5/1/2009 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 5 PM Eastern Time.
Sports Marketplace – MLB Edition
A pitching duel in Atlanta had it looking like we would take a loss in our first game from the last edition. The Braves’ Matt Diaz got a chance to put Atlanta up with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, and he delivered a single up the middle to plate two runs. That was enough for a win as Braves’ closer Mike Gonzalez struck out the side in the ninth. Our second game was another close contest decided late, unfortunately it didn’t go in our favor. The Giants failed to capitalize on some early chances thanks to some base-running mistakes and good defensive plays by the Dodgers. Going into the top of the ninth with a 3-3 tie, the Dodgers were able to push across a couple of runs. The Giants couldn’t match them in the bottom half, and we took our third loss of the season.
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: 10-3, 76.9%, +9.20 units
Sports MarketWatch – MLB Games to Watch
Atlanta Braves +108 over St. Louis Cardinals
The Braves went into last off-season looking to significantly improve a disappointing pitching corps, and it early on it looks like they did. It’s been Atlanta’s offense that’s let them down this year. With slugging catcher Brian McCann suffering from blurred vision and Chipper Jones missing some games, they haven’t been able to score enough for the revamped staff. The Cardinals have the major’s best record early in the season, as perennial MVP-candidate Albert Pujols just seems to make everyone around him better. Pitching coach Dave Duncan continues to have success with other team’s failures, and tonight’s starter is just one example. Kyle Lohse (3-0, 2.42) set career best numbers in wins and ERA last season, and has started out strong this season.
The public likes the Cardinals with 71% of moneyline wagers behind St. Louis. Combine that with 91% of runline bets and 81% of parlay bets and it’s surprising the line has barely moved from its opening at Olympic of St. Louis -115. The Cardinals are currently -117 favorites despite the large variance in public support. The market movement has triggered multiple Sports Insights Betting System plays on the Braves, including a Steam Move from Pinnacle (+11.1 units). This game also fits into our contrarian betting theory explained in MLB and Betting Against the Public. We’ll take the homedogs with “plus money”.
Atlanta Braves +108 (BoDog)
San Francisco Giants +155 over Los Angeles Dodgers
With Barry Bonds in the stands, the Giants scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to gain a 5-4 win over the Dodgers on Monday. They will have a challenge on Friday as they face Los Angeles ace Chad Billingsley (4-0, 2.05 ERA). Billingsley is looking to become the major league’s first five-game winner in the middle game of a three-game set in this heated rivalry. Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez has heated up lately, with a .405 batting average and 10 RBIs in his last nine games. San Francisco will counter with young southpaw Jonathan Sanchez (1-1, 3.65), who had his last turn in the rotation skipped due to an off day. Sanchez allowed no runs and only two hits in 6.2 innings during his previous start (against Arizona).
The public likes Los Angeles’ hot-starting ace even on the road. The Dodgers are receiving 74% of public moneyline bets and 81% of parlay wagers. Even with this heavy backing the line hasn’t seen much movement since the Dodgers opened as -160 favorites at Olympic, and it even dipped down slightly at one point to Los Angeles -157. It has since moved back to Los Angeles -165. The public is pushing the line, and we like the home underdog as this game fits into our MLB and Betting Against the Public article.
San Francisco +155 (SIA)
Games to Watch (10-3, +9.20 units)
Braves +108 (BoDog)
Giants +155 (SIA)
It should be another exciting week 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 next Friday with the new edition of the Sports Marketwatch – MLB Edition.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at SportsInsights.com