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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Need Baseball Lines and Totals History for '03?

10 March 2004

Phil Erwin's Baseball Insight Annual 2004 (200 pages, spiralbound, $32.95) has arrived at Gambler's Book Shop and as in the past, it's the finest resource available for those who want to know the opening money line, the opening total, and the final score of every game played by every major league baseball team during the previous season.

The dedicated Erwin, based in Portland, OR, also assists serious handicappers with material on which teams scored what average number of runs, home and away for the past three years, and also assists in alerting bettors which park might be better to score in than others. Clearly the Colorado Rockies' ballpark is a slugger's paradise compared to others. Erwin shows for example, that there have been 111 games in the past three years in Colorado where more than 13 runs were scored by both teams, compared to the LA Dodgers' stadium which say 13 or more runs scored only 27 times since 2001.

He also reminds bettors that San Diego and Philadelphia have new ballparks, so be cautious with betting totals there until a mid-season assessment can be made about the impact of those stadium designs. Plus, remember Montreal, Toronto, Minnesota and Tampa are the only teams playing at home on artificial turf now.

Erwin summarizes team performance as road underdogs for one season, then for the past three seasons; he also examines the rookie starter factor and comes to the conclusion that rookies with good teams (favorites) pitching at home, can be good bets.

For those who believe it's important to know which pitchers are flyball, groundball, power or contact pitchers, he's listed them in alphabetical order by category, followed by charts showing how they performed in a variety of categories (day-night, home-away, grass-turf, versus betting line, in over-under situations).

Then we get to the heart of Erwin's book -- the team-by-team breakdown. Let's look at the Angels briefly: the book shows how the team performed in dozens of situations including on grass or turf; day-night, against flyball, power, etc. type of pitchers; against quality starters; in one or two-run games.

For the Angels, you'll see every game played from March 30 to Sept. 28, including the final score, opening money line and opening total; whether fame was day or night, on grass or turf; who their starter was and who the opposing starting pitcher was; the number of innings the Angels starter went; earned runs allowed; bullpen support including earned runs allowed. You can also see streaks -- if a team won (W) or lost (L).

A final section of the book (30 pages) lists starting pitchers from Abbott to Zito. Here you can see each individual's earned run average and won-loss record for that pitcher against every team he faced in 2003; how that hurler did against team above or below .500; how often his team went over or under when he did start; the kind of bullpen support he got.

The book does NOT include umpires (and how often the games they controlled behind the plate went over or under).

Overall, Erwin has hit a grand slam with this wonderfully researched reference guide for the player seeing a trend, angle via some statistical pattern. It's a handy timesaver and well worth the price.

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