MLB Handicapping Early in the 2023 Season

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MLB Season is Underway, Here are Some Tips When Handicapping

Baseball handicapping early in the MLB season can be difficult. There just isn’t a big enough body of work to analyze. When May rolls around though, bettors start to have a clearer understanding of what is happening. Here, we look at significant developments that occur in May for baseball bettors.

Key Points

– Baseball handicapping becomes more clear as a season hits the month of May.

– By May, bettors have a large enough sample size to make good betting decisions.

Sample Sizes & Trends

By May, MLB teams have played about 30 games, or roughly 20 percent of the season. The sample size of games, at-bats, pitching starts, and other factors is growing to a point where bettors can trust any tendencies. 

There is still a lot of baseball left to be played and some things will change as the season wears on. However, bettors have enough data to take out any guesswork in making strong betting decisions.

It’s also a great time for bettors to look at their money management strategies. Bettors can handicap baseball games more accurately and locate value more readily with more recent data. They can also assure greater profitability by watching their money.

Baseball Handicapping Stats Are More Meaningful

When a player is batting .300 on April 10th, it almost doesn’t imply anything other than that he had a good first week of the season. Now, if the same batter is hitting .300 on May 10th, that tells you something.

He has hit well for a sustained length of time and is likely to do so in the near future. This does not mean that he will compete for the batting crown or that his final season totals will be anywhere close to .300. For the next game though, this provides enough information for bettors to make a good decision on MLB run lines, moneylines, or totals.

The same reasoning may be used to evaluate starting pitchers after six or seven starts. Bettors can use this recent information to make a better decision. It’s the same for relievers after several appearances too. The baseball handicapping stats are more meaningful as the season’s calendar turns to May.

New Pitchers Have Been Scouted

Pitchers will change teams, which sometimes means they change leagues. A pitcher can have a significant advantage when he switches leagues. Players in the new league haven’t faced the pitcher as frequently, if at all.

It will take some time to scout that pitcher and get a feel for his pitching style. By May, he has made six of seven starts, which gives opponents plenty of data they can use to help beat said pitcher. 

It’s the same for bettors. They now have enough information on a pitcher to go ahead and make smart betting decisions. This really helps when making First Five Innings bets.

The same may or may not be true of a pitcher who has come up through the minors. There may not be enough video on a minor league pitcher. Plus, he will not have been pitching against major league hitters. 

The bottom line is that by this time in the schedule bettors have enough information on a pitcher to look for tendencies, trends, and more.

Attention basketball bettors – take a look back at the most profitable bets heading into March Madness. How did you stack up?

MLB Batters Have Adjusted

Changing teams – and sometimes leagues – is also difficult for hitters. When a baseball player gets moved over the offseason, he must undergo a lot of adjustments. It’s the same if a player signs with a different organization as a free agent or is promoted to the majors from the minors.

The player has to get accustomed to a new team and coaching staff. He must learn to live with the problems that come with playing half of his games in a different stadium. The roles he usually plays at the plate alter because the lineup around him is different. 

You only need to consider the terrible troubles Albert Pujols encountered when moving from the Cardinals to the Angels as evidence. Great hitters can have trouble hitting in a different lineup. 

For bettors, after roughly 30 games, the unusual should become routine. Whether a player is hitting poorly or smacking the cover off the ball, bettors have enough information to know which is more likely. 

Baseball Handicapping Key – The Weather

Along with not having a dynamic online sportsbook, one of the most forgotten aspects of baseball handicapping is the weather. With Opening Day in late March or early April, there are plenty of cold days left on the calendar. This is especially true in many of the northern baseball cities.

Even the southern states are not as warm as it will be during May and through the summer. Lower temperatures can significantly affect games since it makes it harder for pitchers to stay warm between innings and can make it difficult for them to grip the ball

The ball flies differently in cold air. In the more humid months of the season, the thicker air slows down the ball somewhat. Many early season games have some high winds too. Wind has a huge impact on games and an even bigger impact on betting MLB totals. 

When the calendar hits May, that starts to change. Teams who play in outdoor stadiums experience some adjustments as the weather changes. If teams play under a retractable roof, the roof starts to open more in the month of May. That will affect baseball handicapping.


Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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