6/23/2009 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 got back on track Friday with another moneymaking split. The two Japanese starters didn’t exactly duel at Fenway, as Atlanta rocked Daisuke Matsuzaka for six runs in only four innings. Kenshin Kawakami threw six strong innings, though, as Boston finished with only two hits for the game. The Braves took the first game of the series 8-2. The starters were more evenly matched in our second matchup, as Chad Billingsley and Joe Saunders each gave up six hits and four runs through six innings. A late solo home run by Juan Rivera proved the difference, and the Angels one-run victory kept up from a perfect day.
2009 MLB Games to Watch: 24-19, 55.8%, +14.16 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
Cincinnati Reds +133 over Toronto Blue Jays
Interleague play continues this week, much to the chagrin of Blue Jays and Reds fans. Toronto has posted a confusing 4-8 record against the NL East, losing series against Atlanta, Florida and cellar-dwelling Washington while sweeping the World Champs in Philadelphia. Cincinnati has been equally paltry against the DHers, going 3-6 against the likes of the Royals, Indians and White Sox. Something will have to give as the Reds head north tonight. Micah Owings will head to the hill for Cincinnati, but he won’t be able to add to his seven career home runs or .305 average as a DH must take his place at the AL park. Owings can be a little wild at times, but he’s pitched well lately, allowing only five runs over his last 17.1 innings pitched. His counterpart, Brian Tallet, has been alternating good starts with terrible ones, and the monster is due to rear its head. His last two home starts have been especially bad, as thirteen runs have crossed the plate in only 9.1 innings. Neither pitcher misses many bats, with only 103 strikeouts in a combined 154 innings, so runs may come early and often. Cincinnati will also get a boost from the return of their dizzy-no-longer, slugging first baseman Joey Votto, who has just been activated from the disabled list.
Toronto opened as -145 favorites at both CRIS and Pinnacle. The public has been split fairly evenly on moneyline bets, but Toronto has received the lion’s share of runline and parlay wagers, 70% and 68% respectively. The lines haven’t moved accordingly, though, dropping to -135 at Pinnacle and even lower across the sports marketplace. This reverse line movement comes as the result of a Smart Money play triggered at Skybook (+0.72 Units Won). The Reds are also considering bringing up starting prospect Homer Bailey this weekend, so Owings may be pitching to solidify his spot in the rotation tonight. Let’s play on the Reds to take one at the Rogers Centre.
Washington Nationals +117 over Boston Red Sox
It’s a battle of colonial powerhouse cities tonight in the capital as the Red Sox visit the Nationals. Boston is 13-5 in June and firmly in first place in the AL East. The Nationals are a whopping 27 games below .500! Brad Penny takes the mound for the Red Sox having made two straight starts without giving up a run. Nationals pitching has been all-around putrid this season, sporting a next-to-last in the majors 5.11 ERA on the season. The one and only true bright spot on their staff has been ace John Lannan. His cool 3.38 ERA in a division with the Mets and Phillies is nothing to sneeze at, but he’s been even better of late. Only three earned runs have scored on him in his last three starts, and he’s lasted 8+ innings for two of them. The Nats have won four out of their last five games, but conventional wisdom still says that if Washington has a chance, their hopes rest on Lannan to be at his best.
Conventional betting wisdom would also expect the line on the favored Red Sox, who are receiving 86% of all bets, to have grown significantly since they opened at -135 at CRIS. Just the opposite. Despite “The Nation’s” heavy betting on Boston, the sportsbooks remained undeterred, and have actually lowered the lines to the mid and low -120s across most of the marketplace. Two Sports Insights Betting System plays have also been triggered on Washington, both Steam Moves at highly-performing sportsbooks Bet Phoenix (+11.3 Units Won) and Pinnacle (+21.3 Units Won). It takes a lot of good steam like that to inspire confidence in the lowly Nationals, but when the market speaks, we don’t argue. Let’s play on Washington to play with some pride tonight at home.
Games to Watch (24-19, +14.16 units)
Washington Nationals +117
Cincinnati Reds +133
It should be another exciting night 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