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Baseball annual, pitching aces vital resources for bettors

26 February 2009

Phil Erwin's Baseball Insight Annual (199 pages, spiralbound, $32.95) and his Pitching Aces (147 pages, spiralbound, $22.95) could be two of the most important books for those planning to bet baseball this season. They've arrived with enough time for handicappers to study information about how teams and pitchers performed last season and several seasons prior to last year.

The Annual shows how each team did, game by game for the 2008 season, what the line and total were, the over/under result, who the starters were for both teams, the final score, where the game was played and what date, on what type of playing surface, how many innings the starter went, and how many earned runs he allowed. There's also information about what kind of bullpen support the starter got. And, for those who believe the type of starter (groundball, flyball, power and contact pitchers) has some influence over the outcome of the game against certain teams, Erwin shows you the overall results for 2008.

Looking for interleague play results since 2000? It's here as well. The Twins, for example, were 14-4 in interleague play and the Phillies a mere 4-11 in 2008. How often did teams go over or under certain numbers for the past three seasons? How did a team perform on artificial turf or against lefties or in one- or two-run games? Erwin has it.

Starting on page 168, you can find individual pitchers and isolate how they did against each opponent and see their earned run average, how they did day vs. night, on grass vs. turf, their number of quality starters, and how often the games they pitched in went over or under the posted total.

Pitching Aces is a three-year summary for more than 140 starting pitchers; it has career records for each of these individuals against every team. Some pitchers start slowly and perhaps as they round into shape or the weather gets warmer, they improve. Scott Kazmir of Tampa likes the month of May, where he's 12-4 for the past three seasons and he likes home night games, where he is 24-12. For his career, he enjoys pitching against Texas, where he's 7-0, and the White Sox, at 5-1. Houston's Roy Oswalt loves facing Cincinnati, where he has a 22-4 lifetime record, and he's 15-9 against Pittsburgh. August seems to be his favorite month. He is 14-2 there, with an ERA of 2.36.

Both books are clearly time-savers and geared for baseball bettors who believe in waiting for their spots and who do their homework before the season starts.

Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com