6/26/2009 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
The last couple of Tuesdays have been rough for Marketwatch, and we aren’t accustomed to these donuts. Chalk it up to a mini-slump; they’re inevitable over the course of a season, especially when your betting strategy is as allergic to favorites as I am to fresh-cut grass. On a night when supporters of the visiting Red Sox outnumbered and out-cheered the local Nationals fans, Washington seemed up to the challenge, heading into the top of the 7th with the score 3-3. But like they have so many times this season, Washington relievers simply let the wheels fall off. The eight runs they gave up over the final three frames accounted for the final margin, 11-3. In our other game, Brian Tallet improbably shut out the Reds through six innings, and the Blue Jays narrowly avoided a late collapse to win 7-5. (Note: I actually love the grass, especially the smell of clippings. But didn’t those few sentences where you thought I was a basement-dwelling number-cruncher give me some credibility?)
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: 24-21, 53.3%, +12.16 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
Atlanta Braves +110 over Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are now 15-6 in the month of June, and, since sweeping the Tigers and Yankees, have won two out of three against every NL East team except the Mets. They’ve scored 5.62 runs a game during that stretch, and in eight of those contests have surrendered two runs or less. It’s a blistering pace, one some might call unsustainable. Still, they’re the Red Sox. Their talent, coaching, balance and all-around momentum over the last half-decade makes it easy to believe in them on any given night. The Braves, on the other hand, are in the middle of a pretty rough stretch. They’ve lost two games in each of the last six series. Three of those series have been against the AL East, and after winning the first game in each, they’ve failed to duplicate the feat. You’d be hard-pressed to blame young starter Jair Jurrjens for the difficulties. He just keeps heading to the mound for six or seven innings, giving up only one or two earned runs, and receiving disappointing no-decisions or losses. As steady as he’s been, of course, his numbers are no match for Boston ace Josh Beckett. If you take away a one-game aberration at Philadelphia, Beckett has been miserly, giving up only one earned run in 37.2 innings and striking out 37 batters in the process. Note to self: he’s good.
The Red Sox opened at -135 at CRIS, a modest enough line at what hasn’t been a particularly daunting ballpark for visitors. After receiving 73% of moneyline bets, as well as over 85% of runline and parlay wagers, you’d expect Boston’s line to have grown significantly. Just the opposite has happened. The Red Sox are now down to -121 at CRIS and much lower across the marketplace. We’ve seen two types of Sports Insights Betting System plays triggered: a Smart Money play at BetOnline (+8.83 Units Won) and a Steam Move at Pinnacle (+23.2 Units Won). To much of the public, favorite lines this small with Beckett on the mound will seem too good to be true. The sportsbooks are counting on this very thing, making the lines even more appealing to an overwhelmingly united public. There’s a reason we like to Bet Against the Public, and we’re ready to do it again here.
Atlanta Braves +110
Arizona Diamondbacks +138 over Los Angeles Angels
It just hit me that I am picking against the same two teams that we did in last Tuesday’s installment. A bettor with an enlightened self-perception might realize how overtly stubborn this seems and back away, but me? I am backed by righteous numbers… but we’ll get back to that. Arizona has had a difficult go of it this season. Most of the talking heads picked them to challenge the Dodgers for NL West supremacy this season, but instead they are 17 games behind them, good for 5th in a five-team division. San Francisco and Colorado’s significant strides have thrown a little salt in the wound that hasn’t healed after a coaching change. The Angels are hanging with an improved but clearly mortal Rangers team in the AL West, but they haven’t really played to potential this year either, even after their pitching got healthy. Tonight’s starter, Jered Weaver, has just begun his fall back toward Earth. I don’t mean in the Salman Rushdie sense. His 2.53 ERA is a run and a half below his last two years’ numbers, his strikeouts per walk and per nine innings are down, and batters are bailing him out by swinging too early in the count. He’s good, but he’s not as good as the public thinks he is. That’s where we find the value we’re looking for.
Los Angeles opened at -165 at CRIS and are getting a mindblowing 87% of moneyline wagers on their side, the most of any team today. Add that to 90% of both runline and parlay bets, and we have ourselves the makings of a Square Play (+27.1 Units Won). We aren’t only betting against the public in this case, though. The line has dropped to -152 at CRIS and down as low as -139 at Matchbook. This big reverse line movement is the result of a number of Sports Insights Betting System plays. We have seen two Smart Money plays triggered, one at ABC (+3.52 Units Won) and one at perennially profitable CRIS (+12.43 Units Won). There was also a Steam Move triggered at ABC (+5.6 Units Won). Sharp money seems to be finding all kinds of value in playing on the Diamondbacks tonight, and we’re going to do the same.
Arizona Diamondbacks +138
Games to Watch (24-21, +12.16 units)
Atlanta Braves + 110
Arizona D-Backs +138
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
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