The June swoon continued for the Los Angeles Angels yesterday, as the Nickelback walk-up song strategy fell short in a 1-0 loss. My own June swoon is in place right now, as the last month has been a rough one. You will be challenged in a lot of different ways over the course of a season and the mental side of the handicapping process will be the biggest hurdle to overcome.
You’ll have stretches where you wake up and look at the board and it looks like you’re trying to decipher the Wingdings font. The odds don’t make sense and you’ll question every number you see. Your confidence and conviction, not only in your bets, but also in your process, will lower. It can consume you and be lurking in the back of your mind when you do things not related to betting and be at the forefront laughing at you when you are.
With a wide swath of readers and different levels of bettors, maybe this isn’t that serious to you. Maybe it’s incredibly serious to you. But, we all go through ups and downs as bettors, times when this is a lot of fun and times when it is equivalent to a root canal while getting kicked in the shins. I’ve come to find that the mental aspect is harder than anything else in this whole equation and also the hardest part to fix. You can adjust the stats you use or what you’re looking for. You can do more work to find what you’re missing. You can tail someone else. You can do so much to try and make more winning picks, but believing in that process and being satisfied with it is a different beast.
This is one of those stretches for me and I apologize to those that have been along for the uncomfortable ride. Picking winners or stepping away are really the only ways out of this mindset. Since the latter isn’t an option given my occupation, I’ll keep stepping into the box and swinging away while trying to find the correct answers.
Diamondbacks/Reds: Merrill Kelly told reporters that he had found a proverbial hitch in his giddy up, as he isolated a mechanics issue that was taking a toll on his control and his effectiveness. Well, if he truly fixed it, we saw the results yesterday, as Kelly threw six shutout innings with one hit allowed. He only had five strikeouts, but also had 17 whiffs in 48 swings, so he very well could have had more. It was the Reds, but Cincinnati has been raking at home, so that’s a good step in the right direction for Kelly.
Nationals/Marlins: I noted yesterday that the markets liked Josiah Gray a bit against Sandy Alcantara and the Marlins. Gray was excellent yesterday in his five innings with six strikeouts and 16 whiffs in 51 swings. Alcantara was even better with nine shutout innings and the Marlins offense finally bailed him out with two runs in the bottom of the 10th.
Phillies/Brewers: Another day, another Phillies win with Joe Girardi gone. Maybe he was having more of a negative impact than I expected. Of course, it’s also worth noting that the Phillies were without Bryce Harper for several days prior to the firing due to injury and he’s swinging a really good bat right now. Long starts help as well, as they keep the bullpen off the field. Aaron Nola’s eight shutout innings helped yesterday.
After a 19-8 start, the Brewers are just 14-16 over the last 30 games. Their offense has tailed off and this is a team really fighting it right now.
Mets/Padres: I guess I should have followed through with my thoughts on Chris Bassitt. He was pummeled by the Padres in a lopsided 13-2 win. Bassitt spoke with reporters after the game and was at a loss for words about his recent performances. In his last five starts, Bassitt has a 7.62 ERA with a 5.76 FIP across 26 innings. He’s given up seven homers in that span, though he didn’t allow one last night and actually did not allow a single hard-hit ball. Everything was just well-placed for the Padres.
Rockies/Giants: Back-to-back quality efforts from Alex Wood have to inspire some confidence for the southpaw and also his team. Wood threw seven innings of one-run ball against the Rockies yesterday, pitching through the sixth for the first time this season. His .340 BABIP seems to be on the decline, as his contact management numbers don’t support such a number. The San Francisco defense may be improving. It’s hard to look at small sample size defensive data, but a team that smart would likely figure something out.