MLB Bullpen System update: stacking profits

June 28, 2023 01:00 AM

This past week produced another set of solid results for my MLB Bullpen Drill-down Systems, highlighted by a big performance by better bullpen teams looking to thwart losing streaks, with the two-game and three-game angles each netting at least +4.2 units of profit. In fact, all six of the various betting systems I have been tracking and promoting for the last month or two continued their winning ways. I can’t stress enough how much I believe in the foundation of these methodologies and how easy it is to utilize. You only need two things: 1) the details of the systems as noted below and 2) VSiN Pro Access to the Makinen Daily Power Ratings page under the MLB tab on for easy usage.

As I just indicated, all of the angles continued their patterns of production last week. Let’s analyze the results, starting with my better-rated bullpen teams attempting to extinguish brief losing streaks quickly.

Better bullpen teams thwart losing streaks

After a solid 12-6 week (+4.3 units), updating the results when on two-game losing streaks, the teams with better bullpen ratings in a matchup have gone 124-80 for +29.73 units. Better bullpen teams on 3+ game losing streaks have gone 61-26 for +39.4 units. The R.O.I. on this system is 45.3%! These teams were an impressive 6-1 (+4.82 units) over the last seven days.

Better bullpen but overpriced angle

Highly-priced better bullpen teams were 9-6 this past seven days but still lost -6.4 units. Now, in games this season through Sunday 6/25 in which the team with the Steve Makinen better-rated bullpen was listed as a favorite of -190 or more, that team is now 135-70, but for –26.44 units. I have said this on numerous occasions this year (and in past seasons) but in my opinion, bullpens prove to be the difference in games that are priced more competitively, and I personally don’t like backing heavy favorites with this high of prices on any single regular season baseball game. I prefer the other side.

Overpriced better bullpen without a big starting pitcher edge angle

In combining starting pitcher differences in looking at these games with -190 favorites or higher, there’s been an opportunity to be more selective in fading overpriced favorites. Specifically, when the starting pitcher difference between the better Steve Makinen rated bullpen team is less than 20, these big favorites have gone just 25-37 for -57.47 units! This angle was 2-2 last week for -2.05 units, another promising set of results. This situation is rare but should be taken advantage of when it arises. The R.O.I. on this has been -92.7%!

Worse bullpen teams struggle to extend winning streaks

 I have found that fading teams with a lesser bullpen rating that are looking to extend winning streaks has been a strong strategy. This angle worked well again last week. In fact, on two-game winning streaks, the teams with worse Steve Makinen Bullpen Ratings in a matchup are now 126-115 for -25.92 units, an R.O.I. of -10.8%. Worse bullpen teams on 3+ game winning streaks now have a record of 41-57 for -17.99 units. The R.O.I. on that system is -18.4%. Both of these angles produced profitable results when fading the qualifiers over the last seven days.

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 in the two-game data. In fact, these teams were negative producers again last week. However, when looking at teams with better Steve Makinen Bullpen Ratings looking to extend 3-game winning streaks, I found that these teams have gone 126-74 for +33 units, an impressive R.O.I. of 16.5%. These better bullpen teams enjoyed another solid week of 10-6 for +1.92 units!

Better bullpen underdog teams are solid wagers

A frequent and profitable system arises when the team with the better SM Bullpen Ratings plays as an underdog. After an 11-10 week (+2.46 units), money line underdog teams with better bullpen ratings for the season are now 180-177 for +49.64 units, an R.O.I. of 13.9%!

I can’t stress enough that all of these are very simple angles that can be qualified each day by utilizing the Makinen Daily Ratings page on

All of the systems increased their profitability last week. Hopefully, you have been employing these successfully yourself over the last couple of months. I will continue to stress that I believe the reason for the success of these strategies is that they are foundational systems based upon a key team strength and other situational factors.

Of course, these drill-down systems arose because I wanted VSiN readers to feel more comfortable in betting systems that don’t require wagering on every game. That said, for the entire season I have again been tracking the original general bullpen system, which took into account the overall record for backing the better bullpen-rated team in every game on the schedule. This is how the analysis started, and I have expanded since. I’ve been using this methodology for the last five or six years to achieve strong profits. It was again slightly negative last week, going 52-38 for -0.26 units. However, I look back at this in two ways. First, if you avoided the overpriced teams like I have been screaming about all season long, you would have generated a very nice profit over the last seven days. Second, the average performing baseball bettor last week netted -12.29 units. I would certainly prefer losing 0.26 units over that. I must repeat, the simple strategy of backing better bullpen teams will keep you in the baseball betting game for the long haul.

