With the 2019 MLB postseason getting underway, it’s time to take a look at some of the betting trends and systems that have developed in recent years. We’ll start with the wildcard games and work our way through the World Series. For this week’s issue we cover the wildcard & divisional round action. This series will continue next week and the week after with successive rounds. This information, combined with our knowledge of the specific matchups should help us cash some tickets this October.
Wild Card Round
(Before Tuesday night’s Nats’ victory)
Wildcard System #1
FAVORITES in wildcard games are 6-1 since ’15 (85.7%, 4.65 Units, 66.4% R.O.I., Grade 54) Analysis: Oddsmakers seem to be pointing the way lately for wildcard games, suggesting to just follow their lead in 2019
Wildcard System #2
HOME TEAMS that are -135 or less (or underdog) in wildcard games are just 1-6 since ’13 (14.3%, -5.45 Units, -77.9% R.O.I., Grade 56)
Analysis: Home teams playing as small favorites are underdogs have been very shaky, and essentially not worth your backing. These teams aren’t favored significantly for a reason.
Wildcard SYstem #3
Wildcard teams that score 3 or more runs are 14-4 in their L18 tries (77.8%, 12.4 Units, 68.9% R.O.I., Grade 70)
Analysis: Wildcard games are tightly managed, and pushing across even single runs at a time is crucial. Teams that score just three runs (or better) have proven to be wildly successful. Can you see any of the teams in this year’s games as a lock to get that many? If so, back them confidently.
Divisional System #1
HOME UNDERDOGS (or pick em’) are 31-24 in Divisional Round playoff games since ’05 (56.4%, 10.75 Units, 19.5% R.O.I., Grade 56) Analysis: We start with a very simple system indicating that home underdogs have been lively in the opening round of the MLB playoffs.
Divisional System #2
Divisional round HOME TEAMS that scored 7 or more runs in the prior LDS game are 27-11 since ’01 (71.0%, 10.75 Units, 28.3% R.O.I., Grade 56) Analysis: Offensive outbursts have proven to be big momentum builders in the LDS round.
Divisional System #3
Divisional round ROAD UNDERDOGS that scored 7 or more runs in the prior LDS game are 21-12 since ’97 (63.6%, 16.04 Units, 48.6% R.O.I., Grade 70) Analysis: Road underdogs coming off a big offensive performance in the divisional round have proven to be great plays. In many cases these games are played on back-to-back days and strong offensive performances tend to carry over.
Divisional SYstem #4
Divisional round HOME TEAMS that hit 3 or more runs in the prior LDS game are 14-1 since ’04 (93.3%, 13 Units, 86.7% R.O.I., Grade 80) Analysis: Similarly to #3 above, home teams who come off a big offensive performance in terms of hitting home runs have been nearly automatic in LDS play lately. With home run numbers up significantly league-wide in 2019, look for this system to come into play more than usual this year.
Divisional System #5
Divisional round HOME FAVORITES whose bullpen went 5 or more innings in the prior LDS game are just 8-9 since ’07 (47.1%, -5.15 Units, -30.3% R.O.I., Grade 54)
Analysis: Bullpens play such a huge role in the postseason that when they are tired, it proves to be a factor even home favorite struggle to overcome.
Divisional System #6
Divisional round ROAD TEAMS, priced no worse than 155 underdogs, whose bullpen went 5 or more innings in the prior LDS game are 28-13 since ’07 (68.3%, 18.58 Units, 45.3% R.O.I., Grade 75) Analysis: This is an interesting one, and sort of hard to explain. Road teams with tired bullpens,
as long as they are not overmatched according to oddsmakers, tend to find other ways to rally and win.
Divisional System #7
Divisional round HOME FAVORITES whose bullpen blew a save opportunity in the prior LDS game are 13-3 since ’00 (81.3%, 8.7 Units, 54.5% R.O.I., Grade 65)
Analysis: Another bullpen angle, home favorites have shown the ability to bounce back well from games in which their bullpen blew a save. They are home favorites in the playoffs for a reason and probably have dealt well with adversity at many points in the season.
Divisional System #8
Divisional round HOME TEAMS favored by -160 or less (or underdogs) in Games 3 and/or 4 looking to close out a series are just 4-12 since 2010 (25%, -10.1 Units, -63.1% R.O.I., Grade 70)
Analysis: Be very careful with the home favorites in Games 3 & 4 when they are attempting to close a series. Not having home field advantage for the series, they are the lesser teams in theory, and closing out better opponents is always tough.
Divisional System #9
Divisional round AMERICAN LEAGUE HOME TEAMS are just 6-13 in since ’97 in ALDS play when the closing total is 10 or higher (31.6%, -9.51 Units, -50.1% R.O.I., Grade 65)
Analysis: When totals are 10 or higher in the postseason, it is typically because both teams are very capable of putting up runs. Offensively capable road teams are almost always a good bet.
Divisional System #10
Divisional round teams that score 5 or more runs are 224-52 since ‘97 (81.2%, 193.2 Units, 70% R.O.I., Grade 100)
Analysis: Divisional games have proven to be a little more open offensively than wildcard games, and thus the low benchmark for scoring for ensuring success is higher at 5 runs. Simulations can help you project run totals, if you find teams capable of hitting that total, back them confidently.