Tips for handicapping bullpens
Probably one of the toughest things for baseball handicappers to do is evaluate a team’s bullpen.
That’s because it’s hard to know how much a bullpen will be needed, which pitchers will be used and which batters they are likely to square off against. Nevertheless, knowing how to handicap bullpens is a must for baseball bettors if they are going to be successful.
So, here are a few factors to consider when looking handicapping MLB bullpens.
First, handicappers need to break down bullpens into parts, not evaluate them as a group, but evaluating each component independently, looking at the number of right and left handed pitchers, and the number of long relievers, middle relievers and closers a team has. Also, if the team has shortage of one type of pitcher or an abundance of another.
Once this is done, it’s easier to zero in on a kind of bullpen pitcher that is more effective for a certain team.
This process will usually tell a lot about a team’s bullpen depth as well.
The MLB season is long, and there will be times, when the bullpen is relied upon heavily. That will increase the number of pitchers that are used and a team needs to have a good supply of relievers who are healthy.
The fitness of a bullpen can be evaluated by the recent usage. A well-rested bullpen is usually healthier and can generally perform better than they might be expected to, which could help overcome a bullpen’s lack of skill.
A bullpen should also be evaluated by looking at how aggressive a team’s manager is with his bullpen.
A manager that is more tactical will use pitchers for just a batter or two, while aggressive managers will use their relievers for multiple innings, forcing them to go longer at times than their arms will allow. The only way baseball bettors will know this, is by looking at how a team’s starting rotation has been performing.
If a team’s starting rotation is doing reasonably well, then there is less concern about the status and efficiency of a team’s bullpen.
Finally, handicappers need to factor in how well the opponent is hitting the baseball.
The better an opponent has been performing offensively, the harder it could be for the starter to perform at a high level for more than five innings. Maybe less if he is shell shocked in the first inning. That will mean the relievers might be asked to work earlier and harder.
End the end it is important for baseball handicappers to learn how to fruitfully assess the performance bullpens, and if they do, they will no doubt be more triumphant in padding their bankrolls.