September baseball is here and it’s time to gear up for some exciting division and wild-card races down the stretch. While it may be tough to follow up last year’s wild ride all the way down to the last day of the regular season, the addition of two more wild-card spots should make for some interesting drama in the final weeks. September also means expanded rosters, teams playing for next year, fatigue and a change in the weather. From a betting standpoint, there are a lot of different things to focus on during the month of September, so it’s important to have a solid strategy going into the month.
Games involving teams in the hunt for the postseason during September are oftentimes played very similarly to playoff games. You can expect the managers to focus on short-term results at the expense of long-term implications. That means you’ll see the best starting pitchers go deeper into the games if they’re pitching well and only the best relievers will be used out of the bullpen. As a result, expect some lower-scoring affairs and a chance to make some money going “under” the total.
Additional Wild Card Spots
The decision to add another wild card spot in each league should make things more exciting for fans and provide us with more meaningful games for more teams in September. More than half of the teams in baseball are either currently in a playoff spot or within reasonable striking distance. Linesmakers will shade the line towards teams that need to win when they go up against someone who is out of contention. As a result, pay close attention to the standings each day as teams will continue to fall out of the playoff hunt as the month goes on.
Roster sizes expand from 25 to 40 in September, and that can have a big effect on how the games are played. You’re definitely going to see some unfamiliar faces on the teams out of contention as they audition players for next season. Keep an eye on the daily lineups to gain an edge when you see teams that are playing a lot of their minor league talent rather than known commodities.
As the season winds down some teams are gearing up for the playoffs while others are gearing up for the golf course. For the teams vying for a playoff spot, they will obviously be focused. But for teams that are out of it, pay attention to the team’s attitude to gauge whether or not they are looking to play the role of the spoiler or if they have already packed it in. You’ll find that several bad teams actually might be better with the pressure off while others that seem disinterested and ready for the season to end.
We’re over 80 percent of the way through the season and there aren’t very many players who aren’t a little sore and beat up. Look for pitchers with tired arms who are either losing velocity or who have struggled with control. Once you pass the 150-inning mark for starters or the 75-inning mark for relievers, it’s difficult to pitch at the same level. And don’t let the age of a player fool you. There are several teams that are shortening the workload for their young hurlers, while the older pitchers are thrown out there for 7+ innings in each outing. Fresh arms are always an advantage over tired arms.
Everyone knows that it gets colder in September, especially in the Northeast and Midwest cities. When we get extremely cold temperatures, the baseball doesn’t travel as far and hitters can struggle. Reading weather reports becomes crucial this time of the year for that reason. Certain teams also struggle more in colder environments, and these are usually teams that play their home games in a warmer climate.
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