Baseball Betting Guide (Part 3 of 3) – MLB Betting Systems

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Here is the third and final part of our MLB baseball betting guide and mlb betting systems for 2011. In this part we will take a look at the numbers behind the bold and controversial Strategy #2, which advises you to bet on baseball according to how the home plate umpire calls the game. I will tear the cover off a subject that is taboo in MLB. How the transparency in how the home plate umpire calls a game translates into the higher likelihood of a particular side or total winning. That’s right I said side and total not just the total.

When I first started studying this last year I figured that I would find some umpires who had a big strike zone and thus their games were lower scoring and vice versa with a smaller strike zone and higher scoring games. I did find this to be true and the numbers were compelling, but what I was shocked to find was that there were umpires who had such a high percentage of home team wins and that it was far above the MLB average which made it significant. I found that the term “home team advantage” is something some umpires apply more then others.

Let me throw out a few examples of some of the umpires who seem to have this built in “bias” for the home team. Tim McClelland who is a veteran umpire since 1999 when behind home plate last year saw the home team go 28-5 overall. Since 2005 the home team is 111-68 or .620 when McClelland is behind the plate. Mike Muchlinski only umpires sparingly but jump on the home team when he is behind the plate. They are 35-15 the last 5 years which is a staggering .700. Alfonso Marquez another “friend” to the home team in the last 3 years has seen the home team go 65-36 or .644 when he is behind the plate. Kerwin Danley had a record of 26-8 for the home team last year including an amazing 20-2 when the home team was the favorite.

These figures are well above the average home team record in MLB which in 2010 was .559. In 2009 it was .548 and in 2008 it was .556. These umpires are having home teams win in some cases as much as 25% more often which is not only staggering but extremely profitable when we are able to determine if they are behind the plate. Here are a few more whose numbers aren’t as dramatic but whose record over time is. Ted Barrett had a 25-10 record for the home team in 2010 when behind the plate and over the last 8 years the home team wins at a .592 clip when he is the home plate umpire. Mark Carlson is another veteran umpire who in his 12 years behind the plate never had one single season that the road team won more games then the home team. In fact the home team wins .593 when Carlson is behind the plate.

Let’s also take a look at how an umpire calls balls and strikes also relates to the outcome of the total runs scored in a game. This is where I thought I would find all kinds of trends but there were only a few. The ones I did find however are extremely significant. Angel Campos is an umpire who must have one very small strike zone. He calls on average less strikes then any other umpire in MLB and over the last 4 years in games when he is behind home plate the over comes in 61% of the time. Jim Reynolds is another umpire with a small strike zone and no friend to pitchers. The last 4 years the over has cashed in to the tune of 78-45 or 63.4% of the time when he is behind the plate.

Doug Eddings might have one of the largest strike zones of any umpire in MLB as evidenced by his record over the past 12 years of 60.6% of his games behind home plate going under the total. James Hoye is another umpire good for an under outcome, the past two years the under is 50-22 or 69.4% when he is home plate umpire. Bill Miller is another great under umpire seeing the under cash in 84-51 or 62.2% of the time the past 4 years when he is the home plate umpire. I think what makes some of these “under” umpires results even more impressive are that some of those under outcomes came during the steroids era. The numbers won’t be completed for a few years but it appears to me batters are hitting less home runs the past couple of years and I think there is a direct link to the crack down on steroids and HGH. This makes an under umpire even more profitable in a steroids/HGH free environment.

Are all of these men cheaters or being dishonest? Of course they aren’t. Are they necessarily bad at their jobs? Maybe they are and maybe they just see things a little differently then the majority. Does that make them wrong, I don’t think so but it does create an opportunity to capitalize on a particular tendency they have. The key is being able to find the information which is so meaningful. There are several websites that publish the listed home plate umpires and also compile their records dating back to the 90’s. It is no accident that MLB tries to make this information very difficult to find for game 1 of a series, and they would never admit in a million years that certain umpires have any sort of bias whatsoever. However I think you’ll agree the numbers tell a different story.

Now I wouldn’t write down every umpire I listed and bet according to their tendencies, however I would be checking all of them against this year’s records to see if history will once again repeat itself. I would be also looking for certain situations to use these tendencies for example knowing you have a good under umpire combined with two teams sending their ace to the mound might be a great spot to play the under. Conversely knowing you have a good over umpire and two less then top pitchers on the mound might be a prime spot to bet the over. Call it what you will, but I’m a numbers guy and the numbers prove a very interesting system on how to make money consistently betting legally on MLB using primarily strategy #2. We at are always striving to bring you the most up to date and innovative wagering strategies on all sports. We hope you have enjoyed this three part guide on baseball betting advice. Good luck this year and may all the walk off home runs go in our favor.

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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