Homefield Advantage Virtually Non-Existent For Many MLB Teams To Start New Season

Milwaukee Brewers

Kevin Stott

Friday, April 27, 2018 10:56 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 27, 2018 10:56 PM UTC

Looking at the standings, we see a unique Trend this 2018 MLB Regular Season with so many teams off to awful starts at Home in their own ballparks, a betworthy Trend to consider.

1—Brewers Hottest Team on the Diamond Right Now, Won 8 Straight Games Into Friday at Cubs

Lorenzo Cain (.305), Christian Yelich (.313) and the Brewers have been the best team in MLB on which to bet the last week, with Milwaukee (16-9), W8 straight into Game 1 of their series at Wrigley Field against the Cubs on Thursday with The Brew Crew overtaking the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central standings despite having only a +12 RD. This 4-game series in the Windy City against the Cubs will tell much about Milwaukee which sent Chicagoan Brent Suter to the bump against Yu Darvish in Game 2 on Friday afternoon. Heading into their NL Central series at The Friendly Confines, Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw and the Brewers had outscored opponents 45-15 in sweeps against the Marlins and at the Royals in two Interleague affairs from Kansas City.

But with 1B Eric Thames now on the DL with a torn UCL in his Thumb and these games meaning more to the host and now 4th-place Cubbies, it seems like a much better idea to wait until Monday-Wednesday (April 30-May 2) when Milwaukee heads to Cincinnati to face the struggling Reds (5-19), owners of the worst Record in MLB. When the two played in Milwaukee in the first series meeting of the Regular Season, the Brewers took 2 of 3 games and outscored Cincinnati, 14-4 in the process, posting back-to-back 2-0 shutouts. Last year, Milwaukee went 11-8 against the Redlegs. Logic says backing the Brewers in all three games against the Reds at the Great American Ball Park should get at least 2 Wins.

2—There’s No Place Like Home, There's No...Hold On a Minute, WTF Happened to Our Edge?

The American League’s Royals (1-10), White Sox (2-10) and Rangers (4-12) went a combined 7-32 (17.9%) at Home to start the season with Kansas City, Chicago (750/1 to win World Series, 5Dimes) and Texas (600/1 to win World Series, Bookmaker) all possibly seeing their chances of making the Postseason disappear before the calendar even turns to May. And if it weren’t for the Homefield Non-Edge of these three Junior Circuit simpsters, we’d be talking about how bad the Marlins (3-9), Orioles (3-8), Reds (3-8), Nationals (3-7) and Padres (4-10) have started off at their own Home ballparks. If there is anything “betworthy” to be gleaned from all of this, it’s that one can find spots of value with game visitors against these flailing teams. Not being able to win at Home is huge in Sports and losing so often so early in the Spring means less fans in seats, less noise, and obviously, less Confidence and lower Expectations (for the season). And you can see these sparse crowds on your TV and Mobile Devices. We used to use smoke signals to pass impotant information and now we have Smartphones to send images of cats falling in aquariums.

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3—Phillies Phabulous in Philadelphia, Off to Profitable 10-4 Start So Far at Citizens Bank

As nice as the much-ballyhooed start the Mets (15-7) have had this season, the Phillies (15-8) sat just ½ game behind them in the NL East standings on Thursday, largely in part because of Philadelphia’s sweet Record (10-2) at Home at Citizens Ballpark in the City of Brotherly Love And Now Carlos Santana With a Bat and Jake Arrieta. So with this new feel about them, the Phillies (5-6 on Road) may have value in some spots, more likely at Home against divisional foes. On Thursday, the Diamondbacks beat Rhys Hoskins (.329/4/19), Odubel Herrera (.325) and the Phillies in Philly, 8-2 to take the series meaning that Arizona (+10.8 units, #2) has handed Philadelphia half of its Home Losses (2) in 2 days. So now you know.

But with NL East rivals Atlanta (13-10) coming into town for a 3-game series starting Friday (Nola-Teherán, PHI -163, 7½, Heritage), backing the Phillies in all three seems Wise with Philadelphia definitely having Revenge on its mind after going 2-4 in 6 meetings (already) in Atlanta and mad about getting bit by the Snakes. Last year, Maikel Franco and the Phillies went a profitable 13-6 vs. the Braves.

