Managers Make A Difference

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With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich

2010 TURNAROUND TEAMS
STILL WINNING IN 2011

Once a team is thought of in a certain way by fans, the media, and even oddsmakers, it can be very difficult to shake that perception. If YOU are able to recognize a change when it happens, you can make good money in Las Vegas betting on the new reality before the market catches up.

In the sport of baseball, dramatic changes in fortune are often tied to changes in the front office, or in the manager. Bad teams can get good. Good teams can fall off the map. Stubborn bettors refuse to believe that a chance has taken place. The value, and the money, is there for the taking.

The best recent example of this is the Baltimore Orioles. Buck Showalter took over the team last year in late July. They were 32-73 at the time, on pace for a disastrous 49-113 season. The talent on the roster wasn't that bad. But, they obviously weren't playing for their manager any more. And, their manager wasn't any great shakes to begin with.

Showalter came in and set a tone immediately for what was expected in a major league clubhouse. The players responded well to a man who knew what he was doing! He also made some lineup and pitching changes that were long overdue. The Orioles finished the season 34-23, winning more games in their last 57 than they had in their first 105.

At the start of this season, EVERYONE SEEMED TO FORGET! They were thought of as 66-96 type team rather than one that had established a new winning attitude. Baltimore was an underdog in all three games at Tampa Bay over opening weekend, and won every game.

Baltimore (+165) beat Tampa Bay 4-1
Baltimore (+175) beat Tampa Bay 3-1
Baltimore (+115) beat Tampa Bay 5-1

That's not just a three-game road sweep. That's a 12-3 final score over the three games. Baltimore scored 80% of the runs in the series! Then, the Orioles won their home opener Monday afternoon 5-1 over Detroit. Same song, fourth verse.

Now, I'm not saying that the Orioles should be thought of in the same light as the projected league powers. They haven't established that level of excellence yet over a meaningful sample. But, they are a team that now goes out on the field expecting to win rather than expecting to lose. Opponents need to start taking them seriously. Bettors and oddsmakers do as well. Showalter is 37-23 at the helm of the O's. They're not a doormat any more.

Another great example is the Texas Rangers. Nolan Ryan brought a swagger to that franchise that took hold and led the team to the American League title. They weren't supposed to win their division last year. They weren't supposed to beat Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs. And, they SURE weren't supposed to beat the New York Yankees for the American League crown.

Amidst a skeptical media that thought last year was a fluke, Texas swept the Boston Red Sox over Opening Weekend. That's the Boston team that is the consensus favorite to win the AL this year because of offseason personnel changes.

Texas (even) beat Boston 9-5
Texas (pick-em) beat Boston 12-5
Texas (+125) beat Boston 5-1

The Rangers were home underdogs in two of the three games, and just pick-em in the other. They won scoreboard 26-11 and dominated in all facets of play.

Yes, Boston and Tampa Bay are better than they showed. But, Baltimore and Texas were better than they were priced. That's what you need to focus on.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Baltimore hosts Texas this weekend. Baltimore still has two games left with Detroit. Texas is hosting a 3-game set against Seattle. The whole world will be watching Yankees-Red Sox this weekend. Maybe you can spend some time with Orioles/Rangers to see if their early season moneyline value will continue throughout April.

We're at a great time on the calendar for legal sports wagerers. The baseball schedule is busy every day. The NBA stretch run will lead us right up to the playoffs that start a week from Saturday. There are great opportunities on the board every night. Don't mourn the end of football and college hoops. Get excited about the great Spring and Summer ahead!

My daily BEST BETS can be purchased online with your credit card here at the website. Or, sign up for longer term packages that offer the most bang for the buck. If you have any questions, call my handicapping office at 1-877-822-2276.

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This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by VegasSportsMasters.com. For more information on NICK BOGDANOVICH'S handicapping packages, call 1-877-822-2276.

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