10/6/2008 4PM EST
by The Team at SportsInsights.com
We will be winding the MLB Edition of Sports MarketWatch during the playoffs and will be ready to launch the NBA Edition of Sports MarketWatch near the end of the month.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Sports MarketWatch – MLB Edition, 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!
The staff at SportsInsights.com speaks directly with the line managers at some of the sports betting industry’s largest sportsbooks about which games the public is chasing and the Sharps are pounding. We’ll take a look at what’s in store for upcoming games.
Sports Marketplace – MLB Edition
There are only two MLB playoff games today. With so few games, MarketWatch will focus on the games with some enhanced coverage. We’ll look at SportsInsights’ betting statistics as well as other baseball statistics. In the early playoff game (Chisox vs. Tampa Bay), the public’s bets are mixed. The most popular money-line bet and less popular “spread” or “run-line bet” — both have more bets landing on the White Sox. Parlay bets are landing on Tampa Bay, however. As our readers know, we like taking the “plus odds” on an underdog. However, we don’t think that the odds at TB +120 make up for the better starter and better offense for the home-team White Sox. We’ll lay off this game.
2008 MLB Games to Watch: 17-37, 31.5%, -15.28 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
Tampa Bay Rays +174 over Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox look like they are “hitting their stride” at just the right time. The Red Sox have won two World Series Championships over the past four years — and many baseball fans think that Tampa Bay was lucky to avoid going 0-2 even with the first two games in Tampa Bay. The series now shifts to Fenway Park and the Public is getting down on the Bosox even at heavy odds (-175 to -180 range). Can you see where we’re going here?
The Public is overwhelmingly on the Red Sox, with about 75% of moneyline bets taking the heavy favorites. And why not? The Red Sox are in friendly Fenway and have their young star pitcher Jon Lester on the mound. Jon Lester went 16-6 with a 3.21 ERA this season. He has a sparkling 0.77 ERA in the playoffs. Enough said?
This is one of those games that looks like sure money. And this is exactly why there is value going the other way. We’re going to sell the Red Sox and Lester at a high — and buy Tampa Bay and their pitcher, Matt Garza at a low. Garza had a solid season with an 11-9 record and 3.70 ERA. However, he’s struggled in the playoffs with a 7.50 ERA and has a 6.32 ERA over his last three starts.
We’ll take Tampa Bay and Garza as a live dog with good value in the +170 range. The line opened at TB +161 and the constant pounding on Boston has added value all the way to TB +174.
Tampa Bay Rays +174
Philadelphia Phillies +170 over Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers crushed the Phillies last night — and the Public likes the Dodgers again tonight. The Dodgers have home field again in the “late game” and look to even the series with veteran Derek Lowe. Derek Lowe had a great season with a 14-11 record and 3.24 ERA in a “contract season.” That extra “oomph” the season before negotiating a new contract can be enough to make a good pitcher great. But do the Dodgers, at home, deserve to be such a heavy favorite against the hard-hitting Phillies? Almost 70% of all bets on the Dodgers says, “No,” — and that there is value on the Phillies.
We’ll again take a visiting live dog. SportsInsights’ research has shown that home field during MLB playoffs can be overvalued. We’ll sell LA and Lowe at a “high” — and buy the Phils after a bad loss.
Philadelphia Phillies +170
Games to Watch (17-37, -15.28 units)
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 next week with the new edition of the Sports MarketWatch – MLB Edition.
Enjoy the games!