There are lots of dynamics to the game of baseball, and successful handicapping requires baseball bettors to know and analyze a lot of information.
With pitching being such an significant part of the game, it is especially important for handicappers to know how to spot strengths and weaknesses in a team’s rotation. And one aspect of that, which give bettors headaches, is handicapping a team’s fifth starter.
That’s because it’s the spot where teams typically do not put their aces, meaning performances from a team’s fifth man can be grossly inconsistent and the same player is likely not going to spend much time there. Or it can be exactly the opposite.
So, to help handicappers to decide where to place their money when handicapping a game featuring at least one fifth starter, we have put together a few key factors to consider.
To begin with, handicappers have to determine if a fifth starter is actually a real bona fide part of the team’s rotation. Our MLB Picks win on average 70+ percent of the time. See why clients love Sports Information Traders for our winning sports betting advice and picks.
He could be a player just filling the role for a while, or is pitching just because the team needs a starter and he’s the best and freshest option. However, he could be established in his role, and could be just as good as the third and fourth pitchers on a team loaded with pitching talent.
If that later is the case, handicappers need to ask if he would be higher in the rotation elsewhere?
It’s pretty common to see a relatively talented fifth starter undervalued by the betting public because of where he is playing and where he is in the rotation. So, for handicappers to get an idea of how good a guy is and what his real potential is in a given situation — especially if his turn comes against a top of the rotation guy for the other team — can lead to real value.
Next, handicappers need to evaluate where a player is in his career, as there are a few different ways a pitcher can wind up as a fifth starter.
If a young prospect is a fifth starter, then the team is just trying to get him some major league experience. In this case, handicappers can probably expect to see a lot of bullpen action. Conversely, if a pitcher was higher up on the rotation at one time and has fallen to the bottom, it may not be for good, as some players see action at the fifth spot during their rehab. Nevertheless, if a pitcher’s talent seems not up to snuff, then he’s probably just a place-filler. In each case handicappers understand a little more, and can bet accordingly by understanding what got a guy there in the first place.
Finally, how does the public and the team he plays for view a particular fifth starter?
Is it a pitcher who was enjoyed a great deal of success in the past, or was a high profile player who has received a lot of media attention? Is he a hyped up blue-chip prospect? All of these situation surrounding any pitcher, even one that is starting in the fifth hole, can cause the public to pay attention and could change the betting perspective.
Another thing that can change betting perspective is how a team values their own fifth starter, as some teams in the majors don’t play well behind a no-name pitcher as they do behind their aces. For others it doesn’t matter.
By looking back at how a team’s performs with its fifth starters, handicappers gain valuable information that can be useful at the betting window.