Click to Use Secure Login
All Available Packages
NOTICE: If you can not view the forum, you may need to log out of and log back in to recreate your forum session.

Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: Understanding the MLB Betting Markets Part I

03.30.2016     11:36 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
The nature of the sportsbetting marketplace is relatively simple to understand.  Bettors find an edge that they can profitably exploit; soon followed by bookmakers adjusting to reflect the popularity of the prevailing thought processes behind those winning wagers.  Over time, the marketplace evolves.  The factors that worked to produce profitable results for bettors get priced into the market and no longer offer that same level of value, leaving bettors scrambling to find new edges to exploit.  And this marketplace evolution can happen rather quickly; over the course of a single season when conditions warrant.

Among the major US sports over the last five years, nowhere has the betting market adjustments and evolution been greater than in baseball.  MLB handicapping methods that worked throughout the first decade of the 21st century are now largely obsolete.  The MLB betting markets have always been strongly tilted towards starting pitching matchups.  But over the last five years, the markets have rapidly adjusted to reflect the most influential ‘advanced metric’ stats for starting pitchers.

What are those stats?  For starting pitching, the markets are fixated on two things: xFIP and K/9 rates.  ERA doesn’t matter.  A starter or a team’s overall record of wins and losses don’t matter.  Lineups are a relatively small piece of the equation.  Bullpens – both in terms of rest and general effectiveness -- are rarely seriously factored in to any MLB moneyline.  It’s all about the starting pitching.  And in particular, it’s all about the FanGraphs-type stats; stats from a very popular and influential baseball advanced metric website.

If you’re betting baseball and you’re not familiar with xFIP or K/9 rates, you’re out of sync with the current markets.  xFIP (adjusted Fielding Independent Pitching) is the new ERA, an advanced metric stat that tries to take the luck factor out of the equation.  It is based solely on what the pitcher can control – primarily walks, strikeouts and fly ball rates, with fly ball pitchers penalized in the formula for the home runs they are expected to allow.  There are no league or park adjustments to the standard xFIP formula and a team’s defensive capability behind their pitching staff is a non-factor as well. 

xFIP measures what gets hit and where it gets hit.  That has proven to be a FAR better indicator of upcoming success than the older metrics – ERA and WHIP, for example.  The markets LOVE betting on pitchers with strong xFIP numbers, and LOVE betting against pitchers with weak xFIP numbers, measured in a runs per nine innings format, just like ERA.  When a pitcher has an ERA of 5.00 and an xFIP of 2.50, the markets will price him based on the latter number, not the former.

K/9 rates (strikeouts per nine innings) is the other ‘new’ stat that has taken the betting markets by storm over the last few years.  The modern markets love pitchers that get strikeouts and dislike pitch-to-contact guys.  A starter averaging a strikeout or more per inning – the Chris Sale’s and David Price’s of the world -- will be priced like an ace.  The guys who don’t get whiffs – the RA Dickey’s and Mark Buehrle’s of the world – will be priced like bottom tier starters.  Soft tossers are devalued; fastballers are not. Fly ball pitchers are devalued; ground ball pitchers are not.  Pitchers with an ERA consistently lower than their xFIP (KC’s Chris Young as the #1 example of all-time) are devalued.  Pitchers with an ERA consistently higher than their xFIP tend to be overvalued.

So where does that leave us with Opening Day fast approaching?  Let’s look back at last year for some fascinating illustrative examples.

The defending World Series champs – the Kansas City Royals – had an average ‘lay’ price of -111 last year on their way to the title.  KC didn’t have the type of starting pitching that measured well in the modern marketplace; devalued as a result.  They were a Top 5 team in profitability during the regular season and the most profitable team to support in the postseason, in large part, due to the fact that you rarely had to lay a big price to support them.  Starting pitchers like the aforementioned Chris Young or Edison Volquez were (and continue to be) thoroughly disrespected.  Remember, this team was only favored THREE TIMES in the entirety of the postseason as they went on to win the World Series, undervalued in game after game.

Cleveland won 14 fewer games than KC during the regular season in 2015.  They scored 55 fewer runs than the Royals while allowing only one run less than KC for the entirety of the campaign.  Yet the average price with the Indians was -120, compared to that -111 for KC.  Remember, the Royals went to the World Series in 2014 – they didn’t come out of nowhere.  The Indians haven’t won a playoff game since 2007, reaching the postseason only once in the last eight years.  And yet Cleveland was CONSISTENTLY being priced higher than KC in the betting markets – all year long!

