6/05/2009 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 took its childhood lessons to heart; we know that no one is perfect. Fortunately, our strategy for picking baseball games doesn’t rely on getting everything right, all the time. And since a 1-for-2 success rate in baseball is considered exceptional, we think it’s appropriate that our last five editions have all been splits and all been profitable. Tuesday was no different. The Royals matched the Rays in hits but failed to make them timely, mustering only two solo homers for the run column. Young right fielder Matt Joyce, recently called-up from the Durham Bulls, had four RBIs himself as the Rays took the victory at home 6-2. In our other featured game, we thought the Phillies’ bats would be able to get to former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy, but we didn’t foresee the details. Peavy, struggling to overcome an upper respiratory infection, was touched up for four runs in the first inning and did not return for the second. Meanwhile, rookie Antonio Bastardo impressed in his debut, holding the Padres to a lone run over six innings. The Philadelphia bullpen was shaky but held on for a 10-5 win.
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: 20-13, 60.6%, +13.88 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
Philadelphia Phillies +120 over Los Angeles Dodgers
The defending champion Phillies may have gotten off to a slow start this season, but after seven victories in a row and fifteen out of their last nineteen games, early doubters are being forced to recant. Not interested in streaks, you say? Two months into the season, Philadelphia also holds a major-league best road record… of 20-6! Last night, World Series MVP Cole Hamels pitched a complete game, shutting out the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine for the first time this season. The left-hander they’ll send to the mound to face Los Angeles tonight will attempt to keep that streak alive, but he’ll use entirely different methods. Whereas Hamels throws with youthful zip and nasty movement, 46-year-old Jamie Moyer wants to pick you apart with placement and consistency. He’ll have to do better tonight than the last time he faced the Dodgers, when he gave up seven runs in only 4.1 innings. Los Angeles has performed admirably since the season’s first major steroid indiscretion left them minus one slugger, but their offense has been impotent of late, scoring two runs or less in six of their last eight contests. Opposite Moyer, they’ll start Eric Milton, whose nice 3.14 ERA belies the fact that he has been unable to pitch into the sixth inning and allows nearly one and a half baserunners per inning.
The Dodgers opened at -145 at CRIS, but despite receiving 64% of moneyline bets and 83% of runline wagers, the Dodgers are now -135 at CRIS and even lower across the marketplace. Sports Insights Premium Pro members have seen the cause of this reverse line movement: a Steam Move triggered at Pinnacle (+14.8 Units Won). All those profitable units look good to us, and they also looked good to the other sportsbooks who scurried to change their lines along with Pinnacle. That’s the meaning of good steam. Let’s hope the Phillies don’t bring too much brotherly love to the West Coast and play on Philadelphia for the second time this week.
Texas Rangers +128 over Boston Red Sox
Texas hasn’t seen a great deal of sustained success since the days of Juan Gonzalez, but this may be their year to return to prominence. A nucleus of hard-hitting players in their late twenties – led by Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Hank Blalock – has helped Texas hammer the rest of the AL West with a major league-leading 86 home runs, and the Rangers currently sit nine games over .500 as division front-runners. Tonight they’ll throw their ace, Kevin Millwood, who after two consecutive seasons with an ERA over 5.00 has discovered a fountain of something resembling youth. His 3.23 ERA currently ranks tenth in the American League among those who have pitched at least 50 innings. Of course, these days it is rare for anyone to travel to Fenway Park as favorites. Boston, who enters the series tied with the Yankees and one game ahead of Texas, will look to slow the Rangers’ momentum with the eminently hittable Brad Penny (5.63 ERA, 1.60 WHIP). They are surely relieved to have retained the services of Kevin Youkilis, their All-Star third baseman who was forced to leave each of the last two games with injuries. He should be ready to go tonight, and they’ll likely need him to keep pace in what may turn into a slugfest.
Boston opened as -127 favorites at Pinnacle, and The Red Sox Nation (does that need a TM?) certainly is behind them to the tune of 74% of moneyline and 87% of runline bets. Even with such overwhelming support, the line has moved only slightly in Boston’s direction, now sitting at -132 at Pinnacle. This subtle change, without the help of any obvious reverse line movement, might be difficult to decipher to a casual sports bettor; fortunately, Premium Pro members have access to Sports Insights Betting System plays. The Rangers look as good to us as they did to the sharps who triggered a Steam Move on them at Pinnacle (+14.8 Units Won) this afternoon. Let’s bet on today simply not being the day to mess with Texas.
Games to Watch (20-13, +13.88 units)
Philadelphia Phillies +120
Texas Rangers +128
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 Tuesday with the new edition of the Sports Marketwatch – MLB Edition.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at SportsInsights.com