a baseball pitcher pitching a ball in a professional baseball stadium

How Can a New Sports Bettor Make Use of the Interim in Sports Play?

The coronavirus crisis is now into its third month.  It has closed land-based casinos sending possibly hundreds of thousands of gamers to a casino online such as Intertops Casino.

Intertops Specializes in Promotions

These new gamers are discovering the great online casino promotions available to them.  At Intertops Casino, the promotions begin with a Welcome Package of four deposit bonuses and a no deposit bonus which all told can be worth as much as $5555!

Sports Bettors are Also Welcome at Intertops

Another aspect of gaming at Intertops Casino is that we also run an online sportsbook.  Many gamers who are fast becoming devotees of the more than 300 games you can play here at Intertops are also happily discovering the possibility of sports betting while gaming at the casino.

A Grand Opportunity for All Sports Bettors

As harmful as the coronavirus has been for the unfortunate people who have taken ill and sadly the many who have passed, for many millions of others, the forced isolation has given them a chance to expand their horizons.

Thus, we will devote the rest of this article to learning more about baseball, the quintessential game of summer in the United States and many other countries.  Baseball may be shut down for the time being but now baseball fans who would like to bet on baseball at the Intertops Sportsbook have a chance to learn a lot more about the game than they knew before.

A Statistical Approach to Baseball

We want to keep this blog as simple as possible so we won’t introduce complex formulas.  Instead, we will introduce concepts that we hope will make it easier for you to make wise betting decision on baseball when it returns, hopefully very soon!

Baseball is Unique among Sports

Most sports have one of two basic concepts: the superstar concept or the team concept.  Now, no team sport can be entirely oriented to its superstars and no team sport can be entirely oriented to the team.  There is some superstar in every sport and some team in every sport except those sports that are truly individual such as golf and tennis.

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Baseball is the Hardest Game to Win

In American basketball (the NBA) or North American hockey (the NHL, which has many European players) it is quite common for a team to have a winning percentage above 70%.  In the NBA, there is at least one team every year, and sometimes more than one, with a winning percentage over 80%.

This is completely impossible in baseball.  In the other sports, the best player on the court or the ice for each team dominates the play for the entire time they are playing.  This is especially pronounced in the NBA where the superstar “touches the ball” on every play.

In baseball, the superstar batter may bat four times in the game with a chance to create one run if he bats with no one on base.  The superstar defender may get zero chances to save runs in a game.  As a result, a winning percentage of 60% in baseball is considered exceptional.

How to Evaluate Baseball Teams and Players

The key to making good sports bets on baseball is to know more in depth to evaluate teams and players.  A field of study has been developing in baseball called sabermetrics.  It puts a statistical number on many parameters that the more traditional statistics cannot.

For Everyday Players: WAR or Wins against Replacement

It comes as a big surprise that the very best players over the course of the long baseball season have a WAR score of about 8.  A WAR of as little as 4 is considered top notch.

We can use WAR to evaluate teams simply by adding up the WAR for every player on the team.

A little deeper analysis will add up the WAR for the team’s starters and for the bench players.  That will show the relative strength of the starting players against an opponent and the relative strengths of the two benches.

WAR, like many of the statistics in modern sabermetrics, is a complicated formula.  It takes into account a player’s offensive and defensive, and base running skills.  A top offensive player with poor defensive stats will have a substantially lower WAR than a top level player on both offense and defense.  A good base runner will have his WAR enhanced somewhat.

Sabermetrics Measure Run Production and Run Prevention

One of the great benefits of sabermetrics is that they demonstrate just how complex baseball really is.  To the uninitiated, baseball seems deathly dull, in much the same way that cricket seems boring to the average viewer.

Baseball is anything but dull.  It is a game based on individual pitches.  Between pitches, the pitcher, the batter, the fielders, and the base runners all have to make quick adjustments.  The ability to make these quick adjustments sometimes gets translated into the stats that sabermetrics has added to our knowledge of baseball.

Baseball is a Five Skills Game—For Offensive Players

When scouts and others evaluate players they measure ability to hit for average, to hit for power, to run, field, and throw.  We will look at each of these parameters a little and then we’ll go to pitchers who have a very different skill set.

The best player in any season will get a hit about 35% of the time.  That’s considered awesomely good!  Yet, they make an out on 65% of the balls they hit including strike outs.  This means that a player who hits almost all singles—and many great hitters hit a lot of singles in the infield which prevents a teammate from advancing two bases—has less value than a player who can hit doubles, triples, and especially home runs.

The name of the game on offense is run creation and one base on a single is a lot less valuable than two bases for a double or four bases plus all the runs scored for home runs.  Being able to hit for power is exactly that; it accumulates a larger percentage of a run per hit and is therefore more valuable than just singles.  How much more valuable power hitting is over singles hitting can be measured by other sabermetric statistics.

Running here is primarily base running.  The key in base running is the ability to take an extra base on any hit.  For example, the runner who can go from first base to third base or can score from first on a double is a lot more valuable for his base running ability than a plodding runner who goes base to base.

Fielding is basically the ability to catch the ball.  Baseball is a sport where players go from a standing still position to a full sprint in a single instant.  The ability to do that in a smaller instant than another player may result in defensive runs prevented.

Throwing is arm strength and accuracy.  There are many very close plays at first bae.  The arm strength of the infielders contributes mightily to preventing base runners and that prevents runs.

Pitching is a Lot More than Wins

The stats that truly evaluate a pitcher’s talent are walks to strikeouts per 9 innings, walks independent of strikeouts, hits and walks per inning, and home runs allowed which is actually a measure of home runs not allowed.

Pitching is all about preventing runs.  A pitcher has to pitch to a very small spot in the strike zone.  This spot is based on the hitter’s skills and on the defensive arrangement of the pitcher’s defense.  Missing a spot by a small fraction of an inch often results in the opponent scoring runs.

A starting pitcher also has to last at least 7 innings to be considered successful in that start.  This is because the more the starting pitcher pitches, the less stress there is on the bullpen pitchers.

All in All, Baseball is a Great Game for Sports Bettors

The ability of statisticians to analyze baseball makes it an exciting game for bettors.  As we said at the beginning of the article, the extended curfews and quarantines that many are undergoing now is also a great opportunity to learn a lot more about baseball.

We wish that everyone might come out of the coronavirus in good health and in good spirits so life can return to normal once again!

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