Baseball Handicapping Secrets: What Oddsmakers Don’t Want You to Know

The dynamics of sports change and so must techniques in handicapping them. However, after trial and error, as baseball evolves, some basics remain constant in mastering summer pastime investing. Among them:

Handicapping’s Triple Crown: on-base, slugging percentage, and runs. To even the most casual baseball fan, it should be fairly self-explanatory. OPS does efficiently combine the first two, but more meticulous handicappers compare them as separate categories. 

Pitching’s most important stats: ERA (with strong consideration to unearned runs as well) and WHIP (walks + hits/inning pitched).  Unearned runs is too often overlooked because the ability to get a “fourth out” is imperative as every pitcher will have to several times throughout the year.

As discussed in other articles, WHIP is measured versus ERA to isolate deceptive earned run averages. Neither statistic should be taken lightly, but WHIP is the single best measure of pitcher quality and indicator of future results for pro baseball gambling.

Recent play is more heavily weighted in baseball. Because teams play nearly every day, knowledge of which teams and pitchers are hot and cold are evaluated more in baseball than other sports.

We define recent as the last 21-30 days for pitchers and the last 7-10 days for teams. Notice, we evaluate number of days, not games. This is especially important for pitchers who were just of the DL, missed a spot in the rotation; teams with several rainouts or at the other extreme makeup double-headers, etc.

The reality of fantasy. Of course injuries, key players who may be rested, and which bullpens are weary, are also strongly evaluated. The top fantasy sites or rotisserie sections of the major web portals are excellent for this kind of intel.

Knowing basic math skills of moneylines. There is nothing more deceptive than won-loss records when betting moneylines, the most traditional form of baseball betting. One must hit 60 percent of (-150) bets to break even, but just 40 percent of (+150).

Bookmakers thrive because so many gamblers are ignorant of rudimentary money management. Do not be that guy or girl.  One of the biggest sports betting secrets is basic math.

The gap between sharp and squares is widest in baseball betting. The reasons are summarized above. The donks being oblivious to the fundamentals of moneyline arithmetic and their ensuing love of chalk keeps the oddsmakers honest.

The pathway to being a betting expert is shorter for the sharp, because acute knowledge of rosters, scheduling dynamics, motivation, and other elements, while no doubt still crucial, are supersede by many of the statistics box score junkies are quite learned about.


About the Author

Grandmaster Sports Handicapper Joe Duffy got his start in the sports handicapping industry with the Dial Sports (Communications Team) audiotext network. It was owned by sportswriter, broadcaster and handicapping pioneer Mickey Charles. Dial Sports was the sister company of the popular Sports Network Wire Service. Upon graduating California University of PA, where he was a play-by-play announcer on student radio station WVCS (now WCAL) and cable channel 29 (now CUTV), he became a full-time sports announcer and handicapper for the Sportsline scorephone network. He learned from NFL legends coach Hank Stram and broadcasting icon Ray Scott the ins and outs of the sports betting world. His Amazing Cadillac Club became the most successful 900-number in sports betting history. He left to become the first General Manager of the Freescoreboard scorephone network broadcast all over North America. His articles have appeared on several dozen websites and hard copy publications. He is now CEO of, the top sports betting site in the world. Email:

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