The opening weekend of the 2023 MLB season is in the books, and the rule changes the league made have already shown up on stat sheets.
We won four of our seven bets for the opening weekend at SISB. With additional money returns for all of our bets, those who followed our picks and wagered their funds evenly across all seven bets should have seen a 135% payout, 35% markup.
There are already some trends from the first 49 games of the season compared to the first 49 games of the 2022 season. I will build on these trends in making our next bets on SISB.
It’s a small sample size, but bettors should be aware of these six trends and capitalize on them when they can at SI Sportsbook.
1. There were 40 shot clock violations.
That’s less than one violation per game. There shouldn’t be too much concern about a batter or pitcher making unforced errors because of the shot clock.
Also, the shot clock seems to have had the desired effect. Games this weekend averaged 2:38 compared to 2023 games which averaged 3:09. Depending on how you look at it, that’s half an hour less to place your in-game bets (fabulous) or half an hour less to sweat your pre-game bets (amazing).
2. The batting average went up.
The new limitations on the turn have done what was intended. More hard hits fell for singles this weekend, and there was more traffic on the base paths. Last year, the league batting average was .230 through the first 49 games. This year, it’s .245. There could be value in hitting accessories for those players we predicted would benefit from no change: players like Kyle Tucker (.268), Matt Olson (.364), Corey Seager (.364) and even Joey Gallo (.300). . Yes, it’s a small sample size, but Joey Gallo is hitting .300! Be conscious.
3. Stolen bases were way up.
I cannot stress this enough. This year, the players are going to run. With new limits on pitcher withdrawal and bigger bases, this was bound to happen, but were we expecting such a big jump (pun intended)? Through the first 49 games of 2022, 29 bases were stolen out of 49 attempts for a 67.4% success rate. This year, 70 bases were stolen out of 84 attempts for a success rate of 83.3%. That’s crazy. So yes, teams are going to work more, at least in the short term until some analytics team finds a way to stop it. If you get good odds for a stolen point guard, take it, especially if a team is facing Noah Syndergaard or Robbie Ray.
4. The home runs were exactly the same.
That’s how it is — exactly. There were 100 home runs in the first 49 games of 2022, and there were 100 home runs in the first 49 games of 2023. The rule changes aren’t affecting the long ball so far. Regardless of how you bet on HR accessories in the past, there is no need to change. However, total bases accessories become even more interesting. Players who have power but didn’t hit many singles before, could easily crush a total base prop (1.5) without ever having to smash a home run. Two singles or a double would do the trick, and these accessories are generally offered at more money. Again, consider betting these endorsements on hitters who changed the most in 2022, as well as players who tend to record extra-base hits (Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman). For reference, here is a link to my article with players I predicted will benefit from the change.
5. ERA and WHIP increased.
Naturally, with increasing batting averages and more traffic on the bases, ERA will also increase. Don’t panic if your ace blows up this weekend; so did many other aces. And what’s really interesting is the following statistic…
6. Strikeouts are up.
That’s how it is. While the ERA increased, so did the strikeouts. In 2022, the K rate for the opening weekend was 23.1%. This season it was 23.4%. Even if he’s just a little up, it’s enough to feel confident hitting those K props. Plenty of the usual suspects had his punching chops: Gerrit Cole, Shohei Ohtani, Dylan Cease. And some new kids were also shown: Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene and Kodai Senga. Also, one thing that hasn’t changed: The Pirates, Tigers and Giants are teams that are picking up right where they left off, striking out far more than the league average. Be sure to consider K accessories for pitchers facing these sticks.