With the MLB regular season coming to an end, we’ll soon be witnessing those one-game baseball matchups to determine the final qualifiers for the playoffs in the majors. Placing MLB bets on these winner-take-all showdowns is usually different from the regular-season or postseason games, given their one-off nature and the heavy implications these matchups hold in regards to who makes the playoffs. Below we discuss the skip the starter MLB betting tactic and how it can be successfully used as a play-in game strategy.
Here’s A Closer Look At The Play-In Game Strategy Skip The Starter
Understanding the skip the Starter Strategy
As suggested by the name, the skip the starter strategy revolves around avoiding starting pitchers in these play-in encounters. The idea behind this betting strategy is that relief pictchers tend to play better than starting pitchers in these types of games, considering their ability to increase the velocity of their pitches and lead to stronger performances by the relief players on the mound. The fact that relievers often face more of same-handed hitters gives them relative edge from platoon splits. Essentially, this is the reason why having good relief pitchers is encouraged for these games, as they are able to sustain strong performances than their usual starting pitcher counterparts.
Usually, effective starting pitchers in a team are chosen out of the requisite to make quick turn-arounds and string quality starts for the heavy regular-season calendars and the playoffs that need them to play twice or even thrice a week. This, in fact, is the reason why you find that sometimes the best pitchers in a team—numbers-wise or otherwise—are people in the relief rather than in their starting rotation. For the play-in games, the team doesn’t need a player to give several strong starts in many days, but rather give a gem that will limit opposing teams from scoring several runs; which falls squarely in the job description of good relief pitchers.
Implementing Skip the Starter Strategy
If you want to use this strategy, it is advisable to give your good relief pitchers the last days of the regular season off in order to ensure they are up-to-task for the play-in game. Based on team splits and regular season performances, you can easily know the teams that are likely to feature in these play-in games, basing your analysis on playoff standings. Having a good relief pitcher participate in the early rounds is a good way to get things started. Then, as the game progresses, you can mix a couple of lefties and righties to balance this on the field, allowing you to take advantage of the platoon matchups. By around the sixth or seventh inning, you can then go with one of your best starters from the regular season to close out things in the last few innings.
The biggest advantage of these switch-ups and flipped roles for starters and relievers often works to great success, as it unsettles your opposition in terms of planning their lineups, especially in regards to maximizing platoon differentials. Starting with the relievers is also crucial in terms of keeping the starters healthy if-and-when you make it for later playoff rounds.
In theory, the skip the starter strategy for play-in games covers all the important bases of online betting and encourages success. Very few managers, however, are bold enough to put it into good action. But in the instance that you see it adopted in play-in games, then be rest assured that the team in question will most likely have the upper hand in that contest.