Baseball Betting Tip #1: Importance of Weather

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Baseball Betting Tip #1: Importance of Weather



One thing that always baffled me was the lack of discussion on weather in general when it came to betting on baseball. During football season, you could not talk about a total and not have someone chime in with wind or a pending rain storm coming. The fact is, especially in football, to think the oddsmakers do not have the weather channel and factor all the above into the number is nieve. I am not claiming the lines and totals in baseball do not also account for weather conditions, BUT the various variables that effect everything from pitching to how far a ball will travel in no way are 100% accurate on the actuals numbers released for betting purposes. Without going into a full blow physics paper, here are some things to consider when handicapping MLB:

Air:

With the average wind velocity in the United States around 10 miles per hour, any variance can change a potential home run into an out. Using a potential 400 foot homerun in the air for our example, with the average 10 miles WITH the batter it will add up to an extra 30 feet to the that same 400 hit. On the flip side, if the wind (average of 10 miles) is blowing AGAINST the batter it will take about 30 feet off the same exact at-bat. So just using the average wind velocity and not anything outside of the norm, the 400 foot hit will either go 430 OR 370 feet depending on the conditions. That is a big difference, either a home run or an out. Even a small change of + or - 5 miles per hour either way jumps the change up to 45 feet using our example, or a 400 foot hit now going 445 feet.

Looking at air coming side to side of the ball (crosswinds) and not front or back, at 10 miles per hour it will blow a fastball off its target by up to 3 inches. The crosswind effect has even a greater effect on pitchers who tend to throw curveballs and knuckleballs.

Density/Pressure:

With the air density lower, the ball will travel further. With everything 100% equal except the air density, the same hit in Denver will go 9% further versus it being hit in New York. So if someone can hit the ball 400 feet in New York, it would go around 436 feet when playing at the Rockies.

Professional handicappers I have known in the past have used the complex breakdown of weather to kill MLB totals. Besides beating totals, taking the time to know the pitcher in conjunction with the weather is a very dangerous tool if perfected when betting MLB. For example, Pitcher A with the same exact fastball would reach the catchers mitt quicker in Denver versus the same everything in Yankee stadium. In the event of being a pitcher who may use a curveball, he is better off in New York because in Denver it will break on average 3 inches less due to conditions. Experts in the field have estimated the infielders range decreases a foot or so and the outfielders about nine feet when you compare high elevation against a sea level ballpark.

Many of the weather sites now offer "sports weather" pages that show the stadium and conditions over the game. Taking advantage of changes on air or density conditions after the lines are released can be a valuable asset. Maybe conditions are optimal for hitting early in the game, but not the full 9 innings, which can be translated into an edge on betting the 1st 5 innings.

If you want to really become a nerd on this stuff, check out  Robert Adair's “The Physics of Baseball. He is a Yale physicist who wrote an entire book on baseball and the relationship of physics on the game.

With baseball season upon us, I will try and add more "Basebal Betting Tips" in the coming weeks.

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Regards,

Johnny Detroit, Co-Founder and Vice-President
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  • Some great weather links:

    www.weather.com/.../sports

    www.wunderground.com/.../MLB

  • No worries. People think there is so much luck involved with gambling, but there is a reason the sportsbooks know they can keep around 4.5% of every side/total wagered long term at -110. In the end, it is just math. If you play around enough online, you will find academics who are not bettors, do research on tons of variables involved with sports betting. Some on the math and importance of the line, others on weather. Adair is the MAN at Yale, but wrote an entire book just on baseball. It is not based on gambling, but tons of things can be taken out to factor into making a bet. Every little piece of information you gain, will help lessen that 4.5% edge the sportsbook has.

  • I knew weather played a part in handicapping as I allways I checked conditions before wagering, bet to have such a dramitic affect on the pitchers blows my mind, thanks for the info and keep it coming.

  • I took me a vodka tonic (or two) to fall asleep after that game.  I was salty.    Better things for next year, I suppose.   Go blue!

  • i stayed up watching that game. when we were nearing 60 shots and getting off the post shots or amazing saves, i knew they would get some fluke goal after all the missed chances. was sick. i bought those fucking tickets like a year ago to hope and see uofm.

  • I might still go (to the Frozen Four).  I love hockey.  But it was such a kick in the balls when they waved off Michigan's winning goal in OT.   We dominated Miami.... until Miami knocked in the game winner.  

  • UGH. I have 4 frozen four tickets in the 2nd row of the club section. One of the perks of being a Lion's ticket holder is getting access to everything from Wrestlemania to Chesney before the public.

  • The new stadium? I felt the opposite. Did not have an open air feeling at all. Getting in was easy and roomy to walk around. But not anything close to be an open stadium from the concession/walk areas and the field.

  • I WAS a season ticket holder for Lions, Wings, and Michigan football and had a Tigers ticket package when I moved back to Michigan from DC.  ...then I had kids.  I missed you by 1 game at the last Yankee Stadium game (which honestly I thought was overrated).  

    Haven't secured my opening day ticket for this year, but it's pretty likely I'll there.  Was hoping that I'd be heading over to the Frozen Four at Ford Field afterwards to see Michigan play but a quick whistle in overtime Sunday killed that idea.  ...sigh....

    Anyway, as I said, really looking forward to reading your stuff and really enjoyed this blog.  It's why I love this site so much.  So much great info to put to use.  Thanks again!

  • There's ez access for commuters. You can see the field while your buying a "hotdog". You can sit outside in a restaurant. You can hop on the #4 & get downtown in 10 minutes. What did I forget?

  • Does not have a baseball feel. The giant screen was cool, but seems more like a football stadium. The old stadium was dump though. I thought the old Tiger's Stadium was bad. Geez. But, any excuse to visit NY. Love that place.

  • Yankee stadium. What's so overrated about the new "joint". Love to hear yout thoughts before I go there...lol

  • Season ticket holder up until this season. Even saw the last Tiger's game at the old Yankee Stadium and the 1st one at the new joint (SO OVERRATED). Will be at opening day in the Motor City Casino suite. Close friend of mine is a junkie, lol.

    With 3rd kid on the way, had to cut out all the season tickets. Had 13 rows behind net where Wings shot twice, MI, Tigers and Pistons.  I kept my Lion's tickets. Yes. I know. Lions.

  • I'm a relatively new guy to pregame Johnny D so don't know if I've seen your stuff before.  This blog  blows me away.  I'm really looking forward to hearing more from you as the season approaches.

    On a side note, can I assume - betting aside - you're a Tigers fan?

  • Exactly. One of my favorite Over pitchers was Yusmeiro Petit from the DBacks.  Pitched in Arizona and gave up a ton of homeruns.  Numerous times I cashed Overs by the 6th inning.