Welcome to the 2012 edition of MLB Marketwatch, where the team at Sports Insights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the MLB betting market.
Every week we analyze the sports betting marketplace to pinpoint which games the public is chasing and which the sharps are pounding.
Overall Record: 7-4 (+5.77 units)
The goal of this weekly column is to highlight games that offer true line value. Often, if a line looks too good to be true, there is a reason. You’ll occasionally need the worst teams on the board to come through. We typically buy on bad news and sell on good.
Over the first two months of the season, the success of the league’s two youngest players has astonished fans across the league while creating a riveting narrative. More importantly, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have rejuvenated their big market teams with their youthful enthusiasm and have helped put both teams into the thick of the playoff hunt.
Last Wednesday, Giants’ pitcher Matt Cain tossed arguably the greatest game in the long and storied history of Major League Baseball. In an era dominated by hitters, the 27-year old right hander threw just the 22nd perfect game in league history, complete with 14 strikeouts, in a 10-0 victory over the Houston Astros. Tonight, Cain (8-2, 2.18 ERA) will take the mound for the first time since this dazzling display with many wondering how he will follow up his momentous feat.
When Albert Pujols signed a ten-year deal with the Angels this offseason worth a whopping $254 million, fans and analysts alike forecasted that Los Angeles would cruise to the top of the AL West standings. Ditto for Prince Fielder who, after signing a nine-year, $214 contract with Detroit, figured to team with Miguel Cabrera for the best one-two punch in baseball.
Pujols has hit just two home runs, and the Angels are already seven games back of the Rangers with a 17-21 record. On the flip side, the Tigers are a game below .500 despite respectable production from their new first baseman (.293, 5 HR, 20 RBI). In fact, both of these teams have been amongst the best teams in baseball to bet against.
We’re now over a month into the season and five teams’ early-season struggles have provided significant value for contrarian bettors.