7/7/2009 5:00 PM EST
By The Team at SportsInsights.com
Welcome to the 2009 MLB Sports Marketwatch, where the Team at SportsInsights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the sports marketplace. If you ever wanted to know what was really happening on the sportsbook side, you now have an all-access pass with Sports Marketwatch! Sports MarketWatch will be published twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday, around 5PM Eastern Time.
Sports Marketplace – MLB Edition
Marketwatch had a solid split last week, happily hitting the bigger underdog. As expected, the Orioles jumped on Ervin Santana in his first start off the disabled list, scoring all six of their runs off him and chasing him after five innings. The Los Angeles defense didn’t help matters, as two of the runs were unearned. Young Baltimore starter David Hernandez made a quality start, and the bullpen hung on for a 6-4 win. In our other featured game, Cincinnati’s perennial mid-season callup Homer Bailey made a very respectable start, allowing only five baserunners and two runs in 7.1 innings. He was in line for the win, but his bullpen couldn’t get the five outs he needed. They surrendered a grand slam to Albert Pujols in the eighth and another three runs in the ninth, ultimately falling to St. Louis 7-4.
Baseball can be a very profitable sport to bet on when you base it off moneyline odds, especially when betting underdogs. The “plus odds” is a reason that MLB moneyline dogs can show value over time. Most people like to win – thus overvaluing winning teams. Our selections on moneyline underdogs will normally hit at less than 50%, but the “plus odds” payoff makes it a profitable investment.
2009 MLB Games to Watch: 27-24, 52.9%, +13.52 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
Cincinnati Reds +132 over Philadelphia Phillies
Sometimes it feels like we can’t help but hammering certain teams, and recently, it’s been the Reds. Granted, they aren’t playing their best baseball of the season, and they’ve dropped a game below .500. But when you want to look for value, keep in mind that the public has a very short memory. It’s hard to look at Cincinnati’s last two games, in which they have lost by a combined margin of 32-2, and avoid wanting to immediately bet the other side. Let’s look a little closer at the matchup. Philadelphia has begun to right the ship after a devastating June stretch against the AL East, but their home record for the season is still a pedestrian 17-22. Reds’ starter Aaron Harang has fared well against Philadelphia, holding them to only one run over seven innings in a victory earlier this season and surrendering only six runs in his last twenty innings against them. If he can slow down Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino at the top of the lineup – the two have 18 hits in their last 34 at-bats – the Reds will stand a good chance of walking away with a win.
The Phillies opened as -160 favorites at CRIS and -147 at Pinnacle, two primary market-setting books. Despite receiving 82% of both moneyline and parlay wagers, the line has dropped significantly across the board, including eleven points at CRIS and twelve at Pinnacle at the time of writing. We watch the line movement at these two books very closely, as they have proven to be a crucial part of Sports Insights Betting Systems’ consistent success. Indeed, our philosophy is heavy on the Reds tonight. We have seen Smart Money plays from CRIS (+9 Units Won) and Matchbook (+.08 Units) as well as a Steam Move triggered by Pinnacle (+39.5 Units). We love it when the sharp money goes against the public, and we’re picking the Reds to frustrate the Phils at home yet again tonight.
St. Louis Cardinals +134 over Milwaukee Brewers
Tonight’s match-up of the top teams in the NL Central may be a very low-scoring affair, as aces Yovani Gallardo and Adam Wainwright take the mound. Gallardo has given up only five runs and struck out a whopping 29 batters in his last three starts, but he has come away with a hard-luck record of 1-2. Wainwright has been no slouch either, giving up three runs and striking out 17 over his last two starts, but he has a loss and a no-decision to show for it. (What gives? Don’t these teams sport the likes of Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder?) Wainwright’s season numbers, a 3.32 ERA and 1.32 WHIP, aren’t quite as sparkling as Gallardo’s, but his bouts against the Brewers this season have been stellar. Two starts have produced fifteen innings, two earned runs and sixteen strikeouts. There’s enough firepower in both teams to put runs on the board against elite pitching, but these lineups just haven’t figured out their rival’s ace.
Milwaukee opened at -145 at Pinnacle, and the Brew-Crew are getting 61% of moneyline and 85% of runline bets. The bookmakers would normally make Milwaukee an even bigger favorite to encourage some bets on the other side, but just the opposite has happened. Ryan Braun and Co. are down to -139 at Pinnacle. We’ve seen a negative Steam Move on Milwaukee triggered at BetOnline, which is down -18.9 Units Won on the season. Those are the sort of results that we like to fade, especially when a pitcher like Wainwright is getting big plus-odds against a team that hasn’t shown it can hit him. We’ll take the redbirds tonight.
St. Louis +134
Games to Watch (27-24, +13.52 units)
Cincinnati Reds +132
St. Louis Cardinals +134
It should be another exciting weekend in the sports marketplace. Keep Sports MarketWatch picks handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.com for the latest real-time updates, using our exclusive Sports Investing tools. We’ll be back Tuesday with the new edition of the Sports Marketwatch – MLB Edition.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at SportsInsights.com