Pregame Blogs

Pregame Blogs
Videos are just the START of the conversation. Each show has a dedicated blog post with show notes, links, and pics. Plus, the host and guests continue the conversation in the comments section!


I'm not sure what happened, but I posted this hours ago, and when I came back to look at it, only three people had managed to view it and the rest were apparently getting a 404 Error Page.  I could not get the original post to show up no matter what I did.  I had to delete the first article, then wash the text in Notepad, and then repost the whole thing.  Hopefully it will now show up properly.  I blame this all on Bill Gates -- that scrungy, nerdy, SOB!

The worst part of it that I gave you free pick on the Boston Red Sox to win in the first 5 innings at -160 to go along with the article below, and in the top of the 5th Boston is leading 9-2.  I'll try to replace it with another winner if you come back later.  



It's the 9th inning in Atlanta on Thursday night, May 20, 2010.  Going into the bottom of the 9th, Atlanta is losing by a score of 9-3.  After six innings, with the lead already at 9-3, the Reds pull their starter and put Lincoln and his 5.87 ERA in the game.  Lincoln gives up 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th, and is replaced by Masset, who has a 7.33 ERA.  Entering the bottom of the 9th with no outs and his team leading by a score of 9-7, Masset promptly gives up 2 more runs for a tie game.  In a panic, the Reds pull Masset in favor of Rhodes, who finally gets an out.  Not content with Rhodes performance, Cincinnati then replaces him with Cordero who gives up the winning run without getting another out.  Losing 9-3 in the bottom of the 9th, Atlanta wins the game 10-9.

Although a 6-run comeback is extreme, being correct based on the starting pitchers but losing the game due to bullpen decisions by the manager is not unusual.  It happened a second time last Thursday when Seattle scored 3 runs against Toronto's bull pen in the bottom of the 9th to win 4-3.  

Luck is the enemy of the skilled handicapper.  The more precisely things can be handicapped the more accurately they can be predicted.  The danger in any sports bet comes from those things that cannot be predicted with accuracy.  Factors such as in-game injuries and bad calls by the officials fall into that category.  Thankfully, such events are uncommon.  In baseball, however, at least 1/3 of every game cannot be predicted with accuracy.  The handicapper can handicapper the overall records of the available bull pens, but such a procedure is no more accurate for a single game than using the combined records of the available starting pitchers without knowing which of those pitchers will play.  The specific bull pen pitchers and the point in the game in which they will appear, and for how long, is strictly a game-time decision by the manager.  

The result is a myriad of games each season that are decided by the bullpens.  The handicapper can be absolutely correct based on the starters and still end up losing repeatedly.  

The best cure for the problem of bullpen luck is the first 5-inning bet.  Before the Internet and offshore bookmakers, first 5-inning bets could only be found in Las Vegas, and not necessarily at every book.  In recent years, competition among the offshore betting houses has made first 5-inning baseball bets commonplace both offshore and among the outlaw books operating onshore who now have a readily available first 5-inning line and who must do their best to keep business away from the offshore venues.

As it always does, competition has created a benefit for the consumer.  In the first 5-inning bet, the bet is decided based on the score at the end of the first 5 innings.  Such bets eliminate the bull pen factor in the vast majority of games.  With the elimination of the bull pen factor, the game becomes much more predictable, and win percentages can go up significantly.  

As with most cures, there is a cost.  First 5-inning bets usually have a 20-cent spread, while full game bets have just a 10-cent spread at many bookmaking outlets.  Thus, whether the first 5-inning bet is an advantage for you depends on the skill of your statistical handicapping.  If you are just guessing, using your best opinion, or using full game trends, you will probably not increase your win-percentage sufficiently to make up for the extra vig.  If, on the other hand, you are truly skilled statistical handicapper, eliminating bull pen turnarounds will improve your results much more than the increased vig.

The lines for the first 5-innings are normally set within 10 cents of the line on the game.  As with any line, first 5-inning line movements are based on the amount of money bet on each side.  As a result, the first 5-inning line moves independently from the game line, and can vary more than 10 cents from the game line.  If you must lay more than an extra 10 cents, or are getting an underdog at less than 10 cents below the game line, stay away.  If, on the other hand, your are getting the first 5-inning bet at 10 cents or more better than the game line, you have made up for the disadvantage of the increased vig.

Betting on the first 5 inning can cure the biggest problem with baseball betting for the skilled statistical handicapper who carefully evaluates and compares the lines.

We've also got an Afternoon Delight full-game baseball winner available by CLICKING HERE.

  • I had nothing to give you late yesterday, but here's a 1st 5 inning winner for Sunday afternoon instead.  The SF Giants are the much better team, but the availble bullpen would create a drag on the pick probability and the rating.  We can rate if a full 2-stars if we play just the 1st 5 innings.  The line is slightly higher for the first 5, but the play is much better than the full game.  Go with the Giants in the 1st 5 innings -185 with Cain on the mound over Seattle.

    We also have two new packages up.  The first is a big 3-star baseball selection from the Wall Street Syndicate going at 4:10 PM Eastern, and the second is the winner of tonight's baseball game with a big 3-star WNBA selection as an added bonus at no extra cost.  You can click on the link at the end of the main blog post, or you can cut and paste the following into your browser address bar: