Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ATS Expert Free Sports Picks

Team up with the daily free picks of the ATS Experts and start experiencing the true value of expert sports handicapping at no cost with the daily free pick. Team up with your favorite Expert today for all premium pick and get a 10% bonus on your ATS Bucks.

Today's Expert Free Picks

MLB: Colorado Rockies vs. Boston Red Sox
Handicapper: Mike Harmon
Pick: Colorado Rockies +200

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

ATSH2H - Head to Head Sports Stats, Matchups, News, Scores & Odds

The free H2H community stats serves the sports handicapper industry with critical matchup and game stats that will help you stay in front of the line this season. You will find a wealth of information covering every angle you need to break down your teams and odds.

ATSH2H is unmatched in handicapping stats and team statistics and is your front line for statistical matchups and game analysis. Breakdown your matchups this season with the H2H team insider stats, game previews, live odds, live scores, and player stats.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

NBA Technical Foul

For the past two decades, David Stern has run his league with an iron fist. He has protected the image of the league, its players and officials to a degree unheard of by any commissioner. But in the wake of the news of one of the more shocking, and ongoing, scandals in recent sports history, the Commish seems at a loss. But, true to his nature, he is sticking to his guns, refusing to acknowledge a widespread problem or apologize to the fans
Indeed, Stern was humble and almost perplexed, by the news, but instead of seeming contrite on behalf of the league, he seemed angry and more willing to cast the scandal in a light relative to other sports scandals than be apologetic.
"This is a subject that we discuss at the NBA, the statistical the institution of the statistical development database was at my direction and the institution of the two of the more recent annual review of all that's legal were at my direction," he said at his press conference on Tuesday. "And so I'm aware and have been aware of the threats in place to all sports. We followed with particular interest the recent referee scandal in the German soccer league, the Bundesliga League ..."
Here, amidst the biggest scandal to ever rock his sport's world, he turns to pointing at the relative calamity that befell a German soccer league? Oh, commissioner.
Stern should have approached the podium, said the league was doing its best to cooperate with government officials and then promise his millions of fans around the world that the league would do absolutely everything in its power to protect the integrity of the game and earn back the trust of fans. Instead, he blamed the whole scenario on one rogue agent. Methinks thou doth protest too much, Mr. Stern.
He should have said the league was at fault, after all, it is the body which hires, and protects to a serious fault, all referees from public scrutiny. People have been skeptical for years about the integrity of the league, dating back decades. Now, when the public finally has substantial evidence to which it can point as an example of referee misconduct, Stern refuses to budge in his defense of the officials.
Instead of being outraged that his league has been infiltrated by crooks and cheaters, if only one, Stern went into full PR spin mode and spent 20 minutes praising his officials and the job they all do on behalf of the sport. Here, in a time where Stern should be attempting to act as forthright as ever, he simply could not take off his lawyer's hat.
But Stern is not in a courtroom right now; he is in the much more difficult and capricious court of public opinion. After years of skirting criticism of his league, he had finally been called out by the federal government, but instead of doing his best to win the trust of his fans, who have found yet another and much more concrete reason to stop watching, he defended his baby.
TV ratings have plummeted for years. The regular season is too long and not compelling enough to remain relevant for seven months. The playoff format is a joke. Officiating is the worst in all of sports, and now it appears that at least one of those horrible officials is a joke. And, yet, Stern stands on stage defending a league that is quickly losing all credibility.
The NBA's emperor has no clothes, but he refuses to acknowledge it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Barry Bonds is Here to Stay

