? Do you even think about weather? Or, are you so obsessed with how each pitcher did over his last three starts that you've completely lost sight of the true fundamentals of the sport? There were some great bets on the board this past weekend you should have been all over. Stop missing out on winners. START GETTING THE BEST OF IT!


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