MLB Bullpen System update: Riding a winning streak

June 6, 2023 01:14 PM

Last week I focused my MLB Bullpen System data update on the losing streak angles that have thrived so far in 2023. I detailed the amazing success of teams on two-game and three-game losing streaks if they have a better Steve Makinen Bullpen Power Rating. These numbers can, of course, be found on the MAKINEN DAILY POWER RATINGS page on

>>Steve Makinen's Daily MLB Bullpen Ratings

Well, thanks to a savvy reader who suggested it, over this past week I chose to look at the opposite side of the coin, that being how teams fare when they are on winning streaks of that same length, and how the numbers are impacted based on whether or not they have a bullpen edge. I am pleased to see that I found a few more very strong betting systems that we can add to our library.

These are the new angles I found:

Worse bullpen teams struggle to extend winning streaks

When it comes to teams with a lesser bullpen that are looking to extend a winning streak, fading them has been a strong strategy. In fact, on  two-game winning streaks, the teams with a Steve Makinen worse-ranked bullpen have gone just 95-90 for -36.98 units, a R.O.I. of -20%. Worse bullpen teams on winning streaks of three-plus games have a brutal 19-42 for -28.87 units. The R.O.I. on that magnificent system is -47.3%!

Better bullpen teams are capable of building lengthy winning streaks

In conducting the same study of teams with better bullpens on winning streaks, I didn’t find anything significant on the two-game data. However, teams with the Steve Makinen better-rated bullpen looking to extend three-game winning streaks have gone 86-57 for +16.49 units, an impressive R.O.I. of 11.5%.

In updating all of the other bullpen betting systems I have been tracking for followers recently, last week’s action produced relatively modest results, with four of the five angles making profits. Remember, the best part about these angles is that all you need is VSiN subscriber access to the MAKINEN DAILY RATINGS page on’s MLB offering. They are simple but foundational to use.

Better bullpen teams thwart losing streaks

After a modest 11-9 week, updating the results when on two-game losing streaks, the teams with better bullpen ratings in a matchup have gone 94-59 for +22.01 units. Better bullpen teams on losing streaks of three or more games have gone 50-13 for +36.46 units, including 4-3 last week. The R.O.I. on that magnificent system is 57.9%!

Better bullpen but overpriced angle

Highly priced better bullpen teams were 11-4 the past eight days and won +0.55 units. Through Monday, in games this season in which the team with the Steve Makinen better-rated bullpen was listed as a favorite of -190 or more, that team is now 105-50, but for -7.84 units. As I indicated last week, the pathetic play of the A’s this season has minimized these numbers greatly. Even after winning back-to-back games last Monday and Tuesday versus Atlanta, Oakland went on to four consecutive losses over the next four days at these lofty prices. This system has been much stronger on the league’s other 29 teams.

Overpriced better bullpen without a big starting pitcher edge

In combining starting pitcher differences in looking at these games with -190 favorites or higher, there has been an even better opportunity to avoid games. Specifically, when the starting pitcher difference between the Steve Makinen better-rated bullpen team is less than 20, these big favorites have gone just 18-30 for -49.45 units! This angle was 3-3 last week for -3.85 units. This situation is somewhat rare but should be taken advantage of when it arises. In my opinion, there has to be a massive starting pitcher strength difference between the teams to even consider paying these prices. The R.O.I. on this has been -103%.

Better bullpen underdog teams are solid wagers

An easily more frequent and profitable system arises when the team with the better SM Bullpen Ratings is playing as an underdog. Moneyline underdog teams with better bullpen ratings enjoyed another solid week, going 19-19 for +4.26 units. For the season, these gems are now 141-132 for +48.59 units, a R.O.I. of 17.8%! This is an INSANELY simple angle that can be easily be determined each day by using the MAKINEN DAILY RATINGS page on

The systems continue to maintain their profitability with some week-to-week wavering as one would expect. I stand firmly in my belief that these are foundational systems and allow bettors to turn profits without investing in every game. I am never comfortable paying very high prices for any single baseball game in a regular season, and solid underdogs with good bullpens are always of great value. Likewise, teams with good bullpens don’t tend to get stuck in lengthy losing streaks.

As a reminder of the methodology behind my bullpen systems, over the course of the last five-plus years while with VSiN, I’ve employed a generic system of tracking the results of teams that have a bullpen ratings edge on my scale. I offer updated team bullpen rankings on the daily matchups page on and I track the results. It has done consistently well long term, producing profits each season in that span. However, I’ve always felt it was something I could improve on by narrowing the scope of what should actually be wagered. I’ve done that by breaking down the bullpen edges by line ranges and other various game situations. I will detail those shortly.

