First 5 Inning Plays to Take Back Value

By Tom Barton

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With the growing notion in baseball that starting pitchers are not nearly as important as they used to be, sports bettors still make most of their baseball bets based on the days starting pitcher. Despite the "opener" craze that has swept across MLB there isn't a better component for a healthy bet that an ace starter who is priced just right.

But what happens when that starter has a bad bullpen behind him? Maybe he's a starter that doesn't go deep into the game? Well the way to prevent being beat by a bad bullpen or losing a play because the starter is a high strikeout guy and gets pulled early is taking a first 5 inning play.

Very simply the first 5 inning play is you are betting on the result of the game after the 5th inning ends, what the MLB rulebooks deem as a full game. This is very similar to a first half bet in football or basketball, acting as only a portion of the game. Why I use this play is to eliminate the bullpen play in most cases. Ask Jacob deGrom last season's Cy Young award winner, how many times his bullpen blew a win for him and you don't need to wonder why the first 5 inning play can be a profitable one.

So the next time you see an ace priced right but you worry about those middle innings try a first 5 inning play to take the advantage back in your favor against the books. It's not used often by the public but it's a weapon many experienced players use all the time.

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