How to Handicap Baseball Games
by Predictem.com Staff
Handicapping baseball is a bit different than handicapping other sports. The reason for this is that stats are more are involved in helping decide if a play has value or not (compared to other sports where you may handicap more on emotion/motivation etc.)
While one could make a case for any one of a zillion stats to be factored into capping MLB games, there are some more important than others. These include but are not limited to:
Hitter vs. Pitcher Stats
Pitcher vs. Team
Grass vs. Turf
Night vs. Day
Outdoors vs. Indoors
Team Batting Average over last 5 games
Hot or Cold Team
Home vs. Road
We also like the fact that baseball offers a unique opportunity; The ability to hit less than 50% of your games and still turn a profit. We’ll get into that later in this article.
We’ll kick off our baseball capping tutorial with W.H.I.P. (For more info see: WHIP) Fantasy baseball players rejoice! All those years of being a stat rat will pay off handsomely as WHIP is a huge handicapping tool. For those of you not familiar with the term, it stands for walks + hits divided by innings pitched. By doing this, you will come out with a number that usually ranges in between 1.00 and 2.00.
With that being said, what is a good whip and what is a bad whip? The lower the better. Every blue moon or so you may see a pitcher (usually a closer) with a whip of less than 1.00. On the flip side, you won’t see too many whip’s close to 2.00 or above because these players don’t last long in the big leagues.
A whip of 1.00 to 1.20 is very good. This would indicate the pitcher gives up around 1 hit/walk combined per inning pitched. These pitchers are likely to have a fair amount of wins, holds or saves as putting a lesser amount of men on base usually means lower ERA as well.
A whip of 1.25 to 1.35 is a bit more common and would denote a decent to middle of the road pitcher. These guys aren’t bad, but their not the top of the line either.
A whip of 1.40 and above tells us we’re looking at a pitcher that is either a gas can in that he lacks movement on his ball and is getting hit hard or lacks control and puts a bunch of guys on base via the walk. They can be great “go againsts” assuming the opposing pitcher is decent and your not paying too high of a price to bet against the high whip pitcher. It should also be noted that a game offering a match-up between 2 high whip pitchers can be a great shot at hitting an easy OVER bet.