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April 2, 2011

BP Unfiltered

For Amusement Only 4/2

by John Perrotto

Based on the early odds for Saturday, I like three matchups:

I'll take a pair of underdogs in afternoon games and I am a firm believer that you must sprinkle in some dog plays over the course of the season to turn much of a profit. Thus, I'll go with the Indians and Carlos Carrasco plus-115 over the White Sox and Edwin Jackson, and the Blue Jays and Kyle Drabek plus-115 over the Twins and Francisco Liriano.

I wish I had a real solid reason on the Indians but it's just a gut feeling from watching Carrasco pitch in person a couple of times late last season. The Blue Jays continued their recent dominance of the Twins by whipping them 13-3 in their opener Friday night, giving Toronto 21 wins in the teams' last 27 meetings. I believe Drabek, buoyed by the confidence he gained with a good spring, is ready to notch his first major-league victory and I'm not sure Liriano is completely ready for the season after showing up to spring training with his arm out of shape.

In a night game, I'll go with the Reds and Travis Wood minus-125 over the Brewers and Shaun Marcum. As in Thursday's opener, I'll ride the fact the Reds have won 17 of their last 21 games against the Brewers. I also worry about Marcum's readiness after he also miss time during spring training with shoulder problems.

I'd stick with the Indians and Blue Jays as long as the odds stay better than even money, but I wouldn't go any higher than minus-125 on the Reds.

There are four other potential plays depending on line movement: The Giants and Matt Cain over the Dodgers and Ted Lilly if the line drops to minus-110 or under, the Cardinals and Jake Westbrook over the Padres and Clayton Richard if the line drops to minus-140 or under, the Rays and James Shields over the Orioles and Chris Tillman if the line drops to minus-145 or under, and the Rangers and Colby Lewis over the Red Sox and John Lackey if the line drops to minus-120 or under.

I went 1-2 on Friday's picks, hitting on the Rangers at an even 100-100 over the Red Sox in the afternoon but losing on two night games—the Athletics at 119-100 over the Mariners and the Giants at 100-102 over the Dodgers.

One other note: While I don't pick over/unders, I enjoyed the conversations and predictions about them in yesterday's comments section. In fact, keep the comments coming and it was fun to see the discussion yesterday.

Season record: 2-3 (.400)

Profit/loss: minus-119

John Perrotto is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see John's other articles. You can contact John by clicking here

4 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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BrownianNotion

For your bets are you betting "the line"? As in, if it's a underdog, you're betting "100", and if a favorite at say, -120, you're betting "120"? I only ask because I remember reading in an article by Chad Millman a while back that most wiseguys adjust the amount they bet based on how confident they are in the bet. Betting "the line" will skew your profit/loss toward how your favorites perform.

Apr 02, 2011 06:55 AM
rating: 0
 
greensox

Baseball betting or pseudo-betting day in and day out is a tough gig. But you should be able to come out ahead if you stick with it. Good luck.
If I were a better I would bet only dogs and only teams that I thought had at least a 50

Apr 02, 2011 15:59 PM
rating: 0
 
greensox

meant to say dogs that had a 50% chance of winning or better. Just not too many plays come up.
It's too tough for me to figure if a team I like is worth a, say -130 or not....that's a fine line of estimating probabilities of winning.

Apr 02, 2011 16:00 PM
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BrownianNotion

Here's what I do when I think about it.. For a -130 line, long story short, it's a good bet if the team has a better than 130/230 = .56521 chance of winning. An easy way to visualize this, for me at least, is that means if these two teams played with these pitchers 162 times, the -130 team should win around 92 games. It's a little sloppy, but it helps me picture when "-130" is a good bet.

In case you can't tell, I also enjoy doing this kind of pseudo-betting and enjoy analyzing lines.

Apr 02, 2011 19:11 PM
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Divide and Conquer, AL... (04/01)
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BP Unfiltered: The Pap... (04/02)
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BP Unfiltered: For Amu... (04/03)
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The Week in Quotes: Ma... (04/04)

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