9/15/2009 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 just kept rolling on Friday night, winning both of our picks. Hits were at a premium in St. Louis, as starters Jair Jurrjens and Joel Pineiro put on a clinic. In the end, Jurrjens’ eight clean frames held up, and an Albert Pujols second-inning fielding error allowed Atlanta to score the only run of the game. The NL-West showdown between the Giants and Dodgers provided significantly more in the way of offense. Los Angeles was able to touch up the usually stellar Matt Cain for four runs, and Hiroki Kuroda pitched eight strong innings only weeks after taking a line drive off the head. Both of the Dodgers’ corner infielders finished with three RBI, and they padded their division lead with a 10-3 victory.
2009 MLB Games to Watch: 44-44, 50%, +16.99 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
Kansas City Royals +150 over Detroit Tigers
The Kansas City Royals are last in the AL Central watched their playoff hopes fall by the wayside weeks ago. September is not typically a kind month for teams in their situation. Aside from the demoralizing prospect of another month of games without a hope for the postseason, they also typically bring up young and inexperienced players from the minor leagues and give them an opportunity to prove they can be the future of the franchise. The results are not always pretty, but these Royals are bucking the trend. They’ve won six of their last seven games, holding opponents to one run or less in half of the victories. After sweeping the division-leading Tigers at home last week, they head to Detroit tonight to keep the streak alive. They’ll send Robinson Tejeda to the mound to face Jarrod Washburn, Detroit’s midseason acquisition from Seattle. After pitching out of the bullpen most of the season, Tejeda recently joined the rotation and has pitched nineteen straight scoreless innings. He outdueled Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander a few days ago, and we think he can shut the Tigers down again.
Despite the Royals’ hot streak, Detroit opened at -171 at CRIS. The public is strongly backing the home favorites, as 79% of moneyline bets as well as 81 % of runline bets are being placed on the Tigers. Nevertheless, the line has shrunk to -165 at CRIS and significantly lower across the sports marketplace. There’s typically a reason for such counterintuitive actions from sportsbooks, and once again, we see that they’re simply following the Smart Money. Plays have been triggered at both Matchbook (+1.48 Units Won) and CRIS (+14.83 Units Won), and that’s enough to convince us.
Kansas City +150
Baltimore Orioles +130 over Tampa Bay Rays
The Orioles have had a very tough go of it in the ever-brutal AL East this year. Not really that much worse than many recent years, but still, it has to be disheartening to start the season off so promising and know the murderer’s row of lineups that await you. Tonight they’ll match up with the new strength in the division, a Tampa Bay team that rose from relatively obscurity to take the division in 2008. Heavy with young talent, they’ve fallen a bit short this season and look unlikely to keep the Red Sox from winning the Wild Card. One thing they shouldn’t complain about is the emergence of starter Jeff Niemann, who heads to the mound tonight. He’s given up only one earned run in each of his last three home starts, but the road has been somewhat hit and miss. His counterpart, Jason Berken, has found some consistency of late but cannot seem to pitch late into games. The Orioles just took two out of three in the Bronx behind strong outings from young pitchers, and they’ll need more of that tonight.
Tampa Bay opened at -140 at CRIS and have received a whopping 86% of moneyline and 91% of runline bets. With numbers like these, it’s hard for lines not to grow, but the movement has been relatively small. The Rays now sit at -145 at CRIS but much lower at other books. We have another duo of Smart Money plays, this time on the Orioles taking care of business at Camden: another from Matchbook and one from our SI Test feed which is up +4.97 units on the year. Baltimore may not be the juggernaut of a couple of decades ago, but with so many bets falling on the road team, we believe there’s value to be found here.
Games to Watch (44-44, +16.99 units)
Kansas City Royals +150
Baltimore Orioles +130
It should be another exciting night 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 Friday with the new edition of the Sports Marketwatch – MLB Edition.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at SportsInsights.com