How did this happen?  Simple – the advanced metric pitching stats.  Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar all ranked in the Top 5 AL pitchers in that key K/9 stat.  All three hurlers ranked in the top 10 of the American League in xFIP as well.  That resulted in Cleveland backers being forced to lay a higher price to support them.  The Tribe finished 81-80, certainly not a disaster of a campaign, but they cost bettors more than -13 units, ranked among the bottom quartile of MLB teams in terms of profitability. 

The Mets came out of nowhere to win 90 games during the regular season.  But Mets backers earned only +6 units of profit for the entire season because the betting markets fell in love (and remain in love) with Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob DeGrom.  This year, with all three guys priced like aces from Day 1, if the Mets win 90 games again they’re likely to be moneylosers.

The Nationals have extraordinary starting pitching, and the advanced metrics love Washington’s staff.  But anyone who bet Washington last year got crushed, losers of -19 units over the season.  The Dodgers had Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grieke at the top of their rotation, true aces.  LA, too, was a significant moneyloser in 2015, and will not be an easy team to make money with this year.

In Part 2 of this article next week, I’ll explain why the 2015 Minnesota Twins were such a great bet last year, and why teams like Minnesota are likely to be among the biggest moneywinners in 2016.  When the markets overvalue one statistical area, they’re undervaluing others. 

Tags: MLB Teddy Covers

This blog is closed to new comments.

Visitor Comments:

teemu katel
03/31/2016 1:06 PM
Great article Thanks

Add Your Email Address:
How did you find us?

More VIP Email Options
Current Blog Topics
Ted Sevransky Hot Links
Current Blog Topics
SportsMemo Ads
Daily Plays
The results do not lie. Teddy is a proven performer during bowl season, 16-8 [67%] in bowl action over the past two years. And Teddy is ready to cash in right from the opening Saturday of the 2017 Bowl season, locked & loaded with the Cure Bowl, New Mexico Bowl and Camillia Bowl winners! Go for the 3-0 sweep right here, right now! This Report must show a profit or his next report is FREE!

Ian Cameron has put together a tremendous long-term record with his top rated 20* plays in College Football producing 63% winners and +43.0 units of profit with those releases in CFB from 2012-2017. He is ready to deliver another strong 2 unit winner on Saturday in College Football as bowl season kicks off with his 20* CFB New Mexico Bowl Main Event. You can get it complete with detailed written analysis for just $39 and it is guaranteed to cash or his next CFB play is free.

Drew Martin is in with a 20* Top Shelf Release on the very 1st Bowl Game. The New Orleans Bowl featuring the North Texas Mean Green vs the Troy Trojans. This game starts off bowl season and is a set kickoff time of 12 noon eastern/ 9 am PT on Saturday December 16th. Drew Martin concentrates on the Sunbelt and Conference USA so this matchup sets up well to grab an edge. Jump on board this 20* Top Shelf Big Easy Winner for only $39, guaranteed to win or Drews next football selection is on the house.

Rob Veno's Top Tier plays have proven to be long term ticket cashing machines as evidenced by the +101.6 units added to bankrolls in all sports since 2013. For Saturday BOWL GAME action he has zeroed in on a matchup that he's released as his 15* CFB Best Bet Totals Crusher. You can join him on this selection for just $35 and it must win or you will receive Rob's next report absolutely free.

Teddy is scorching hot across sports RIGHT NOW, 25-10 71% here in December, including a 71% NFL hot streak to open the month, 59% for the full season! Cash in on Sunday with Teddy's single best bet total. Ride the hot hand and find out here, BEFORE it happens! This play must cash or Teddy's next report is FREE!

OTTO Sports has been crushing in the NFL with over +9 units of profit in the bank over the last four weeks. He's got one play for Sunday, a 20* BEST BET on the Dallas vs. Oakland game. Lock it in for $39. It's guaranteed to cash or his next top rated football play is free.

Dating back to 2012, Andrew Lange and his clients have absolutely CRUSHED the NFL with 61% winners and +55 units of profit. For Sunday he comes in with a 20* selection on the New England vs. Pittsburgh game. DO NOT MISS OUT! Only $39 and guaranteed to cash or his next top rated football play is free.

