Handicapping the Grand Salami

MLB Apr 17, 2021

Saturday is a great day to examine how to handicap GRAND SALAMI wagering.

Recall the Grand Salami is a wager on the total number of runs scored in all the Major League Baseball games that are played on that day.  So, the bettor has action on every single game.  Grand Salami wagering is an action-junkie's dream.


First, let's examine the basics.  Here's where to find the Grand Salami at SPREADS.CA under the "Baseball-Outrights" tag:

Note that today's Grand Salami O/U is 145.5.  However, the UNDER is juiced slightly higher than the OVER.  This is usually an indication that the betting market is leaning towards the UNDER (more wagers/money is moving in that direction).

Note there are 17 games scheduled on Saturday, which is an unusually high number.  Nevertheless, the O/U isn't very high at 145.5 (-120).  The projection is that the average game will generate 8.52 runs (145.5 divided by 17).

Interestingly, that figure is precisely the Major League Baseball scoring average so far this season, which is 4.27 runs per team, per game.  That means 8.52 runs per game have been scored so far in 2021.

This chart shows the average runs scored per team in 2021 (through Apr. 16):

Here's why the OVER looks appealing.

Keep in mind these are season averages for all teams.  Since the average team can be expected to score 4.27 runs per game against average pitching, what happens when better pitchers take to the mound?  Also, what happens when good hitters are out of some lineups?  Also, what happens when more games take place in ballparks that are known as freindly to pitchers rather than hitters?

Those factors all contribute to betting on the Grand Salami to go UNDER.  Using an extreme example, if all 17 games were similar to tonight's LA Dodgers at San Diego Padres game, with ace pitchers starting and a game total of 7, then the UNDER would probably be a smart bet.

The opposite appears to be the case today.  While the Kershaw-Darvish pitching duel probably won't generate much scoring in that particular game, there's plenty of opportunity to find runs elsewhere.  A few facts:  

-- 10 of the 17 games on Saturday have totals at 8.5 or higher.

-- Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, and Colorado Rockies (2 games today) all host games on Saturday.  All are known for being hitters' parks.

-- Even in matchups where ace pitchers are starting, most of the time the starters don't go longer than 6 innings.  That means relievers get more innings pitched.  We've seen some weak bullpens on many teams, so far.  Look for more runs to be scored later in games when these vulnerable and untested pitching staffs take to the mound.

So, we have a lean to the OVER 145.5 runs on Saturday, priced at even.  When betting the OVER, we cheer for every hitter.  

Handicapping all the Major League Baseball games and predicting run totals is an intriguing exercise. Betting the Grand Salami can be both fun and profitable.  Let's hope that's the case today.