I started this year’s coverage by just tracking the general bullpen system, which took into account the overall record for backing the better bullpen-rated team in every game on the schedule. It was again slightly negative last week, going 51-44 for -2.96 units. These were the results by day:

Monday 5/29: 5-6, -3.14 units

Tuesday 5/30: 6-8, -5.34 units

Wednesday 5/31: 6-7, -3.86 units

Thursday 6/1: 4-2, +2 units

Friday 6/2: 5-9, -6.53 units

Saturday 6/3: 11-4, +6.97 units

Sunday 6/4: 9-5, +4.9 units

Monday 6/5: 5-3, +2.04 units

Adding these numbers to the overall season records of this methodology, we are now at 488-385 for -0.96 units. The full-season profit and R.O.I. numbers are negative for the first time this season. However, when you consider the advantage of backing better bullpen teams over blindly playing any other angle, at an 8% juice level, the difference is still almost +65 units. With none of the other drill-down systems considered, the simple strategy of backing better bullpen teams will keep you in the baseball betting game for the long haul.

Here are the updated key bullpen stats that have been accumulated so far this season, as well as my current Bullpen Power Ratings entering this week’s games. Note, ratings were through Sunday, June 5 and I do update them on a daily basis.

Key Bullpen Stats (through games of June 5)

Top 5 Bullen ERAs

  1. New York Yankees: 2.86
  2. Cleveland: 3.06
  3. San Diego: 3.15
  4. Houston: 3.30
  5. Baltimore: 3.41

Worst 5 Bullpen ERAs

  1. Oakland: 6.16
  2. Chicago White Sox: 4.82
  3. Kansas City: 4.74
  4. Texas: 4.73
  5. Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.64

Top 5 Bullen WHIPs

  1. San Diego: 1.15
  2. Cleveland: 1.16
  3. New York Yankees: 1.2
  4. New York Mets: 1.2
  5. Toronto: 1.21

Worst 5 Bullpen WHIPs

  1. Oakland: 1.59
  2. Kansas City: 1.45
  3. Washington: 1.43
  4. Colorado: 1.43
  5. Chicago White Sox: 1.42

Top 5 Bullen Ks/9 innings

  1. Houston: 10.74
  2. Baltimore: 10.45
  3. St Louis: 10.37
  4. Kansas City: 10.33
  5. Toronto: 10.33

Worst 5 Bullpen Ks/9 innings

  1. Tampa Bay: 7.32
  2. Washington: 7.55
  3. Oakland: 7.87
  4. Boston: 8.08
  5. Detroit: 8.19

Top 5 Bullen Last 7 Games WHIPs

  1. San Francisco: 0.67
  2. Toronto: 0.74
  3. San Diego: 0.92
  4. Chicago White Sox: 0.97
  5. New York Yankees: 0.99

Worst 5 Bullpen Last 7 Games WHIPs

  1. Houston: 2.02
  2. Seattle: 1.91
  3. Detroit: 1.78
  4. Washington: 1.75
  5. Baltimore: 1.65

I use a manual process of analyzing daily box scores to build my Bullpen Power Ratings. In most cases, the end number is a reflection of the stats listed above with great consideration also given to overall talent, injuries, and momentum.

Biggest Movers in SM Bullpen Power Ratings since last week (Monday, May 29):

Biggest upward movers (PR points)

  1. New York Mets: +6
  2. Chicago White Sox: +4
  3. Tampa Bay +4
  4.  Atlanta: +4
  5. New York Yankees: +4

Biggest downward movers (PR points)

  1. Seattle: -7 points
  2. Detroit: -6
  3. Washington: -5
  4. Houston: -2
  5. Baltimore: -2
  6. Boston: -2

Steve’s Current Bullpen Ratings/Ranks

Rank - Team - Bullpen PR

1. HOUSTON: 21



4. SAN DIEGO: 15





9. ST. LOUIS: 9

10. TORONTO: 7

11. BOSTON: 7

12. ATLANTA: 6


14. TAMPA BAY: 5


16. SEATTLE: 4


18. ARIZONA: 4



21. MIAMI: 3



24. DETROIT: -3

25. TEXAS: -7



28. COLORADO: -10


30. OAKLAND: -34

These are sorted first by bullpen ranking, then by overall team power rating. Remember to continue being selective using the drill-down systems I have shared. Continued good luck with your baseball wagering this week.

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