MLB Betting: What You Need To Know About Betting The Playoffs



The 2017 MLB postseason is fast approaching, with just a few days remaining in the regular season. Out of all North American professional sports leagues, the MLB postseason is arguably the most difficult to predict, since the best team heading into the playoffs is not usually the team to win the World Series or even make it to the World Series. While luck may play a bigger role in the MLB postseason than most other professional sports leagues, there are a few factors that should be taken into account when betting on the MLB playoffs. Let’s take a look at them below.

Momentum Matters

When a player is on a hot streak, such as hitting .500 during a one-month span or having pitched 30 consecutive scoreless innings, he will be able to significantly impact the outcomes of many games in a positive way for his team. Conversely, when a player is on a cold streak, such as hitting .100 during a one-month span or having blown three consecutive save opportunities, this could really bring a team down. The same applies within a team setting. The manner in which a team heads into the postseason matters a great deal. If a team has struggled mightily during the last month heading into the postseason even though they may have already clinched a playoff appearance quite early, this may spillover into the postseason. On the other hand, if a team has battled and recorded key victories in qualifying for the postseason, this string of great performances may really boost a team during the playoffs. Teams only need to win two series to qualify for the World Series, which means that momentum can easily be carried for the majority of the duration of the postseason.

Starting Pitching

During the postseason, a team’s starting pitching rotation is usually trimmed down from five starters to four, and in some cases, three. As a result, teams who may have needed to rely on their fifth starter over the course of the regular season may no longer be required to shoulder this burden. If the timing and rest days work out in the favor of one team over another, the luckier team may be able to roll out their ace for two games in a five-game series or better yet, three games in a seven-game series. Imagine having to face Clayton Kershaw (forget his postseason struggles) multiple times in a series – good luck with that.

Bullpen

In the more recent MLB postseasons, teams with superior bullpens have dominated. Due to the relatively short length of the postseason, a team is able to complement their starting pitchers with three solid bullpen pitchers for the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, in order for their starting pitchers to not have to worry too much about having to go deeper into games. This also affords them less pitches thrown, which will allow them to be fresher for their next potential start. Since relievers are much more fresh than the team’s starting pitcher once the fifth inning is complete, they’re able to enter the game and throw upwards of 97-98 mph. Hitters are usually overwhelmed, especially if they have to face three different reliever who are all hard throwers. We’ve seen the bullpen deployed more and more early – just look at what the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals have been able to accomplish without spectacular starting pitchers.