9/22/2009 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
It’s been mostly feast and not famine recently for Marketwatch, but we were left a bit wanting on Friday night as both of our picks got completely shut out. Scott Kazmir continued his west coast resurgence by stifling the Rangers, who nevertheless trail only the Yankees and Red Sox in slugging. Brian Duensing has been a veritable revelation since joining the Twins’ rotation, and he also sustained his hot streak, giving up only four hits to Detroit. Both the Tigers’ and Rangers’ starters pitched admirably, but their outings were nullified by their teams’ offensive disappearing act.
2009 MLB Games to Watch: 46-46, 50%, +17.7 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
San Diego Padres +215 over Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies, four games up on the San Francisco Giants with twelve to play, are odds-on favorite to sneak into the playoffs as the NL Wild Card. It seems like they might be all-too-aware of this fact, as they’ve dropped five of their last 8 games and are simply not playing crisp baseball. They’ll look to remedy that tonight by sending their hottest pitcher to the mound. Jorge de la Rosa didn’t start the season like Jason Marquis, and he doesn’t have ace potential like Ubaldo Jimenez. He’s done nothing but deal for the last month, though, sporting a 1.64 ERA and 34 strikeouts over 33 innings pitched. The Padres will counter with Edward Mujica, a converted reliever who has performed well with limited opportunities in the rotation. He doesn’t have the stamina to pitch deep into games, but he recently held these very Rockies to a pair of hits and no runs over four innings. We think de la Rosa, who has struggled with control for much of his career and owns a 1.37 season WHIP, is due for a correction.
Nevertheless, his stellar numbers of late contributed to a big opening line. The Rockies opened at -230 at CRIS and, despite such a poor potential payoff, are receiving 79% of moneyline and 82% of runline bets. With such lopsided betting, we’d expect the line to get even bigger. Instead, Colorado has seen minimal growth in most places and sits as low as -225 at a few books. There aren’t currently any Smart Money or Steam Moves on this game at the time of writing, but one certainly wouldn’t surprise us. Even without it, we don’t mind betting against the public and taking huge value on a team that has nothing to lose.
San Diego Padres +215
Seattle Mariners +137 over Tampa Bay Rays
Betting against Jeff Niemann worked for us a week ago, and we’re ready to do it again this week as the rambunctious Mariners travel east to take on the Rays. We love the exuberance and youthful antics of team elders Ken Griffey, Jr. and Ichiro Suzuki, and their clubhouse chemistry probably kept them in the AL West race much longer than their talent merits. Though they’ve fallen off the pace, it doesn’t look like they’re packing it in for the season, having won four of their last five games, including two each against the White Sox and Yankees. Tonight’s starter, lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith, has really turned it on of late, lasting eight innings and giving up three or fewer runs in three of his last four starts. He beat the Rays a month and a half ago at home, and tonight their lineup will be minus Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford.
Tampa Bay opened at -130 at both CRIS and Pinnacle, and the line has grown steadily due to heavy betting on the favored Rays. They’re getting 74% of moneyline bets, 75% of parlays and 88% of runline bets. We’ve even seen a couple of Steam Moves on the Rays, which explains their line growth. Normally, we wouldn’t recommend going against a profitable Steam Move, but both moves were on the Rays at a line of -140, a value no longer available across the sports marketplace. On the flip-side, a Smart Money play on Seattle was triggered at Matchbook (+4.5 Units Won) at +127. The odds on the Mariners are now better than that across the board, as high as +137 at Pinnacle, and if you’re a Matchbook member, you can grab a steal with Seattle +142.
Seattle Mariners +137
Games to Watch (44-44, +16.99 units)
San Diego Padres +215
Seattle Mariners +137
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