Rolling Disparities In Baseball; Tonight's Pick And No-No 45 views

If you pay attention to any of the national baseball writers or the major magazines, I'm sure that you have read experts lament about the quality of baseball being played and the disparities between major and minor market teams. This does reflect in sports betting. The data below shows the number of games being played annually at lines between -200 and -299, large favorites, and the average line for these games.

2004 310 -226
2005 282 -222
2006 239 -225
2007 257 -222
2008 228 -223
2009 241 -226
2010 285 -223
2011 188 -222
2012 198 -222
2013 218 -227
2014 121 -222
2015 151 -224
2016 263 -227
2017 265 -225
2018 392 -229
2019 310 -230

My first observation is that the number of games played between these lines started at just over 300 15 years ago, fell gradually, and has increased again in the past two years. This suggests that the number of big disparity games is on the increase. The average line for these games has also increased as it hit -230 this season: they are getting more expensive. So clearly the disparity of talent between teams is growing as more and more games are being played at big lines.

The other observation is this. If someone had hired a group of chimpanzees 6 years ago and taught them to just bet every favorite in this range, the chimps would have had a positive return in 5 of the last 6 years. At the end of this season, the chimps will be sitting on a very large pile of bananas, earning over $8K so far in just this season. Please be assured that I will be watching this group very, very closely over the first couple of months of the 2020 season to see how this develops.

Please read benderwins post today. With the proliferation of legal sports betting across the country, the scam artists are moving from stocks and bonds to sports betting.

I want to take a moment to thank the Meyers bros at for the use of their databases. Most of the data that I generate starts at their site. If you want to explore different angles in any of the major sports, I have not found a more thorough site. Using their site is free, although you can purchase trends, query storage, and picks. The query language is fairly easy to learn (at least the basics) so after spending some time learning how to construct queries in their Sports Database Query Language (SDQL is based on SQL) you can be off and running.

MIL won easily last night so the Forum picks stand at 10-2 since late August. Tonight I am going with MIL again for many of the same reasons as last night. I am also steering clear of the Dodgers tonight.

The LAD Express is having real trouble as they sputter along at 13-11 since mid-August. The wheels are really wobbling as they have troubles with starters Clayton Kershaw and Hyun Jin Ryu. They are up 17.5 games on the D-backs and (I think) have gotten way too complacent. Starting for them tonight is Walker Buehler, who has been pretty steady at 12-3 with a 3.24 ERA, although LAD is only 14-12 with Walker starting on the road.The problem with him tonight is that the Dodgers have allowed him extra rest since his last start: he will have been off 8 days when he starts tonight. Therein lies the problem.

In his relatively short career (53 starts since 4/18), the Dodgers are 30-14 with Buehler starting on 4-5 days rest. When he has gotten 6-12 days rest, the Dodgers are 0-6. Buehler yielded over 6 runs per game in these starts. LAD averaged 3.5 runs in these games and allowed an average of over 7. Does he need the rest that badly or are the Dodgers’ staff just not paying attention?

On the other side Baltimore is starting Ty Blach, who came over from the Giants in August. While the O’s are only 1-3 in his starts, Blach has one advantage: while with the Giants he was 4-3 against the Dodgers. These were all low-scoring games, with all 7 going Under, and the majority of the games were 2-1 and 1-0 affairs. I look for a low scoring game here (unless Buehler blows up early) and the outcome is anybody’s guess. Am I adventuresome enough to take BAL at +270? Naaa!

Good Hunting, John


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