Finding NL Value
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With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich
DON'T BE AFRAID OF NL IN INTERLEAGUE PLAY
It's interesting this year how many gamblers I'm running into who are trying to invent a system "on the fly" for Interleague baseball.
Some guys are playing only American League teams because that league has been better the last few seasons.
Some guys are playing only American League teams who's pitcher has the worst ERA in his matchup figuring that the market won't give these guys enough credit.
Some guys are doing the opposite, focusing on National League teams figuring they're due...or NL pitchers figuring THEY won't be getting enough respect.
As we approach the final few days if Interleague play for the 2011 season, my simple advice is this:
Handicap the games like normal, and DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE!
I've been on a very good run lately (9-2 my last 11 releases), and that stretch includes an UNDEFEATED record on NL teams vs. AL teams.
6/23: NY Mets (-135) beat Oakland 4-1
6/25: San Francisco (-135) beat Cleveland 1-0
6/26: San Francisco (-140) beat Cleveland 3-1
6/27: Cincinnati (+130) beat Tampa Bay 5-0
6/27: San Diego (-140) beat Kansas City 4-3
Look at the great pitching I've been getting! My five NL teams won scoreboard 17-5, with two shutouts and two games where only one run was allowed. That's very clear evidence that the RIGHT pitchers will do well in IL play no matter what league they're in. If you have a guy who's going to be difficult to hit in that ballpark, then he's going to have a good game.
Note also that I'm focusing on small favorites or underdogs with these plays. I think NL teams with an edge are getting disrespected by the market to this point in IL action. San Francisco should have been a lot more expensive vs. Cleveland last weekend. Last place teams like Kansas City or Oakland are having trouble getting in the win column unless they get a well pitched game from their guy on the mound. The market is pricing them too high because of the AL pedigree.
Keep that in mind as you handicap the rest of this week. Even though the AL still enjoyed a 90-84 edge through Monday's games...there's plenty of value to be had with the NL. First of all, 90-84 just isn't that big a deal through 174 games! Now, that did come while the NL was playing more home games...so I'll concede that we're probably looking at another win for the AL once this week is in the books. But, it's not a slam dunk.
You CAN take NL teams when an ace pitcher is on the mound.
You CAN take NL teams when they're facing the worst teams in the AL.
You CAN take NL teams as underdogs and cheap favorites and find value.
You CAN take NL teams, even on the road, when the face the back end of an AL rotation (I won with Cincinnati as a road dog Monday going against Hellickson of Tampa Bay).
Now, I'm not suggesting that you ONLY play the NL. I've also won recently with Toronto over St. Louis, CWS over Washington, and Boston over Pittsburgh in the game they needed to avoid the sweep. Standard handicapping strategies will still work. This doesn't look to be a year where you need to throw things out the window because one league has a monster edge over the other. Play it smart, and find value wherever it's offered.
If you'd like some help navigating these final days of Interleague play (no more after this Sunday!), sign up online for my baseball service. You can purchase game day releases here at the website with your credit card. I have great rates for the rest of the season too. If you have any questions, call my handicapping office at 1-877-822-2276.
Your friend behind the line is on another red hot streak in baseball. That makes this the perfect time to find out for yourself why the best information comes DIRECT FROM NEVADA!
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