6/16/2009 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 went 1-and-1 on Friday, but it was no ordinary 50% hit rate. The Pirates got a solid outing from Ian Snell, giving up only two earned runs over seven innings. Unfortunately, the Tigers’ rookie Rick Porcello was simply better, allowing only four fewer hits than his counterpart and only one run over seven. The Detroit bullpen held on for a 3-1 victory. After our other featured game, we received one nasty email from Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston. He has dubbed us a jinx for his ace, but we only thought he’d give up a few runs, not hurt himself! When Halladay left the game after three innings with an injured groin, he was down 0-1. Ricky Nolasco pitched an efficient six innings, throwing nine strikeouts and allowing only six baserunners, and the Marlins tacked on more late to finish with a 7-3 win. (Note: Cito Gaston did not actually email us. While we would love his business, we would not love a scandal.)
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: 23-16, 59.0%, +15.76 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
Pittsburgh Pirates +123 over Minnesota Twins
I’m still not about to call Pittsburgh a juggernaut – especially after they let me down on Friday – but I’m ready to believe in them once again. Tonight they send to the mound the Steel City’s definition of an ace in Paul Maholm. Maholm… ahh, the name strikes fear into the heart of… no one in particular. He’ll never overpower anyone, managing only 50 strikeouts in 82 innings, but he has been remarkably consistent. His numbers over the last month are right in line with his season stats, a 3.61 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Four of his last five starts have also been on the road, so he shouldn’t feel uncomfortable toeing the rubber tonight in Minnesota. The Twins have played good baseball of late and are now second in the AL Central, only three games back of Detroit. Tonight they’ll send Glen Perkins to the mound, fresh off the disabled list. Perkins wasn’t exactly lighting it up before he got hurt, having given up 24 earned runs in his last 23 innings pitched. Since a hot start to the season, his ERA has ballooned all the way to 5.36.
Minnesota opened as -155 favorites at CRIS. Despite receiving 68% of moneyline bets, as well as 90% of runline bets, the line has moved to -130 at CRIS and even lower across the sports marketplace. This reverse line movement is pretty glaring for those of us that can spot it, and we know why it’s happened. Multiple Sports Insights Betting System plays have been triggered on the Pirates, including a Smart Money play at Bodog (+0.85 Units Won) and a Steam Move at Pinnacle (+30.3 Units Won). The sharps that bet at Pinnacle are having a great season, and there’s no reason not to ride this good steam. We’ll take Pittsburgh.
Houston Astros +124 over Texas Rangers
Our second pick in each installment has been following a trend recently, and who am I to fix something that ain’t broke? I’m going to continue to bet against pitchers whose numbers seem unsustainable. As much as I love Kevin Millwood – he pitched in a little town called Bessemer City, North Carolina, at a rival high school only a few miles away – the 2009 model is not likely to finish the season with a 2.72 ERA. Yet like Roy Halladay last week, he’s gone two straight starts without giving up an earned run, taking home the “W” in each. On the other hand, four of his last six starts have seen him issue four walks and six or more hits. Something has to give. The Astros are struggling at the bottom of a very competitive NL Central, but they’re playing good baseball right now and have won nine of thirteen games in June. Starter Wandy Rodriguez bounced back from a couple of disappointing starts with a gem against the Cubs last week, and his 2.82 ERA is also nothing to sneeze at. He’ll look to exploit a Rangers offense which, though explosive at times, has really cooled off recently. They were next to last in the majors in batting average over the last week and only 25th, at .237, for the last month.
The opening line for this in-state battle was Texas -145 at CRIS. The public has paid attention to Millwood’s recent success, supporting him to the tune of 68% of moneyline bets and 80% of parlay wagers. Yet the line has dropped to -139 at CRIS. This is likely due to a Steam Move that was triggered this morning at Pinnacle (+30.3 Units Won). Sluggers like Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee have to be salivating about hitting at the launching pad in Arlington. We’re excited too, enough to back a division cellar-dweller versus a division leader. Sit back tonight and let the Astros surprise you.
Games to Watch (23-16, +15.76 units)
Pittsburgh + 123
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