MLB Round-Up; Pitching Once Again Dominating in the Playoffs

Justin Verlander

Verlander has been outstanding so far through the playoffs for Detroit.

There are some things and some trends that are as old as time. Turn the football over more than the other team and your odds of winning decrease dramatically. Get to the foul line more than the other team in basketball and your odds of winning increase dramatically. In the Major League Baseball playoffs, if you’re starting and relief pitching are better than the opponent’s then you’ve got a pretty good case for victory.

If you analyze the pitching of all of the playoff teams (not including wild-card play-in losers) you’ll notice something interesting. The Detroit Tigers clearly lead the pitching categories with an ERA of 1.82. Second are the New York Yankees who have an excellent post-season ERA of 2.25. Hard to believe perhaps? It shouldn’t be. Although the Yankees trail the Tigers (at the time of this writing) three games to zero, the games have been very close, relatively low-scoring contests. 6-4 in 12 innings, 3-0 and 2-1 have been the scores thus far and with C.C. Sabathia and Max Scherzer on the mound in last night’s game, run totals were not expected to climb.

Here’s my take on betting a game like match-up I just mentioned. Currently the over-under is at seven. So if you take the Yanks and the under and they win 5-1 is it still a low-scoring affair? Furthermore, do you really care as long as you win? What I’m getting at is when you look at the history of the prior games, only one went over 7 and that was because of extra innings. If you remember, Jose Velverde blew a 4-0 lead in the bottomn of the ninth only to see his Tigers bail him out in the 12th.

C.C. Sabathia

Sabathia went to the hill last night hoping to keep the Yanks alive in Detroit

People often say a trend really can’t be followed after just one or two games of a series. That may or may not be true, but I would think that after three games now a trend in the American League Championship Series has developed. There would be no way I’d consider touching the ‘over’ with Sabathia and Scherzer on the mound. With the way the Yankees are hitting you can’t expect much if anything to suddenly rejuvenate that lineup in a single night. The Tigers themselves aren’t exactly lighting up the baseball either and will need to create more offense to battle either San Francisco or St. Louis assuming they get there.

Pitching is indeed dominant this time of year and that trend is continuing in the ALCS in 2012.

The National League Championship Series

Normally we see the National League with better pitching statistics simply because of the pitcher batting. That normally helps drive down opposing averages, on-base percentages and ERA. Not necessarily the case so far in 2012 between the Giants and the Cardinals. In Game One, the Cards bested the Giants by a score of 6-4 and then San Fran came back to even the series in Game Two winning 7-1. This isn’t to say the pitching has been awful by any stretch, but it certainly has been compared to the standards of the American League to this point in the respective LCS’s.

Both the Cards and the Giants have very good pitching and I expect to see the scores of their games come down a bit. I also tend to believe the offenses of the two senior league teams isn’t necessarily better, but perhaps steadier than those of the Tigers and Yankees at least right now in October.

As is the case with any game whether it be in the regular season or the playoffs, the pitching match-ups will help dictate much of how you go about wagering on a game-by-game basis. Another to consider is bullpen strength as well. A team like the Tigers for example has a very rested group of relievers after Justin Verlander went into the ninth Tuesday night. Good luck on the wagering and remember to think, “pitching!”

 

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