Back to last week’s results, these were the figures by day:

Monday 6/19: 6-4, +0.9 units

Tuesday 6/20: 9-6, +1.26 units

Wednesday 6/21: 10-3, +6.36 units

Thursday 6/22: 5-3, -0.27 units

Friday 6/23: 6-8, -7.04 units

Saturday 6/24: 8-7, -0.12 units

Sunday 6/25: 8-7, -1.35 units

Adding these numbers to the overall season records of this methodology, we are now at 640-496 for +2.04 units. The full-season profit and R.O.I. numbers are positive again and have been yearly for me since 2017.

Here are the updated key bullpen stats that have been accumulated so far this season, as well as my current Bullpen Power Ratings as we head into this week’s games. Note, ratings were as of games through Sunday, June 25th, and I update them daily.

Key Bullpen Stats (through games of June 18th)

Top 5 Bullpen ERAs

  1. New York Yankees: 2.85
  2. Cleveland: 2.96
  3. San Diego: 3.24
  4. Seattle: 3.49
  5. Los Angeles Angels: 3.59

Worst 5 Bullpen ERAs

  1. Oakland: 5.74
  2. Washington, Kansas City: 4.84
  3. Colorado: 4.82
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.68

Top 5 Bullpen WHIPs

  1. New York Yankees, Cleveland: 1.17
  2. San Diego: 1.18
  3. Atlanta, Texas: 1.21

Worst 5 Bullpen WHIPs

  1. Oakland: 1.56
  2. Colorado: 1.51
  3. Kansas City: 1.46
  4. Washington: 1.45
  5. Pittsburgh: 1.44

Top 5 Bullpen Ks/9 innings

  1. Houston: 10.61
  2. Baltimore: 10.40
  3. Kansas City: 10.24
  4. Toronto: 10.13
  5. Philadelphia: 10.11

Worst 5 Bullpen Ks/9 innings

  1. Washington: 7.49
  2. Tampa Bay: 7.89
  3. Oakland, Boston: 7.94
  4. San Diego: 8.54

Top 5 Bullpen Last 7 Games WHIPs

  1. St Louis: 0.92
  2. Seattle, Tampa Bay: 0.93
  3. New York Yankees, Detroit: 0.97

Worst 5 Bullpen Last 7 Games WHIPs

  1. Colorado: 2.16
  2. Pittsburgh: 2.00
  3. Los Angeles Angels: 1.85
  4. Oakland: 1.70
  5. Kansas City: 1.62

I use a manual process of analyzing daily box scores to build my Bullpen Power Ratings. In most cases, the end number reflects 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 the 19th of June:

Biggest upward movers (PR points)

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers: +11 points
  2. Chicago Cubs: +8
  3. New York Yankees: +7
  4. Arizona, Cleveland, Detroit: +4

Biggest downward movers (PR points)

  1. Oakland, Colorado, Pittsburgh: -7 points
  2. Cincinnati: -6
  3. Baltimore: -5

Steve’s Current Bullpen Ratings/Ranks

Rank - Team - Bullpen PR

  1. New York Yankees: 25
  2. Cleveland: 19
  3. Tampa Bay: 18
  4. Minnesota: 15
  5. San Francisco: 14
  6. Toronto: 12
  7. San Diego: 12
  8. Atlanta: 11
  9. Houston: 11
  10. Arizona: 9
  11. Los Angeles Angels: 8
  12. Milwaukee: 8
  13. Detroit: 8
  14. Los Angeles Dodgers: 7
  15. Seattle: 7
  16. Baltimore: 5
  17. Miami: 5
  18. St Louis: 5
  19. Chicago Cubs: 4
  20. Cincinnati: 3
  21. Chicago White Sox: 2
  22. Boston: 0
  23. New York Mets: -1
  24. Philadelphia: -3
  25. Texas: -3
  26. Kansas City: -11
  27. Washington: -14
  28. Pittsburgh: -15
  29. Colorado: -20
  30. Oakland: -30

These are sorted first by bullpen ranking and then by overall team power rating. Remember to continue being selective using the drill-down systems I have shared.

back to news

Live On Air

Streaming Now: Sunday Bet Prep

play Watch Live radio Listen Live


The Lombardi LIne: With several high-profile CFB games this weekend, odds for the Heisman and other futures markets could shift drastically. If you have a strong opinion, bet it now to secure the best number. View more tips.

Frank Betti/Mattress Mack: Texas (-17) at Baylor. View more picks.