When betting Major League Baseball, as in any sport, there are many factors that should be considered before putting your hard earned money on a game. Some of these factors are relevant across the board and some, such as starting pitching in baseball, are unique to one sport. Without going crazy trying to sort out every possible angle, I have developed a formula that takes into consideration what I feel to be the top three factors in predicting the winner of an MLB game.
This formula can be applied to every game played and it will give a numeric value of a team's trend rating relative to it's opponent for that game. Having said that, I will only be giving out matchups where the + money team, or underdog has an advantage rating according to the formula (some exceptions for small favorites with real big advantages). I simply don't want to waste my time or yours taking a risk (as betting inherently is) for a small payoff. Some days there will no matchups that "fit" the formula where I would recommend a wager.
The following is an explanation of my Triple Trend Formula.
Recent Performance (+/- 20 points available)
Here, I look at a teams performance over the last 10 games with greater value being placed on the most recent 5 games and a lesser value given to the 5 games prior to that. I don't take into consideration anything past this time-frame for this category and I only use current season results. I feel that by focusing on just the most recent performance (10 games), rather than overall record, I get a more accurate measure of how a team might fare in the current game being handicapped. Each team receives their own +/- rating in this category.
Example: Let's say the Reds -150 are playing the Mets +140. Cincinnati is 7-3 over their last ten, 2-3 in their last five. They would get a +2 rating with my formula. New York is 6-4 in their last ten, 4-1 in the last five. They would get a +8 rating.
Head-to-Head (20 points available)
This trend is pretty obvious. It measures how the teams stack up when competing against one another. Again, I will only use the latest 10 meetings, with greater weight on the most recent 5 meetings. With that said, there will be obviously be no rating, therefore no advantage, if it is the initial meeting of the year. Only one team can receive a rating here. That will be the team with the head-to-head trend advantage and they will get their corresponding + value with the other team simply getting nothing in this category.
For example: Cincinnati has won 4 of 7 so far this season against the Mets with a 3-2 mark in the last 5 meetings. The Reds would earn a +3 advantage based on my formula. The Mets receive nothing here.
Starting Pitching (+/- 20 points available)
Starting pitching is a major factor in MLB betting, therefore, It is necessary to include in my formula. Each starting pitcher will get a rating for the game being handicapped based on his recent 10 games started this season. Once again, the most recent 5 games get more weight than the previous 5. W/L decisions get rated, but even if the starter doesn't factor into the decision, the ultimate team result will still be reflected with a lesser weighted factor. Relief appearances do not factor into the equation.
Example: Matt Harvey starts for the Mets and he is 4-2 in 8 starts this season. 3-1 in his last 5 starts. NY is 2-0 in the two games Harvey didn't factor into the decision. Harvey gets a +7.5 rating for this start.
The Reds have Johnny Cueto on the mound for this game and he is 2-3 in 7 starts and Cincy is 1-1 in his ND's. Cueto is 1-3 in his last 5 starts with the Reds losing the ND game. Cueto tallies a -5.5 rating for this matchup.
Now that I have given team values on each of the three criteria, I calculate each team's total and then figure the advantage for the team with the best overall rating. Even if both teams total negative values the team with the "best" total will still get a positive advantage result.
Example: Cincinnati totals a -0.5 rating for this game when adding up the three categories. New York totals a +15.5. This gives the Mets have a +16 Triple Trend advantage. With this calculation now done I will now use this +16 Mets advantage to figure out the amount of my wager.
Units to Wager (if it is worth it)
It looks like I will bet on the Mets based on the Triple Trend totals, but how can I be sure and if I do bet, how much? The table below shows how much of a wager I recommend based on the advantage.
First, to the question of whether I bet or not depends on the odds. Generally, I wont bet on any team with minus odds unless they warrant a 4 or 5 unit bet. Even then, my rule of thumb is -110 or better for a 4 unit play and -120 or better for a 5 unit play. Other than that, if I see any TTF advantage and the team is +100 or better I'll bet an appropriate number of units based on the advantage. See explanations below.
0.5 - 9.5 1 unit - This represents a small trend advantage but nothing too significant. However, since we are concentrating on + money situations it is enough to make a wager, but just the 1 unit.
10.0 - 19.5 2 units - There is a clear enough advantage here to wager a little larger amount of your hard earned dollars. The formula is picking up something that the betting public is missing.
20.0 - 29.5 3 units - Now we are into strong play territory. A twenty point plus advantage means you have a very good chance of winning the game based on the formula. And at + money, a riskier wager is warranted here.
30.0 - 39.5 4 units - This type of advantage is not to be ignored and should be played aggressively. It shows that one team has very strong indicators vs. their opponent and a win is probable in this spot.
40.0 or more 5 units - This strong of an advantage is rare and needs to be taken advantage of. Usually, the team with this much of an advantage is a big favorite, but more often than you think you will get an underdog or a slight favorite in this position and that is when you need to really trust the Triple Trend Formula and bet big. A maximum wager is recommended here for maximum profit.
So, for the example Reds -150 vs. Mets +140 game, you should be wagering 2 units on the Mets (+16.0), since they are the underdog and get plus money. If the formula showed the Reds with the advantage, we would simply not bet at -150. We'll take our chances, though to win $140 on a $100 bet. Risking $150 just to win $100 would not be worth it in my opinion, and according to the Triple Trend Formula.