And now, back to our scheduled programming. Right?
Now that Barry Bonds has finally surpassed Hank Aaron with his 756th career home run, we can all go back to enjoying pitcher vs. hitter match-ups and following the chase for pennants in both leagues, can't we? Probably not.
At least we won't have to endure sports columnists and radio personalities talking about an aging slugger on a last place team. Wrong again.
The reason Barry Bonds' chase, and now eclipse, of Hank Aaron got stuck in the craws of baseball fans everywhere over the past 5 years is the same reason people will continue to talk about Bonds for a long time. He broke the most sacred record in a sport that holds numbers and records more sacred than any sport. And he did it all under the heavy suspicion of steroid use.
Bonds has never been a likable character, but make no mistake about it, the reason so many fans will be loathe to ever regard Bonds as the Home Run King is because he cheated, not because he's a bad guy or a bad teammate. He broke the record fans hold nearest and dearest to their hearts, and he most likely did it on steroids.
Baseball has always been a sport that uses numbers to compare generations and players in different leagues. Sure, we can all put an asterisk in our heads when thinking about the numbers of other players in the steroid era, but none of them will ever reach 755. Relativism only gets you so far; it stops at the top of the record book. Sure, you can say Sammy Sosa probably cheated, but he hasn't forever marred the record books. Bonds has, and that can never be changed.
Records are meant to be broken; that's why people get so excited by the pursuit of them, whether it be a player on a 30-game hitting streak chasing Joe DiMaggio or a pitcher with 17 strikeouts entering the ninth inning. But people want to see those records broken by people who do not have dark cloud lingering over them, whether there is a legal conviction of wrong doing or not. With Bonds' passing of Aaron, people feel cheated; they feel betrayed; they feel the integrity of the game has been destroyed by someone who compromised his ethics for personal glory. And that betrayal spawns indignation that will be around as long as the record book is.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Behind the Plate Numbers

There are several factors that go into handicapping MLB matchups. Some obvious things that Sharps look at are pitching matchups (how teams perform against lefties), bullpen efficiency, runner's left on base, winning and losing streaks, home and road dichotomies. But some of my most critical information all depends on who is working the game that night. What study the umpires? You bet. Umpire tendencies and tight or large strike zones is one of the best kept secrets handicapping.
Taking a closer look at the numbers of the men that officiate pro baseball is definitely worth your time and effort and can have a positive influence on the overall health of your summertime bankroll. Take the time to study your umps this year and track their trends of scoring and balls and strikes ratio's to determine which guy's in blue are "overs" friendly and who is "unders" friendly. You will also find this information key to hitter information as well.
Below are some umpires that show home and road dichotomy's and an influence on Totals propositions.
Keep in mind that MLB crews are not known until about one hour before the first game of a series. But you will know in advance who will be behind the plate from game two forward as that will be the first base umpire from the game before.
If you like a home team to win, what better umpires to have this season than Dan Iassogna (6-0), Tim Timmons (5-0), CB Bucknor (5-0), Randy Marsh (7-1) and Sam Holbrook (7-1)? Look out for these and other umpires that have had home cookin’ tendencies over the past few seasons. You will be surprised at how many units these guys can add to your bankroll, under the right circumstances.
If your backing the road team, then you want Marvin Hudson (6-0), Brian Gorman (5-1), Bruce Dreckman (5-1), Martin Foster (5-1) and Jeff Nelson (5-1) with the brush in his hand. These guys are a combined 1-16 with the home team lined as chalk. Coincidence? Not at 1-16 it's not.
The one area that the umpire has the greatest control over is the strike zone. If the home plate umpire has a small strike zone this forces pitchers to be more precise and places more pitches over the heart of the plate. This style of umpiring can lead to more high scoring games and Overs. Conversely, umpires that call a high number of strikes means more low scoring affairs, favoring the under.
In short a good 'Under' umpire will have a K/BB ratio of 3:1 or higher. A good 'OVER' umpire will have a K/BB ratio of 2:1 or less.
Look out for Joe West (5-0), Jim Reynolds (5-1), James Hoye (5-1) and Bruce Dreckman (5-1). These guys have real small strike zones and hand out free passes to first base as though they were handing out free hot drinks from the soup wagon to the homeless. The first three umpires named have less than a 1.9:1 K/BB ratio. So are you taking the unders or overs with Joe West behind the plate?
Umpires with big strike zones who contribute to lower scoring games are Doug Eddings (5-2), Jeff Nelson (4-1) and John Hirschbeck (3-1). Clearly, these member's of the blue brigade must have early restaurant reservations to keep. Keep a real close eye on these three guys, as last season Eddings was 20-14, Nelson was 20-12, and Hirschbeck was 17-7 all to the 'Under'.
The undoubted ‘Under’ king of this trio is Doug Eddings as he has a tendency to call a very high percentage of "strikes". Eddings doesn't call a lot of balls and an average game features 18 strikeouts for every 6 walks (67%). With Doug's numbers he is undoubtedly the best "Under" Umpire over the last five years in MLB Handicapping.
There is a ton of stats information to sort thru when handicapping baseball, but you have got to start looking closer behind the plate this season if you are going to up your batting average this season.

Jimmy Toliver