Our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, opens up his handicapping toolbox and gives us a set of useful links to bookmark as we head into the 2018 MLB season.
Good data can turn a bettor’s hunch into actionable wagers and profitable MLB picks. There are also statistics that matter and those that do not. I tend to throw out year-over-year historical MLB team trends myself, as the components that created the outcome, i.e. the lineups, have likely changed over time. The following are just a few data sets that need to be bookmarked for any serious MLB handicapper:
Wind and Weather Data
I like this handy catalog of wind speed and temperature data from lineupkings.com as it has north-orientated pictures of the stadiums along with an hourly forecast. That hourly forecast is especially useful for dialing in the conditions come first pitch. The color coding of the wind speeds is also a nice visual indicator of the stadiums and matchups that you should be clueing into.MLB Injuries
I am on Yahoo! quite often as I use their email server, but I also grew up playing fantasy baseball on their website. They have an MLB injury tracker that is sorted by team so that you can find what may affect a certain matchup you are handicapping. There are other injury trackers out there I’m sure; however, I like the basic utility of the layout on this one.Stats, Stats, and more Stats
Ok, so you’ve all probably heard of Fangraphs by now as a site for advanced statistical data for the MLB. I use the site almost exclusively to handicap starting pitching matchups. Batted ball profiles and whiff rates are the most useful to me, as you can identify when good results are because of luck or skill. Skill is usually repeatable, luck is not. But also useful are the articles on the site to give you wagering angles for upcoming games and colorful analysis of league-wide trends, such as this one about the carry at Dodgers Stadium. That article is on a sub-site of Fangraphs called The Hardball Times, edited by fellow Mariner fan, Meg Rowley. In a time where betting angles can be hard to find a woman’s perspective on this sport dominated by men is refreshing.Betting Odds
Where did you think that link would go? The SBR MLB betting odds page of course. In this page, you can assess all of the starting pitching matchups, run line, moneyline, and totals odds for most available online sportsbooks. Also important is the assessment of line movement in-game matchups. I handicap the games before the lines arrive, so if a line opens that I believe is off you can jump on it early or wait to investigate the possible reason. On this page is the current betting form for each starting pitcher as well, and an indicator of market values.