Welcome to the 2012 edition of MLB Marketwatch, where the team at Sports Insights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the MLB betting market.
Every week we analyze the sports betting marketplace to pinpoint which games the public is chasing and which the sharps are pounding.
Overall Record: 4-2 (+3.22 units)
The goal of this weekly column is to highlight games that offer true line value. Often, if a line looks too good to be true, there is a reason. You’ll occasionally need the worst teams on the board to come through. We typically buy on bad news and sell on good.
Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are arguably the most surprising team of the 2012 MLB Season so far, boasting a 28-17 record and atop the difficult American League East. On Friday night, they’ll host to the Kansas City Royals (17-26) at Camden Yards, where they are just 13-11 on the year. The Orioles will have righty Jason Hammel on the mound (5-1, 3.12 ERA) while the Royals will counter with lefty Bruce Chen (3-4, 4.17 ERA). Hammel had a great start to the year but a nagging knee injury has caused his performance to decline, with an ERA of nearly 7 over the last two starts. Furthermore, his ERA is over 7 in three career starts against the Royals.
Baltimore has been the best bet of the season thus far. They’ve been able to do so with a great balanced attack of offense and defense, as they lead the majors with 69 homeruns and are second in the league in bullpen ERA. If you placed $100/game on Baltimore for each of their first 45 games, you’d be up 16.7 units, or +$1,670. However, most of the damage has been down on the road, so we feel comfortable fading them at home.
Baltimore opened as a -136 favorite at Pinnacle and is receiving the overwhelming majority of public bets placed on this game. Sports Insights’ MLB Betting Trends show that 78% of moneyline bets, 83% of runline bets and 83% of parlay wagers have taken the Orioles at home.
The public betting chart below is available on our Live Odds 3.0 page to all Live Odds and All-Pro Combo members and shows a breakdown of moneyline Betting Percentages from our six contributing sportsbooks.
Although almost 4 out of every 5 bets on this game are coming in on Baltimore, the line at Pinnacle has actually dropped to -130 where it’s currently at. This reverse-line movement indicates that sharp money has been placed on the Royals since the vast majority of bets are on the Orioles. At books such as 5Dimes, the line actually dropped 15 cents from the opening line of -135 to -120. Since that time, public bets have caused the line to slowly crawl back to the opening number, which appears to be the common trend at most sportsbooks for this particular game.
The line history graph below, which is available to all Live Odds and All-Pro Combo members, shows how the public Betting Percentages have affected line movement for this game at Pinnacle.
At the time of publication, Bovada is offering the best price on the visiting Kansas City Royals at +123, but as always, be sure to shop for the best line before getting down on this game.
Game to Watch (4-2, +3.22 units)
Kansas City Royals +123 (Bovada)