4—Halos Have Been Angelic to Baseball Bettors on the Road, 11-2 to Start Off the 2018 Season

Mike Trout (.295/10/18) and the Angels (+1950 to win World Series, Bookmaker) have been absolutely fabulous on the Road so far this Spring, going 11-2 in their first 13 games after seeing a club record-tying 11-game Road winning Streak snapped by ace Jason Verlander and the defending World Series Astros in Houston on Wednesday, 5-2, preventing the visitors from earning the sweep.But if you want to back Shohei Ohtani (.333), Andrelton Simmons (.318) and Los Angeles on the Road, you’ll just have to wait as the Angels welcome the Bronx Bombers to Lipstick City on Friday night for Game 1 of a 3-game series from Angel Stadium. The next opportunity to back Albert Pujols, Ian Kinsler and Los Angeles (+6.8 Units, #5) on the Road will come on Friday, May 4 when they head to Seattle to face the Mariners in a 3-game AL West series followed by a 2-game IL series against the Rockies at Colorado next Tuesday and Wednesday (May 8-9). Last season the Halos went 12-7 against the M’s and 11-9 in Interleague play vs. the NL.

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Through the 2nd inning in Houston, there have been 20 100-mph pitches thrown by starters in MLB this season; 11 of those have been by Shohei Ohtani (including 3 tonight) according to @statcast. The @Angels had one 100-MPH pitch from a starter ALL OF LAST SEASON - from Alex Meyer pic.twitter.com/Kn0LLZ1GHT

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 25, 2018
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5—High Price Warning: Royals at Fenway Park to Face Betts, Red-hot Red Sox Starting Monday

The team with the best overall Record (18-5), Home Record (10-1) and Units won (+12.1) to start off the 2018 MLB Regular Season has been the Boston Red Sox who are now the Futures bet book favorites to make it to the Fall Classic from the AL. With a 10-4 Road mark, the Carmines are no slouch away from Yawkey Way, but AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts (.350/8/17) and Boston (.271 BA, #1 in MLB) had only lost one game at Fenway Park heading into play on Thursday—against their heated rivals, the Yankees, 10-7 on April 11. After that Loss, Hanley Ramirez, JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers have W4 straight in Beantown, but with Tampa Bay in Boston this weekend for three games and Kansas City coming to town on Monday, the Red Sox (131 RS-67 RA, +64 RD) could actually extend their divisional lead and get off to an even more statistically positive start. Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and the Red Sox Pitching has been brilliant also, ranking #2 in Quality Starts (18), #3 in ERA (2.85) and BAA (.212) and #4 in WHIP (1.09).

6—Struggling White Sox 4-14 in Interleague Play in 2017, Face White Sox in Chicago on May Day

The Chicago White Sox (5-16) are off to a putrid start and thanking Baba O’Béisbol that the Kansas City Royals (5-17) play in the same division (AL Central) now as their long-term rebuilding plan looks like it will indeed be “long-term.” Players make teams and when you are having Fire Sales two seasons straight on the South Side, well, then losing 100 games a season is to be expected. Where have ye gone Luis Aparicio, Richie Allen and Harold Baines? The same place as Bill Veeck and McCuddy’s Tavern apparently, the foggy old Memory Bank where the Pale Hose actually provided a nice season or two back before digital devices comatosed the entire planet.

Anyway, Chicago “sucks” as they (we) say, and went a weak 5-14 in Interleague Play last year. On Tuesday, the improved Cardinals head up north to Chitown to face the White Sox (-10.7 units, #28) in a 2-game series which will see Redbirds RHP Michael Wacha facing Chisox RHP James Shields in the opener (8:15 pm ET/5:15 pm PT) from Guaranteed Rate Field—the dumbest name in Big league history—followed by Carlos Martínez and Lucas Giotto on Wednesday afternoon (1:15 pm ET/10:15 am PT). In Interleague play last season, St. Louis went 8-12 and it was that crazy physicist with the funky-ass hair Albert Einstein who once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

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