5/5/2009 5:40 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
If you felt comfortable enough, like we did, to stop watching the Yankees and Angels around the middle of the eighth Friday night, you probably woke up sorely disappointed. New York jumped out to a 4-0 first inning lead, but the Angels were able to get to Pettitte as he approached the 100-pitch mark and entered the eighth inning with a stout 9-4 lead. We don’t consider the Angels’ bullpen among the best, but there was no predicting the impending implosion as the boys in pinstripes put up six runs over the final two frames, finishing things off with a bases-loaded single by Jorge Posada and denying closer Brian Fuentes even one measly out. The drama fell on our side in Friday’s other featured game. Evan Longoria hit a grand slam off young Boston pitcher Justin Masterson, and Carlos Pena followed him up to go back-to-back. The Rays’ bullpen pitched 3+ innings of scoreless relief, and Tampa Bay took care of business 6-2.
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: 11-4, 73.3%, +9.35 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
New York Mets +114 over Atlanta Braves
Atlanta comes in to this home game against the rival Mets with a bit of a split personality. They have taken series against the defending champion Phillies and upstart Reds on the road. They’ve lost series against both NL Central bottom-feeders, the Pirates and Astros. Despite having lost three out of their last four and five out of seven, the Braves enter tonight’s game as favorites behind Japanese newcomer Kenshin Kawakami. He’s certainly shown flashes of nasty stuff but has thus far been very inefficient with his pitches, averaging less than 6 innings a start. Mets’ fifth starter Livan Hernandez may be past his prime, but he’s been tormenting the Braves ever since his days with the Marlins. He’ll try to stymie Atlanta through 5 or 6 innings and give a lead to New York’s superior bullpen. The reason the Mets are such a popular team and often lay big odds, however, has more to do with their lineup. With Carlos Beltran hitting at a .400 clip, Carlos Delgado returning from a hip injury and David Wright starting to heat up, the runs may be scored in bunches at Turner Field tonight.
We’ve grown accustomed to the Mets being road favorites, but the perceived decline of Hernandez has them getting plus-odds tonight. Though it is rarely our custom to bet with the public – New York is pulling in 65% of the bets – we’ve seen three Steam Moves on the Mets triggered at profitable sportsbooks, including one of our favorites, Pinnacle (55-41, +12.4 units). We’ll follow the steam that we’ve seen across the marketplace and hope Livan has enough left in his tank to pull the upset.
New York Mets +114
Philadelphia Phillies +121 over St. Louis Cardinals
The Phillies got off to a slow start this year but have recovered to win seven of their last nine games. Tonight they travel to the Midwest to face the owners of the third best record in the majors, the St. Louis Cardinals. Philadelphia’s Brett Myers has been somewhat prone to give up the deep ball, and no one hits a pitch left up in the zone like Albert Pujols. The Cardinals are also throwing their ace, Adam Wainwright, and it’s no wonder they enter the game as favorites. Nevertheless, with a high WHIP (1.57) that belies his stellar ERA (2.76), Wainwright seems due for a correction. Even if you think Ryan Howard is a poor man’s Albert Pujols, the Phillies’ lineup boasts significant depth and can bust out at any time.
The public is clearly riding the Cardinals’ bandwagon, to the tune of 74% of moneyline bets, making this game a classic Square Play. Additionally, despite such overwhelming support, the lines have barely moved, and Sports Insights gives you a closer look at why. Two Steam Moves have been triggered on the Phillies, one at Canbet (11-7, +3.2 units) and one at Pinnacle (55-41, +12.4). Let’s follow the sharp money and count on the defending champs to bring their A-game.
Philadelphia Phillies +121
Games to Watch (11-4. +9.35 Units)
New York Mets +114
Philadelphia Phillies +121
It should be another exciting week 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 next Friday with the new edition of the Sports Marketwatch – MLB Edition.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at SportsInsights.com