MLB Betting: Strength of Schedule in National League

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 8:57 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2015 8:57 PM UTC

Another baseball season has arrived! For those of us who love the daily grind of plowing through the betting odds in order to make MLB picks, it is the time of year to be smiling ear to ear.

Part of the preparation as a MLB baseball handicapper is looking over early season schedules in seeking an edge that might lead to profits which might not be as readily seen based purely on the talent of the different teams.

Here is a look into four clubs for MLB picks based on talent and what their beginning of the season schedule looks like.

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Cincinnati Reds – Hardest Schedule
Every sportsbook I checked has Cincinnati finishing last in the NL Central, no longer having the talent of prior years or players that are past their prime still wearing the Reds uniform. Any hopes of reversing this forecast will be largely negated playing 27 of their first 39 contests versus clubs which were .500 or better. This should have Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brennaman in full throat espousing upon what is wrong with the Reds almost from the start of the season. Nine of Cincy’s first 12 tilts are against division front-runners Pittsburgh and St. Louis (6) and in May they have eight interleague matchups all on the road at Chicago, Kansas City and Cleveland.


Colorado Rockies – 2nd Hardest Schedule
The Rockies need to start the first week of the season at 4-2 taking on the Milwaukee and the Cubs, because after that, the gauntlet begins. The Rockies will play all but three division contests between April 13th to May 17th and they will be frequent underdogs. Colorado will have nine games with the Dodgers, seven with San Diego and sixth with the World Series champs. The half dozen with Arizona will help, but they are considered even with the Diamondbacks from the MLB odds perspective. More bad news for the Rocks has them being on the road for 21 of initial 37 encounters, where they were 21-60 (-33.9 units) in 2014. Beginning May 8, Colorado’s next three series reads this way, Dodgers, at Angels and at Dodgers, gulp!


Washington Nationals – Easiest Schedule
The Nationals according to the MLB odds have the highest projected win total in all of baseball at 93. If Washington does not run away with the NL East division in the opening stanza of the season, they have nobody to blame but themselves. Of the Nationals first 16 series of the new season, only one will be against an opponent that had a winning record last year, one. (St. Louis – Apr. 21-23) In addition, other than the Cardinals, they do not face another foe that made the postseason until June 19th when they host Pittsburgh. The only aspect even remotely challenging for the Nats is 23 of the first 39 ballgames are away from home.

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San Francisco Giants – 2nd Easiest Schedule
The World Series champs start the year without Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence and their starting pitching is iffy at best, but at least by April 25th they will have taken on the Rockies and D-Backs 13 times among their initial 20 tilts. Bruce Boche’s squad is supposed to be challenged by a reformulated San Diego crew, but they can help the Padres start slowly facing them seven times by early May. To begin the second month of a new year, San Francisco has a 10-game game homstand against the Angels, Padres and Marlins and while this will not be easy, at least they will be backed by their adoring fans. If those series go well, that momentum should be able to be carried over at Houston and at Cincinnati next.

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