Evaluating Early Season MLB Pitching Matchups

Every successful baseball bettor is aware of the significance of MLB pitching matchups. It’s the biggest factor in determining a team to back. Many sportsbooks even stop taking bets when a starting pitcher is scratched. That’s how important pitchers are when betting on baseball. Bettors should take note.

Key Points

– Bettors can take advantage of MLB’s early season by looking at pitching matchups.

– The pitching matchup matters, but so do some other factors.

Betting Baseball Early in a Season

Predicting how starting pitchers will perform in the early part of a season is one of the biggest challenges in pitcher evaluation. Early in the season, many pitchers perform differently than they do in the middle and end of the campaign. Some take longer to get going than others; some get off to great starts.

One thing MLB bettors should take note of is the lack of solid injury information early in a season. A pitcher might be struggling for weeks before you find out that he is injured. So, how do you evaluate pitchers?

The best approach is to continuously monitor how starting pitchers perform throughout the course of the season. If you are aware that a starting pitcher always gets off to a slow start, you may look into why.

Go back to last season and check out their stats. Check out their career, their age, and other related factors. The answers to each of these questions are crucial when assessing early-season performance.

Looking at individual pitchers will give you more ammunition for when you begin evaluating MLB pitching matchups throughout the season.


Placing Early Season Bets

The safest  MLB betting strategy might be to avoid placing early-season wagers. Some sports bettors primarily wager on NBA basketball to pass the time before switching to baseball. With the NBA playoffs done in June, this gives bettors ample time to build some background on pitchers and their teams.

Keep in mind that early season MLB pitching matchups will present sportsbooks with the same challenges as everyone else. Therefore, you risk missing out on lines that offer value if you choose not to bet early in the season.

If you can learn to evaluate these games, you can start the MLB season with some nice wins.

Don’t Forget the Bullpen When Considering MLB Pitching Matchups

Bullpens do have a significant impact on teams’ ability to win and lose games, even though they are not directly related to starting pitching. When a starting pitcher does have a bad outing, a strong bullpen can save the day. The bullpen might be able to maintain a competitive atmosphere long enough for the offense to have a late-game opportunity to win.

On the other hand, a weak closer or bullpen can quickly undo seven or eight innings of strong starting pitching. Because of the bullpen’s significance, you can use it to decide which starting pitcher to support. Most starting pitchers don’t pitch past the seventh inning any more. 

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MLB Pitching Matchups – Catchers & Defense

The average bettor does not take the catcher into account. There are teams where a certain catcher must be behind the plate for a certain pitcher. 

Some pitchers don’t mind a different catcher and the effect is minimal. There are some that must have their guy or they just don’t perform as well. Bettors should know this.

It’s the same for the defense backing the pitcher. Baseball bettors are notorious for getting carried away with offensive stats and forecasts. However, a run saved on defense means that there will be fewer runs needed to win. 

It pays for bettors to know that a starting pitcher produces a lot of ground balls. With a defense with one of the best fielding percentages in the league, a bettor could feel pretty confident backing that starting pitcher.

Look at Other Stats

Many of the available advanced metrics for today’s baseball games are overkill, but some of them can be used as guidelines to help in decision-making. To determine whether a defensive specialist is more or less valuable than a better hitter with a weaker glove, we can look at wins above replacement (WAR). 

WAR that includes defensive statistics is a great measure of how important a defensive player is in a certain lineup. It would be part of looking at MLB pitching matchups to determine what bet to make on a given game.

MLB Pitching Matchups – The Numbers

Most baseball fans love fastball velocity numbers. Bettors can learn a lot about a starting pitcher’s overall performance by tracking his average fastball velocity over the course of several seasons and recent games. 

Additionally, bettors should keep tabs on the percentages of ground balls versus fly balls, strikeouts versus walks (K/9), and batting average of balls in play (BABIP).

This is where the smarter bettor can gain an advantage over the more casual bettor.

The Last Word

You can gain a real edge during the baseball season by being willing to put in more effort than the average person. It does take effort, though. You’ll have to keep track of more statistics than the average bettor.

When you are more knowledgeable than the average bettor, you will be in a better position at your sportsbook. To win more baseball bets, it all starts with analyzing the MLB pitching matchups.

Once you figure out how to evaluate pitchers, you will be on your way to making profits betting on baseball.