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How September alters MLB betting

By Steve Makinen  (VSiN.com) 

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September is the most critical month on baseball’s regular-season schedule. It’s when contending teams make their final pushes for the postseason and lesser teams start looking more closely at what they have for next year. When teams on each end of that spectrum meet, oddsmakers’ prices reflect it.

With the NFL and college football also heating up in September, it is normally only die-hard MLB bettors who maintain their pre-football season pace and focus. Those who continue to attack the boards know we’re watching different teams from those we watched early in the season.

One variable that has become more evident in recent years is that managers’ roles should be scrutinized. How they prepare their teams for the stretch run is reflected in the records. Did they keep their pitching rotations intact? Are their bullpens fresh for what is usually a taxing month? Are the lineups healthy or fatigued? Is team chemistry lacking, or is the squad galvanized to reach its goals? All of this plays a key role in how a team figures to perform in September as the stakes increase.

Perhaps the best way to measure which franchises have performed best in September is to simply rank how well they’ve done against their expected  . performance. This can be calculated easily by determining the return on investment they have provided for their betting backers, as a higher ROI represents a team playing above oddsmakers’ expectations, and vice versa. 

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