7/21/2009 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
We bounced back from our 0-2 set of plays on last Tuesday with a split pair on Friday. The White Sox offense gave starter John Danks more than enough support with a 12-run outburst against the Orioles. Designated hitter Jim Thome lead the onslaught with a three-run homer and a grand slam in successive innings, as Chicago took a 12-5 lead and never looked back. Our other contest went in our favor as Boston’s Kevin Youkilis hit a first-inning two-run homer that proved to be enough for a Red Sox victory over Toronto. Boston righty Clay Bucholz was called up from Pawtucket for the spot start, and he allowed only one run before letting the Red Sox dominant bullpen take over. The split was enough to provide us with a slight profit for Friday’s games.
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: 30-27, 52.6%, +14.25 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
Chicago Cubs +114 over Philadelphia Phillies
The Cubs came into this week’s series against the defending World Champions on a four-game winning streak, but on Monday night they were trumped as the Phillies extended their own winning streak to nine games. That streak is part of their very strong play of late at home (10-1 in July) after struggling mightily during the first part of the season. Joe Blanton (6-4, 4.44 ERA) will make the start for Philadelphia, coming off wins in his previous two starts while allowing one run in 14.2 innings. Chicago counters with Blanton’s former Athletics rotation mate Rich Harden (6-6, 5.06). Harden has been a disappointment this season for the Cubbies, thanks in large part to his struggles in Wrigley Field (2-5, 7.59 ERA in nine starts.) Away from the North Side of Chicago has been another story for the fragile starter, as he has compiled a 4-1 record and 2.17 ERA in six road starts.
This matchup is currently the most popular game on the board in terms of total number of bets, thanks in part to the media friendly Cubs and defending champion Phillies. The moneyline bets have been pretty evenly split, with the Phils currently drawing a slight advantage at 51%. Despite this closeness in percentage, the Phillies have dropped from opening -135 favorites at Olympic to -125 favorites as we approach 5PM. That is indicating some sharp money being the Cubbies. Combine this with a pair of profitable Steam Moves on Chicago, including on from BetJamaica (60-33, +17.50 Units), and we like the North Siders from the Windy City.
Chicago Cubs +114
Texas Rangers +157 over Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox haven’t won since last Friday when we picked them in the Marketwatch. They have equaled their longest losing streak of the season at three games, due in large part to an unusually meager offensive output. Boston has only scored six runs since last Friday’s victory over Toronto, and the lack of hitting has dropped them into a tie atop the AL East standings with the rival Yankees. The Sox will send ace Josh Beckett (11-3. 3.35 ERA) to the mound in hopes of keeping them from their first four-game losing streak since early last July. As seems to be the case every season, the Rangers have no problems hitting the ball, as they lead the majors with 139 homeruns. Their playoff chances hinge on pitching, which has been stronger this season than in year’s past thanks in part to some promising young arms. One such youngster is right-handed rookie Tommy Hunter (1-1, 2.35). Hunter is coming off an impressive outing at Seattle, in which he allowed four hits during six shutout innings.
The public tends to love the big market teams as much as the media, and even more so when they send their ace to the mound. That’s definitely the case for tonight’s matchup, with the Sox and Beckett drawing 88% of moneyline bets, as well as 97% of runline and 85% of parlay wagers. Those huge discrepancies in percentages are even more meaningful when you consider this game currently has the second highest total number of bets on tonight’s board. These numbers have pushed the line from an opening at Olympic of Boston -150 to its current spot at Boston -175. We like home underdogs at the Marketwatch, and with the percentages pushing the line in the Rangers’ favor we’ll take them.
Texas Rangers +157
Games to Watch (30-27, +14.25 units)
Chicago Cubs +114
Texas Rangers +157
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