Proven Profits and Profiles for Teams off Low Scoring Games
Last night it looked like we might have another 1-0 game in Major League baseball. The Indians and Twins were playing in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the nearly 20,000 fans stayed past midnight to watch 16 innings of baseball. Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco and Minnesota's Jose Berrios hooked up in a pitcher's duel, each tossing 7 innings of 3-hit shutout baseball. When Edwin Encarnacion smacked a home run off the left field foul pole in the top of the 14th inning it looked like the Tribe might get the 1-0 win and 2-game sweep to remain in first place. But the Twins tied it in the bottom half when Miguel Sano smashed a hanging curve ball over the left field wall, and the Twins won it 2-1 in the 16th inning with three consecutive hits to take over the AL Central lead.
In April and early season baseball, the pitchers tend to show an advantage over hitters, as more often bat speed and timing take time to come together. The impact of weather has already been felt, and especially in the Midwest with some games cancelled due to snow. The Twins had four of their first 10 home games cancelled due to wintry weather, and having lived in Minneapolis for many years before moving to Las Vegas, I don't miss the cold weather one bit. The off days would seem to impact the hitters more than rested pitchers, and the Twins scored just one and two runs in Puerto Rico, following four days off.
When the Chicago Cubs home game vs. St. Louis was cancelled due to rain on April 18, it tied a major league record. According to the Associated Press, that rainout is the 25th weather-related cancellation in baseball this month, tying the all-time record for most cancellations in the first month of the MLB season (2007). And we still have 12 days to go in April!
Wednesday's game is the fifth that has been cancelled for the Cubs already this season, and Chicago has had four games called off during their current home stand.
The weather may be impacting scoring, as we've seen many more low-scoring games this season. When you review the results and box scores each day, and follow the real time odds, lines, totals and moves at the leading sportsbooks, it's not too often that you see a 1-0 final in major league baseball. But in the first 11 days of the season there were nine 1-0 games.
Here are the early season low-scoring results through 21 days of baseball.
- 11 games with 1-0 final score
- 7 games with 2-0 final score
- 16 games with 2-1 final score
If you're looking for a situational spot to play on a team off a 1-0 win, here is a profitable profile and parameter for a short sample size this season.
- Teams off a 1-0 win are 7-2 UNDER the total in their next game
And another long term profitable MLB profile with a Return on Investment of nearly 17% and a sample size of more than 160 games with a 49% win rate, says to:
- Play on an underdog in their next game if that team won their last game as a 'Dog 1-0.
The Giants won their season opener 1-0 in LA against the Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw (-300) taking back a huge price. The next night, San Francisco beat the Dodgers again 1-0 as a +150 underdog, cashing both of our situations outlined above on the side and total. The two most recent side situations as 'Dog lost with the Tigers and Royals both losing close, low scoring games as big 'Dogs off a 1-0 win 10 days ago.
But to play on these 'Dogs off a 'Dog win taking back a price of nearly +140 on average will provide great profits at nearly a 50% win rate.
The tendency of most bettors is to shy away from these 'ugly' Dogs, as most bettors can't stomach taking a bigger underdog on the money line and especially a losing team. But you can see that's just one situation that produces profit long term, and perhaps consider playing 'under' the total in the next game for teams off a 1-0 win.
Another trouble spot for many baseball bettors is to bet on teams that are struggling to score runs and in an offensive funk.
But being contrary is again the way to look if you want to win more often, even if it doesn't feel right, which is often the case in your gut when betting on bad teams or teams struggling to score runs.
So, as we've discussed the results and many low scoring games already to this season, try to locate a losing team that has scored 2 runs or less in at least 3 straight games. That's because they win approximately 50% of their next games to an average line of +125 (sample size more than 220 games).
• Play on team has scored 2 runs or less in at least 3 straight games
• Play on team is below .500
Return on Investment (ROI) is nearly 10%!
The Reds (3-15) have been shutout in their two most recent games, so follow Cincinnati's scoring in their next game April 20 and play accordingly April 21 and beyond if they continue to score 2 runs or less. Note that the smelly fish in Miami (5-12) scored 2, 0 and 1 run in three straight games in early April, losing that third game to the Phillies 20-1. That triggered the situation above, and Miami beat Philadelphia 6-3 as a +175 'Dog the next game to cash-in. Can't imagine many bettors played Miami or felt good about biting on the Marlins after a 20-1 blowout loss and a bad run of scoring. Another example was Texas, who scored 1, 1 and 2 runs in three straight games starting April 10. The third game was a 2-1 loss to the World Series champion Houston Astros. The next game at Houston, the Rangers were a huge underdog of +210, and proceeded to beat the Astros 6-5.
Evaluating the pitching match-ups, stats and other situations is still part of the process and handicap. But as you can see, a contrary approach with proven parameters and often good value on those 'bad' losing teams can produce profit. Just be willing to take a swing once in a while and you might even hit a home run. You can bet on it.
FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay