5/15/2009 5:05 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
In our first game on Tuesday, a pitchers duel was going our way early, but one swing turned it around to give us a loss. Rich Harden allowed two runs to San Diego in the first, and Jake Peavy was making the small lead stand up. The Padres ace gave up one run in the fifth, but a two-run homer by Milton Bradley gave Chicago the lead. They didn’t look back, adding three more runs for a 6-2 victory to give us a loss. Another pitching duel in Arizona provided us with a different outcome, as former Diamondback Micah Owings shut down his former team. Owings allowed one run over seven innings, which bested the effort by Arizona’s Dan Haren (three runs allowed in seven innings.) That win gave us another split, but the “plus money” pushed up our units won.
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: 15-6, 71.4%, +13.26 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
Cleveland Indians +150 over Tampa Bay Rays
Heading into this four-game series with Tampa Bay, Cleveland had hoped for a better start to 2009 after a below expectations finish in 2008. The Indians definitely didn’t see themselves in last place of the AL Central after a month and a half, but that is where they find themselves. The Rays haven’t enjoyed a hot start out of the gate either, as they sit only a half game above AL East basement dweller Baltimore. Tampa is hoping lefty Scott Kazmir (4-3, 5.92 ERA) can turn the team around from its current slump in which the teams pitching has a 6.53 ERA over the past six contests. Cleveland counters with Anthony Reyes (1-1, 7.20) on the mound, but the Indians will likely rely on its offense led by scorching catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez. Martinez is hitting .400 (.410 against left-handers) with 25 RBIs on the season.
Tampa opened as -175 favorites at Olympic with the differing reputations of the starting pitchers. The public jumped heavily behind the Rays and Kazmir and they have continued to do so. Tampa Bay is receiving 76% of the public’s moneyline bets, 78% of parlay bets, and an astounding 98% of runline bets. Despite this, we have seen the line drop to Tampa Bay -160 at Olympic. With this movement we have seen a Smart Money play triggered by Carib Sports (16-11-1, +7.42 units). We’ll follow the sharp bettors and take the “plus money”.
Cleveland Indians +150
Minnesota Twins +120 over New York Yankees
Tonight’s matchup between the Twins and Yankees features two teams and starters off to disappointing starts in 2009, but the teams each have a small winning streak going. The Twins are one game above .500, in part due to the struggles of their starting pitchers including Francisco Liriano (2-4, 5.75 ERA). Liriano looked like the next Johan Santana a few seasons ago before Tommy John surgery set him back. He struggled out of the gate last season and was sent to the minors where he got it back together. He looked like he had returned to dominant form late last season, but the results haven’t been there so far in 2009. Phil Hughes (1-2, 8.49) was the gem of the Yankee farm system and was mentioned in trade talks when New York discussed acquiring Santana. His major league numbers haven’t matched his minor league production, and he could be pitching to stay in the rotation while making his first appearance against the Twins. The two struggling pitchers may not enjoy their experience in the hitter-friendly New Yankee Stadium, where 47 combined home runs have been hit so far this season.
Both teams have had similar problems in their disappointing starts in 2009, with unreliable starting pitching being at the forefront. So its not surprising that New York opened as -125 home favorites at Olympic. The Yankees are garnering the majority of public support with 63% of the public moneyline bets, but they are also receiving an overwhelming 85% of runline wagers from the public. We’ve seen a slight movement in the line to New York -133 with the public pushing the line to a better value for Minnesota. .
Minnesota Twins +120
Games to Watch (15-6, +13.26 units)
Cleveland Indians +150
Minnesota Twins +120
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 Friday with the new edition of the Sports Marketwatch – MLB Edition.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at SportsInsights.com