Key Statistics for Betting on MLB baseball
Key statistics and recent betting trends are important for breaking down matchups when handicapping any sport, but when it comes to analyzing numbers, nobody does it better than Major League Baseball. I am almost convinced that if you look hard enough you can find stats on any and every possible aspect of the game. Baseball is the ultimate safe haven for all the stat junkies out there.
For the purpose of wagering on MLB games, there is certain information that becomes far more important than knowing the current batting average of a utility outfielder. Time is money, so you want to make sure that you are taking into consideration the most important stats when it comes to handicapping any MLB matchup
Starting Pitcher's ERA and WHIP
Each team's starting pitcher for any particular game weighs heavily on the Oddsmaker's moneyline, run line and total line for that game. So much so, that a game will remain "off" a sportsbook's MLB betting board until both teams have designated a starter.
The most important stat surrounding any pitcher, but especially a starter, is their "earned run average". This is simply a measure of the number of runs a pitcher gives up per nine innings pitched. It is calculated by dividing the number of runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and then multiplying that number by nine.
The lower the ERA the more effective of pitcher is at keeping runs off the board. This can be a major factor for not only which team goes on to win the game, but for the amount of runs scored in terms of a wager on the total line. Another pitching stat that is important in assessing a pitcher's current form is their WHIP, which is a measure of their walks plus hits per inning pitched. Just like an ERA, the lower the better when it comes to a pitcher's WHIP.
In the same way that an ERA is a vital measurement for a pitcher, when it comes to an individual batter or more importantly a team's lineup as a whole you should always be familiar with their "on base percentage" or OBP. This is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped third strike, fielder's obstruction or catcher's interference.
When this statistic is applied to a lineup as a whole, it will give you a good idea of how effective a team is at putting runners on the plates. It stands to reason that the more players you have on base during the course of a nine inning game, the better your chance at scoring runs. The higher number the better when it comes to this stat.
Average Runs Scored
This stat is pretty self-explanatory, but still one of the most important numbers in the game. To arrive at this figure all you need to do is divide a team's total runs scored by the number of games they have already played. Often times you may find a team ranked near the bottom of their league in team batting average being ranked much higher on runs scored. It really does not matter how high or low a team's batting average is as long as it has demonstrated the ability to score runs. Runs Batted In or RBI are another key stat that go hand-in-hand with runs scored.
Another key stat that is important to scoring runs are Base-on-Balls, which are commonly known as Walks. You should always be familiar with how many walks a team draws each game as well as how many they allow. Successful teams in the Majors can usually find ways to manufacture runs as long as they are consistently placing runners on the bases. It really does not matter how they get on base when you consider that any player out there is a potential run at home plate.