Betting Spring Training Games Tricky, But Not Impossible

Willie Bee

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:46 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 1:46 PM UTC

There’s nothing more American than hot dogs, apple pie and betting baseball games, and we have a quick primer to how to wager during Spring Training.

Count me among the many anxious for the return of baseball. Even for the few of us who are true blue-&-orange Houston fans, the wait has seemed too long despite the Astros playing deep into the fall before winning the franchise's first World Series.

Along with the excitement of seeing the sport resume, the itch to bet it also returns, and with spring training baseball often a funny little animal compared to regular-season games it is important to consider different strategies. One approach that isn’t different, however, is having a reputable sportsbook to begin with. In fact, it can pay off during spring training games to have multiple books since the lines can vary more from one shop to the next thanwhen everything really counts.

Start Slow, Bet Low

Another factor that is the same as the regular season is keeping up with injuries. Managers are far more likely to hold a player out for the slightest of muscle pulls or bruises, and the easiest rule is if there’s even a hint a player might sit consider him out of action.

I prefer to wait until teams have 3-4 games under their belts before eventually getting in the game myself. This allows studying how managers are going to work their rosters, especially the pitching staffs. Starters will be building up their pitch counts, and managers might also bring in a closer early in order to have them face top hitters instead of the ninth inning when players more likely ticketed for the minors are in the lineup. Rely on starters less and know how a manager has his pitching planned out for the entire game.

Cutting my usual wagers down is another general rule of thumb. My bankroll needs to take me from Opening Day to the World Series, so money management is essential. Besides, my bankroll is also being used for NCAA basketball picks right now as the hoops season reaches its zenith with March Madness.

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New team, same 💪 for @Giancarlo818. #SpringTraining

— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) February 19, 2018

To Play Or Not To Play Split-Squad Games?

Following streaks is nothing new to baseball betting strategies, but the idea might apply to spring training games even more than the regular season. I generally watch for which teams seem disinterested in winning games and use them for fading purposes more than relying on a winning streak. Some squads simply have more veterans tweaking their sliders or trying to hit the opposite way in order to beat defensive shifts and don’t care about the dubya.

There is a lot of debate about how to play split-squad games, or even if you should play them at all. Knowing how the rosters are actually split is essential, obviously, and each team’s page is my go-to for finding that info. At times, split-squad games can offer great baseball odds to beat and pad that payroll before the real games begin.

Last but not least, get a weather report; you’ll only hate yourself if you play ‘under’ on a game that ends up 9-8 thanks to the wind blowing out. As usual, keep checking SBR all spring and into the regular season for free MLB picks and analysis.

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