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#### How to calculate ERA and use it for betting on baseball

When betting on baseball it is essential for a handicapper to get involved with the statistics and the numbers that make up baseball. Baseball is fueled by numbers and to not understand or use them is a big mistake by anyone that intends to wager on baseball. Ask any professional handicapper and they will tell you that knowing the numbers is the key to winning consistently in baseball. One of the more important statistics to get familiar with is ERA or earned run average.

When it comes to betting on baseball the most important player to handicap in any game is the starting pitcher. He controls the line and could easily make the difference between winning and losing. With that being said it is very obvious that understanding pitcher stats would be equally important. For the purpose of this article we will investigate ERA. Before we discuss how it can be applied to betting we should discuss how to calculate ERA. Determining a pitcher's earned run average, or ERA, is a way of deciding how effective the pitcher is without taking other players' errors into account. ERA represents how many runs a pitcher gives up during an entire game pitched, so the lower the number the better. ERA standards have varied throughout the years; as of 2009, ERAs in the low 2.00s are considered first-rate, with the normal typically running over 4.00. Here is how to calculate ERA.

Compute the total number of earned runs the pitcher has given up over the period of time you'd like to compute his ERA for. Don't count any unearned runs---that is, runs made because of errors on the field. You'll also need to know how many innings the pitcher pitched during the same time period. Divide the number of earned runs the pitcher is charged with by the number of innings pitched. Multiply the result from Step 2 by 9, unless the pitcher is in high school---in that case, multiply by 7. This final answer is the ERA for the pitcher in question over the time period you gathered the statistics for. This is an important measure of pitching and even more important for betting.

Since starting pitchers drive the odds and can control the game, ERA is a very important number to include in all areas of handicapping when covering a baseball game. This stat can potentially show you how vulnerable a pitcher can be when looking at ERA against the opposition or in a certain ballpark or even when looking at performance at home or on the road. This number should be just one of many that is considered by a handicapper but among the most important ones used. Any handicapper will soon realize that statistics influence the game and could lead to boosting your bankroll during the major league baseball season.