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Betting Baseball - 2001
The Fatman Speaks
by Ernie Kaufman

It seems like only yesterday when Elliot Liberman and I would pay 50 cents to watch the Red Sox from the bleachers in Fenway Park in Boston. That was more than 45 years ago. Since then - as a player, spectator, and bettor - my love for baseball has only increased.

Specifically, as a gambler, my fondness for the game has multiplied because it is a game of distinct, statistical patterns, and thus is an excellent game to analyze for trends and systems.

Baseball is different from other sports one commonly bets on. The main reason is all one must do to be a winner is merely to select the team that wins the game.

This may sound ridiculously obvious to some, but remember that when one wagers on a football or basketball game, the team must not only win the game, but also beat the pointspread. In baseball, this is not the case. One simply lays or takes odds on the team he expects to win the game.

Another factor that sets major league baseball apart from other sports is the long, 162-game schedule. Baseball teams will play approximately six games per week for six consecutive months. Football teams, on the other hand, play a mere 16 games during their regular season.

With the abundance of games each baseball season, the sports handicapper has a much larger sampling to analyze and from which to draw conclusions. Thus, he can spot trends in baseball more easily that he might in other sports.

All this understood, the baseball wagerer should be aware of some general handicapping tips before he delves into his day-to-day selection process.

Any team one wishes to bet on must meet five basic conditions:
· No key defensive player - catcher, shortstop, center fielder or bullpen ace - is out because of injury.
· Your team's starting pitcher is not on a losing streak of two or more games. The starting pitcher's current form is the No. 1 factor in determining the outcome of a baseball game. Therefore, all starting pitchers should be studied with extreme care.
· Your team should not be on a serious losing streak. Ideally, you would like your team to have won at least six of its past 10 games.
· Your team should be rested. You cannot bet any team that has been playing an inordinate number of doubleheaders… or one that has spent the previous night flying across country. Nor should you look to be betting on any team that does not have at least one adequate relief pitcher ready for action.
· Your team should not be in any serious batting slump. The team should have averaged at least three runs and eight hits per game during their previous 10 to 15 games.

There… you have a solid base from which to build a good handicapping method. Pursue it patiently and correctly, and you will be on your way to many countless hours of entertainment - and also an enormous profit.

BASEBALL 2001 (PREDICTIONS)

The crack of the bat; the roar of the crowd, the New York Yankees endless domination, ahh, the baseball season is back upon us.

Not that anybody asked me, but I thought this would be an ideal time to lay out my 2001 baseball season predictions. Bearing in mind that most, if not all of these fearful forecasts are bettable in the Las Vegas or with most of your off-shore friends.

AMERICAN LEAGUE PENNANT: Boston Red Sox
NATIONAL LEAGUE PENNANT: St. Louis Cardinals

Sound familiar? These two teams have played each other before, but this time the winner will be:

The Boston Red Sox will win The World Series in the year 2001!

Two things that must be mentioned about the predictions:

A) Mr. Mark Allen, noted baseball maven concurs; and
B) At least half of these two predictions will make many members of my family back in Massachusetts very happy.

Next, home run titles will go to:

AMERICAN LEAGUE: Manny Ramirez
NATIONAL LEAGUE: Sammy Sosa

Total home runs to lead the major leagues: 52

Cy Young awards will go to:

AMERICAN LEAGUE: Mike Mussina
NATIONAL LEAGUE: Curt Schilling

Runs Batted In leaders will be:

AMERICAN LEAGUE: Manny Ramirez
NATIONAL LEAGUE: Mike Piazza

Check 'em all out!

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