How to bet on baseball season: What do you need to know?
how are you? I hope you are well and I hope you are excited about MLB season 2018. Baseball season started few days ago and I made just couple of bets in my 5 year betting plan and fb challenge, but didn’t started yet with my MLB betting season and daily projections. The reason? I usually wait for couple of games in a new season and then I start betting. Season is long and I don’t want to jump on games like a crazy from the start.
Maybe you know an anecdote about two bulls: “An old bull and a young bull stand on a hillside, overlooking a pasture. The young bull says to the old bull, “Hey, let’s run down and fuck one of those heifers.” The old bull replies, “let’s walk down and fuck ’em all.”
I don’t want to be a young bull this season just because season started. I want to start slowly and be patient and when I get more familiar with the season I will bet on more and more games. And hopefully I will make a profit at the end.
Welcome to betting on baseball season – Everything you need to know
I use statistics to estimate my own winning percentages, which are turned into the odds. Later I compare my odds with bookmakers odds to check where is the value. Before I make final decision, I usually make an extra analysis and mix my numbers with other information that I have. This is something I also recommend to my followers. But the heart of my baseball betting is my betting model and my projected odds will be the most important information this season to make final bets.
Two mistakes that I made last season were:
Start betting to early in the season, which is always very tricky. In the past I had great early season results (even pre-season), but in general it is a lot of luck involved and I am more comfortable when I have fresh stats from a new season.
I made too many gut plays. I tracked my plays, that were not supported by my math model and I call them “gut plays”. Intuition and experience are great, if you know how to use them, but on the long run I believe that facts are much more important. And the numbers are all about the facts. My gut plays were not good last season and I made more damage than anything good. This is why I will limit such plays.
But the model alone had very good results and the basic idea with projections and the model is to get the true picture about the games, that is based on the facts (not emotion). After that we can always stay away from the games, that we don’t like.
Even if I exclude my “gut plays”, my betting model had much better results after one month. As you can see below, the worst results were at the start of the season and after first month, results went up. But of course, this should not be the rule, that every season will be the same. Sometimes I had great first half and not so good second half.
What are projections and how I project games?
There are many different theories about games, betting, etc… I look at one baseball game as one event, where two teams play each other and both teams have a chance to win a game.
P(A) = Probability of team A to win a game
P(B) = Probability of team B to win a game
P(A) + P(B) = 1
With my baseball betting model and formulas that I have created in google sheets, I estimate my winning percentages. When I have winning percentages, I turn them into the odds.
My projection will look like this:
Oakland Athletics (Daniel Gossett): WIN %= 40.40%, US ODD= +148 DECIMAL = 2.48 Los Angeles Angels (Parker Bridwell):WIN %= 59.60%, US ODDS= -148, DECIMAL = 1.68
Then I will estimate the value with Kelly Criterion, where I will take into account bookmakers odds. And of course bookmakers odds are the reason if I bet or not.
Here you can download betting tracker for 2018 and analyse your own bets. Download and open file in google sheets.
Two things, that I will add this season and didn’t pay that much attention last season are analysing my betting performance versus closing lines (I will use Pinnacle closing lines) and I will also check p-value to see skill vs chance.
Yield, ROI, Profit,…
I will of course track basic stats and the goal is of course to make a profit at the end of the season.
According to Pinnacle (which is the sharpest bookmaker in the world): “The most accurate way we have found, to distinguish winning and losing players is to look at the odds a player received when they made their bet, and compare it with the Pinnacle Sports closing line on the game. If a player consistently beats our closing price, they are likely to be a long-term winner – period. Interestingly, we have found that this test is more reflective of a player’s future winning potential, than their historical win/loss record with the company.”
In other words sports betting is a market, where we try to get the best price possible. If you can get better odds than the “market”, then you beat it. In very simple example, if you bet at this moment on Boston Red Sox at 2.34 (+134) and the closing odds on Boston were at 2.20 (+120) you beat a closing line and this is good.
The goal will be to have positive CLV and to beat closing lines more often than not.
Opening vs Closing Line
I will also track my bets to see which bets were on the right line movement. So it the opening odds were at 2.5 and closing odds were at 2.34, I was on the right team.
Skill vs Luck
I will also add one very simple calculator of p-value in betting tracker to get first picture about my performance and by how many times my result is by a chance or by a skill. Note also that this will start showing some first results only after 100 bets. But I believe, that I will make at least 500 bets this season.
I will challenge myself in different categories, which will be even bigger challenge. I will try have positive numbers in all three categories. Of course profit will still be a goal at the end, but I also want to have positive numbers in other two categories. Everything I do with my site, I do long term and many bettors who will read this, track and analyse their record this way or even join me on my A Journey will become simply better on the long run.
I will try to stay in the range between 1.75 (-133) and 2.85 (+185), but I will make extra analysis for the odds out of this range and then I will make final decisions. My model had the best results in this range.
All my bets will be in the range between 1-2 units. I recommend that 1 unit is 0.5%-1% of your bankroll. Is this % of current bankroll of starting bankroll?
I will use 1 unit as 1% of starting bankroll for baseball season. It will be separate betting project. But those bets will be also played in my 5-year bitcoin betting project, where I use proportional strategy.
All pitchers must be listed for my bets in this project. But this also depends on your bookmaker and where you will bet. If you bet at Nitrogensports for example, they don’t have pitchers listed.
Most of my bets will be moneyline bets. Very few run line and maybe just couple of games, where I will bet on totals.
The margins (juice) is taken from the game between Oakland and Angels 1 hour before the game start on April 6th, 2018 (CET time zone = 19:00).
Bookmakers with the lowest juice are fiat bookmakers Pinnacle for European players, 5Dimes for US players and bitcoin bookmaker Sportsbet.
That doesn’t mean that the best odds will always be at bookmakers with lowest margins. In this game, the best odds on Oakland were at Betonline (2.27), but because of that, they have weaker odds on Angels. So, anyone who wants to bet on Oakland, the best price was on Betonline, despite they don’t have the lowest margin (juice). It is always recommended to have multiple accounts to get better odds. All my bets will be played at Pinnacle and Bitcoinrush (bitcoin betting).
When and where I will share my bets and projected odds?
All my projected odds will be shared membership area first. Later I will create a video on youtube, where I will comment games and my bets. You can subscribe to youtube channel here. You can become a member if you join my betting course here.
I will start sharing my projected odds on 23th April, 2018.
I wish you successful MLB season and as always like to say, do your own research.
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