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Staying Flexible

MLB Betting: Staying Flexible

By Loot, MLB Handicapper,

Flexibility is a key attribute in the arsenal of every top baseball bettor. A rigid outlook on any aspect of baseball wagering can lead to ruin. In order to get and stay at the top of this business, one must be able to change. In fact, your success level will probably come down to your adaptability. For us to become flexible, there were first original thoughts, tendencies, and observations. And they probably won us some bets.

We develop different thoughts during our years as fans and then later as we extend ourselves into the world of baseball wagering. There are players we like, perhaps pitchers we prefer to choose on our wagers. There are teams we tend to pick more than others. Then there are situations we look for in order to gain a perceived edge.

Sometimes, we get carried away with ourselves and our thoughts. We make observations and blanket judgments and it will take too many losses before we entertain perhaps adopting a different stance. At the end of the say, our success as bettors might just come down to our ability to remain versatile.

That means while we may have slight tendencies, we never start betting in a manner resembling a system. It can be hard. You win a few bets that fall into a certain category and the human tendency is to keep drilling it. That can be a detrimental way to look at things in a sport like baseball, where failure is such a key part of everything, even among the top teams and players.

Once we lock onto something, we could be in trouble. We can start falling into the habit of always betting certain pitchers or teams in a specific situation. And by the time we start putting all our eggs into that basket, it's usually due to start going south. That's the nature of the business. There were some good results that made us believe something was a good play. Once we notice a pattern, however, it's that much closer to cease being a pattern.

All of us have experienced this. We begin betting on baseball and then focus on the moves that were successful. The problem is that there were probably not nearly enough samples for you to draw any worthwhile conclusions. In addition, if the bookie sees they are getting beaten by a certain type of play, they will move the odds and numbers to make it less-desirable.

When I first began wagering on baseball, it was the first season the Colorado Rockies were in the league. I rightfully determined the thin air would give way to a home run frenzy. Therefore, I started betting on the "over" early in the season. Win after win poured in and I thought I was really onto something.

Then my bookie did what any book would do--he adjusted. I may have been his only customer who was consistently taking the "over" in Rockies' home games, I don't know. Either way, the totals kept rising. However, I was so enamored with my prior success that I kept hammering it. Pretty soon, it became a less-profitable play. So eventually I would call him and ask him what the total was and if I sensed he was spiking the total, I would take the "under." That worked for a while, then also came to a screeching halt. For three seasons I went on like this--until it occurred to me that maybe I should try making other bets besides over-unders on Colorado home games.


In baseball betting, things will happen that are both good and bad at a higher regularity than you think should be, then you begin acting on it. The problems surface when you start omni-focusing on these plays. First of all, just because a certain type of bet worked out or failed 15 out of 20 times doesn't make it a successful or rotten play. Secondly, having a knee-jerk propensity to wager a particular way will only blind you from other potentially better wagers on the betting board.

On a given day, we should be just as likely to bet on anything. We need to be flexible and not always look for certain plays. We might have friends and we know how they bet. When the games and the odds come out, we can predict which game or games they will be more inclined to bet. The goal is to arrive at a point where there are many different factors that impact our wagers and we are looking for the best bet(s) on the board without there being patterns or strong tendencies.

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