Erin Rynning comes in with two selections for Sunday's NFL slate: both 10*s and both for the same game. Pick up this excellent side+total parlay opportunity for only $39. Both plays must cash or ER's 20* for MNF is on the house.

Rob Veno has carved a place for himself among the ELITE Best Bet handicappers in the country and his 20* Bluechips have been a major part of that success. Since January 2014 Rob has hit an outstanding long term 61.6% with these selections in all sports resulting in +120.2units of profit. Rob looks to add to the dominance with his 20* NFL Bluechip Game Of The Month release. This play must win or his next 20* report will be yours free of charge.

Ian Cameron and his clients have banked +16.4 units of profit in the NFL since 2015 including a rock solid 30-21 59% mark for +14.0 units with his top rated 20* NFL plays during that span. He is ready to deliver more NFL profits on Sunday with a strong 2 unit winner unleashing his 20* NFL Total Of The Month. You can get it complete with detailed written analysis for just $39 and it is guaranteed to cash or his next NFL play is free.

Was 78, $59
Get 20* selections on both the side and total of Week 15's Monday Night Football game from OTTO Sports and Erin Rynning for the discounted rate of $59. Each play is guaranteed to cash or that handicapper's next top rated football selection is on the house.

Off last week's 5-2 71% result, Erin Rynning looks to keep it rolling with a 20* Total of the Month selection on Monday night's Falcons vs. Buccaneers game. ER and his clients have enjoyed HUGE success with NFL 20*s having nailed 61% dating all the way back to 2012. Get ER's top selection for Week 15 for $39. It must cash or his next top rated play is free.

Rob Veno has carved a place for himself among the ELITE Best Bet handicappers in the country and his 20* CFB Bluechips have been a major part of that success. Since the start of 2007 campaign Rob has hit an outstanding long term 62.2% with these selections resulting in +81.2 units of profit. The Frisco Bowl Matchup features a very unique coaching situation which makes this play so attractive that Rob has released it as his initial 20* CFB Bluechip of the Bowl Season. You can join him for just $39 and this play must win or his next 20* report will be yours free of charge.

Rob Veno has carved a place for himself among the ELITE Best Bet handicappers in the country and his 20* CFB Bluechips have been a major part of that success. Since the start of 2007 campaign Rob has hit an outstanding long term 62.2% with these selections resulting in +81.2 units of profit. For Pre-Christmas action has released his 20* CFB Bluechip Early Bowl Total and you can join him for just $39. This play must win or his next 20* report will be yours free of charge.

Extended Services
SportsMemo Ads
Discussion Forum
Post Subject
11.28 12:29
11.28 12:20
11.28 12:18
10.21 10:35
10.14 17:03

Current Blog
Ted Sevransky     12.10.2017 7:07 AM
Ted Sevransky     12.01.2017 1:00 PM
Ted Sevransky     11.26.2017 8:44 AM
Ted Sevransky     11.23.2017 8:51 PM
Ted Sevransky     11.18.2017 8:52 PM

More Blog Entries Submitted by Teddy Covers


Copyright © 2007 SPORTSMEMO, INC, 1-800-575-3069. is the nation’s premier resource for sports betting and handicapping information. Get free football picks, free NFL picks, free college football picks, free baseball picks, free NBA picks, free college basketball picks, free hockey picks, free golf picks, and free soccer picks from the nation’s top handicappers. Sportsmemo's sports betting insight and analysis comes from some of the most respected sports handicappers in the sports gambling industry including Ted Sevransky (Teddy Covers), Brent Crow of Alatex Sports, Rob Veno, Erin Rynning, Otto Sports, Andrew Lange, Ian Cameron, and Drew Martin. Listen to these handicapping experts daily on the Sportsmemo Podcast Monday-Friday at  Missed the Sportsmemo Podcast?  Past shows are available on's podcast archive page. Looking for daily sports betting tips and sports betting advice on the MLB, NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, CFL, and PGA? Check out the interactive sports betting posting forum, power ratings, expert handicapping blogs, and original sports betting articles from the Sportsmemo team that specializes in sports information from a pointspread perspective at   Dec 16, 2017 04:51 AM.