One of my favorite ways to isolate value in the betting line, in all sports, is to look at a team or players home/road splits. Often times
it allows the handicapper to find a hidden edge that is not incorporated in the betting line.
All numbers in this article are for MLB starting pitchers through June 13, 2017, through 10 weeks of play. The article isolates the
BEST 25 HOME STARTERS and WORST 25 ROAD STARTERS in MLB through the above date.
The parameter used is a starting pitcher’s OPS numbers. To refresh your memory, OPS is the sum of the OBP (on base percentage)
and SLG (slugging percentage) of any pitcher or team. In the last several years, I have authored numerous articles which have proven
that OPS is the most accurate indicator and predictor of performance.
For each of the BEST 25 HOME STARTERS and WORST 25 ROAD STARTERS, I list the pitcher’s name, TRGS (team record
game started), his HOME or ROAD OPS, his YTD OPS and the differential between those last two numbers.
My conclusions will point out the fact that OPS is truly a quality indicator of performance as well as show you a way to isolate the
best value in these numbers.
Let’s begin with a chart showing the Top 25 HOME STARTERS in MLB all of whom have 20 or more IP in their home starts, all of whom have a sub .600 OPS and a sub 3.00 ERA.
It will come as no surprise when we see that the sum of the TRGS for these starters is 97-44. That is a lofty record indeed
considering you would make money even if the average line on their games was 2 to 1. Greatest value in these starters
follows the theory that the linemaker will price these starters in line with his YTD OPS meaning that the starters with the
largest OPS DIFF will, in theory, provide the best value, at home in the weeks ahead. As you can see from the chart
above, there are 5 pitchers with an OPS DIFF of +.200 or more. These include Chacin, Miranda, Volquez, Pineda and
Bergman (refer to the numbers).
Keep your eye on these 5 starters as money makers at home in the near future.
Now let’s take a look at MLB’s 25 WORST ROAD STARTERS.
Much like the HOME pitchers, we can see that the sum of these road pitcher’s OPS is 46-114. That means that even if the
average price on their games was 2 to 1, you would still make money betting against them. Also like the HOME list, it
can be hypothesized that the greatest play against value will come with the greatest OPS DIFF.
The 6 pitchers with a difference of -.190 or more include Lester, Blach, Pineda, Chacin, Moore and Corbin. These 6
starters should provide the greatest GO AGAINST value on the road in the weeks ahead.
Looking for pitchers who have the widest home/road dichotomy in MLB this year? Consider the 3 pitchers who are on
both lists. These would include Lester, Pineda and Chacin. Check the numbers for yourself to see how wide the
home/road splits are for these 3 starters who love pitching at home and hate pitching on the road.