The game of baseball is forever changed with how pitching staffs are utilized today. For MLB handicappers working the betting odds, understanding the importance of bullpens is imperative.
But this does not apply just to cappers, but to sportsbooks and anyone forecasting MLB picks with the intent of winning. While not every good or bad bullpen will determine profitability, to overlook this element is a mistake.
Best Pens = Cash
Here is a quick study on bullpens. Coming into today (May 7th), the Top 6 pens which had the lowest ERA’s read like this.
1. St. Louis Cardinals: -1.49
2. Kansas City Royals: -1.57
3. LA Dodgers: -1.91
4. Houston Astros: -2.16
5. NY Yankees: -2.19
6. NY Mets: -2.77
This contingent has a combined record of 107-58, which is winning at 64.8 percent clip and they have accumulated +45.1 units of profit. I do not know how you are doing versus the MLB odds, but I’m guessing your bankroll does not resemble anything like these numbers.
This is not intended to say any of these clubs do not have other quality attributes like the ability to score runs and have good starting pitching, but this is impossible to ignore with the typical starting pitcher going 5.88 innings to this point of the season.
In the interest of complete understanding, last year St. Louis and the Dodgers both made the playoffs last season and ended up ranked 17th and 22nd respectively in bullpen earned run average and both were modestly profitable for the season for sports picks. Both the Royals and Mets were in the Top 10 for ERA a season ago and each garnered cash for backers during the regular season and Kansas City late innings pitchers were terrific in what they contributed in the playoffs in bringing them oh so close to a World Series title.
Do not ignore the the exceptional improvements the Yankees and Astros have made by resolving their bullpens problems after they were ranked 19th and 30th last season.
Bad Relievers Can Lead to Mo Money Also
The opposite of the spectrum can also ring up cash at places like GTBets.eu. Here is a list of the five worst bullpens according to earned run averages.
1. Oakland Athletics: -5.44
2. Cincinnati Reds: -5.03
3. Colorado Rockies: -4.72
4. San Diego Padres: -4.64
5. Texas Rangers: -4.54
The A’s have been among the worst wagers in baseball all season and this group has dearly cost their team with a 2-8 record and blowing five of nine save chances.
After years of losing with no offense but having good starting pitching and a stout bullpen, San Diego’s off-season moves have them averaging 4.8 runs per contest. Yet for some reason the non-starters have been strangely ineffective and are tied with Oakland for giving up the second most home runs (12) majors this season, which has left them as just a .500 club thus far.
Cincinnati and Colorado have not been good or bad bets, but they will need to find more answers once the starters are have to come out, as the innings will pile up and the losses will begin to mount with the way these crews are going. The Rockies in particular appear vulnerable because having a poorer starting rotation.
Texas was dealt another bad hand in losing Yu Darvish and Derek Holland and forced to move others up into the starting five. This will severely test the Rangers relievers who are already have having a hard time and they are second in innings pitched with under five months to go and likely headed to wager against status again.
The bottom line is there is a strong correlation to winning MLB picks and how bullpens perform and while ERA’s are only one method to review, it is not a bad place to start when looking to achieve positive results for betting baseball.