Betting on Baseball: The Starter’s Last Start
In Major League Baseball, there are some teams that have an antagonistic relationship between the pitching staff and the rest of the team. If a starter goes seven strong innings but loses 2-1, he gets a loss on his record despite a strong pitching performance. Because of this, he can point the finger at the offense. Similarly, if a starter allows 7 runs and the team loses 7-6, the offense can blame the starter for the loss — after all, they put six runs on the board.
Other teams have a very fraternal relationship between the pitchers and the hitters with each supporting the other — even if they are off a poor performance. When a starter is off a bad start, the offense may realize that playing for the lone run might not be a good idea and will play for the big inning so support their starter. Similarly, with good pitching coaches, a positive attitude and supportive teammates, a starter can rebound successfully from a poor start.
Let’s use the Sports Data Query Language (SDQL) for this betting on baseball tip to see if we can identify some opportunities among the MLB teams based on the team and starter’s performance in their last start.
We’ll start by looking at the situation in which a team scored six plus runs in their starter’s last start but lost. The Chicago Cubs have performed miserably in this spot, as can be seen by clicking on this link:
Chicago is 15-52 in this situation since 2005, which is only 22.4% winners. The Kansas City Royals are the second worst team in the history of the database, but their record is a significantly better 36-63, which is 36.4% winners. Of course, the relevant question for sports handicappers is, “how has it done recently?” Well, since 2012, the Cubs are 2-19 in this spot. It certainly appears that the Cubs adopt a defeatist attitude when they scored six-plus runs in their starters last start and lost.
The best team in the league in this spot since 2005 is, not surprisingly the Cardinals, with a record of 48-29, which is 62.3% winners.
Now let’s examine the situation when the starter is off a very good start but lost because of weak run support.
The Athletics may have analytics in the front office, but they do not have camaraderie in the clubhouse, as they are 16-33 since the start of the 2013 season, when they lost their starter’s last start despite the fact that their starter went six-plus innings and allowed two or fewer runs. Oakland has been an average of minus 134.1 on the moneyline in these 49 games, so they not only have the lowest winning percentage in this spot, they have cost their backers the most money as well. Check out the complete stats summary and game listing by clicking on the link below.
It is also worth mentioning that the Orioles are 0-10 so far in 2015 vs an AL foe when they lost their starter’s last start when he went six-plus innings and allowed two or fewer runs. Click the link below for the query output file.
While many handicappers focus on the team’s recent games, there is a lot of opportunity for profit when investigating a team’s performance in their starter’s last start.
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Betting on Baseball: The Starter’s Last Start Video Recap