The long 162-game MLB regular season finally comes to a close the first weekend in October and over the four weeks following the Labor Day Holiday there is an excellent opportunity to make some extra money betting on the games as long as you properly tweak your betting strategy for this time of the year.
By the time you do get to the final month of MLB games you are left with three types of teams. The first group is the top contenders that have put the rest of their season on autopilot in an effort to preserve some extra energy for a postseason drive to a World Series title. The next group of teams consists of the rest of the playoff contenders that still need to scratch and claw their way into the postseason with a strong finish. To these types of teams, every win (or loss) could end up being the difference of getting into the playoffs. The final group of teams are the ones that are simply riding out the string. Some of the teams in this group have been out of contention since the All-Star break and as each week goes by a few more shift into this group since there are only five playoffs spots in both the American and National League.
Once you identify what group a team is currently in, you can then develop the proper strategy to use when betting their games from here on in. You should look for opportunities to fade teams at the top of the MLB food chain and at the bottom of the barrel this time of the year. The top contenders will look for opportunities to rest their key players in the batting lineup on a more regular basis while limiting the pitch counts of their top starters. Many times these lineup changes are not announced in advance so it becomes hard to know which players are in or out on any given night.
MLB managers rarely announce set pitch counts for their starters before a game gets underway, so it becomes hard to know just how many innings of work they are set to put in on any given night. The best time to fade these top contenders is when they are favored against a team in the second group of teams battling for their playoff lives. The oddsmakers are also somewhat in the dark as to how long any starter will go this time of year on a top contending team, so they are still setting the moneylines accordingly.
There are also a number of times that you should look to fade the teams in the bottom group that are just riding out the string. A good place to start is a team’s second half record. If it has actually gotten worse since the All-Star break, then they are an immediate candidate to fade in almost every game they play. A non-contending team that has been on an upswing over the past month or so could still be trying to build some momentum for next season. The best bottom feeders to fade would be a team that is made up of quite a few high-priced veteran players who are already dreaming about returning to the golf course in October.
Understanding any MLB team’s motivation this time of year is a key part of the handicapping process. A little bit of extra effort here and there to find the perfect matchups to put this betting strategy to the test can result in a late-season surge of your own when it comes to your overall sports betting bankroll.