Monday, August 17, 2009

Keeping Your Head When Your Team’s Stars are Losing Theirs in Baseball


Betting on baseball over the season is an emotional rollercoaster ride for many handicappers. With so many games played, the emotional drain of the game is inevitable. Too many times what we see before we go to bed at night has too big of an impact on how we bet at the window or on-line the next day. It is imperative to the health and welfare of your bankroll to not over react to the highlight reel. Saturday night is a perfect example of how important it is to use and not lose your head while betting on Baseball.

As I was watching ESPN SportsCenter before going to bed Saturday night, I saw three gruesome beanings and decapitations on the big screen. The first was the line shot
that ricocheted off the cranium of the Korean pitcher Hiroki Kuroda of the Los Angeles Dodgers of LA; not to be confused with the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim. The Dodgers went on to lose 4-3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Fortunately, tests revealed no fracture or internal bleeding. This is good news for Dodger fans but bettors did not forget the bleeding they experienced at the window or in their account the next day. The Dodgers had a 3-0 lead at the time of the decapitation. How did the team respond? While some people stayed away from the game or took the Snakes as a knee jerk reaction, the LA Dodgers came back with a vengeance 9-2 over Arizona.

The second dome to receive a dent was that of David Wright. The NY Mets had already suffered enough. With a DL as long as the New York City subway line, the last thing they needed was to have their clean up hitter, one of the only consistent bats they have left, take one in the head. With the count 0-2, Matt Cain of the Giants released a four-seam fastball that beaned Wright in the left temple.

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As depleted as the NY Mets line-up is, they still have veteran Fernando Tatis to take is place in the lineup. Now here is point that many miss. What is David Wright's batting average? Currently, he is batting .324 while his replacement, Tatis, is hitting .250. As a short term replacement, do you really think the difference of 32.4% chance of getting a hit is that much higher than 25%? Is it enough to move the betting line or to change your opinion about who might win the game?

Many people over react to the loss of a star player and forget that each team has a full roster of players who are able to pick up the slack. Over the long haul, I agree that Wright is going to produce more numbers than Tatis but in the short run the difference is not likely to be noticeable. So how did the NY Mets respond? With a 3-2 victory to reward the NY Mets ticket holders who were not ready to bail out after yet another star was sent to the hospital seeing stars.

The final incident came in the Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox matchup. A Fernando Cabrera fastball bounced off his shoulder and struck him in the batting helmet. He angrily responded to pitcher and to catcher Jason Varitek and let his displeasure be known as he took first base. The next day he took revenge by getting a home run and knocking Boston out of first place in the wild-card hunt. Texas won the game 4-3.

So, what do we observe from these three scenarios? Each time a player was hit in the head their team pulled together and produced a win. Does that mean it is a law, just wait until someone gets beaned and then go the other way? Of course not! What it does mean is that it is a mistake to over react to bad news on the highlight reel and let that play too big of a role in deciding what will happen the next day.

Do your homework, keep your head on your shoulders! Even if your star player just lost his.

Written By Steve Saylor