Extras…extras…read all about it! Extra innings at Fenway for the Phillies and Red Sox and at Busch for the Rockies and Cards. Plus, extra places to bet beginning Wednesday thanks to the state of Mississippi. All the news that’s fit to bet, every day in VSiN City!
MLB Monday: Red Sox “cooling” off as wins are getting closer!
This is how great the Boston Red Sox have been playing in recent weeks. They’ve won 19 of their last 23 games…but it feels like the juggernaut is slowing down because two victories in their current four-game winning streak went extra innings. At least they had to break a sweat!
Boston (-150) 2, Philadelphia 1 (in 13 innings)
Total Bases Plus Walks: Philadelphia 19, Boston 14
Starting Pitchers: Nola 8 IP, 1 ER, Price 8 IP, 1 ER
Bullpen: Philadelphia 4.1 IP, 1 ER, Boston 5 IP, 0 ER
Phils will regret this missed opportunity for a long time. You can see the visitor should have won based on Total Bases plus Walks. Phils left 12 runners on base, compared to just six for Boston. Blake Swihart ended the evening in the thirteenth with a super-hyphenated walk-off run-scoring ground-rule double.
Boston moves to 75-33, picking up a half-game on the idle New York Yankees. Lead in the AL East is now six games. Philadelphia lose its fourth in a row to fall to 58-48. The offense has scored just 4-2-0-1 in those outings even with the extra frames Monday. And, the first three snorers came against Cincinnati’s vulnerable pitching staff.
MLB Monday: Cardinals rally from 4-0 down to stay alive in Wildcard hunt
Light schedule tonight in terms of baseball. A bunch of West Coast games ended after publication deadlines. Let’s take a look at the only other early starter (besides Philly/Boston) matching opponents with winning records.
St. Louis (-130) 5, Colorado 4 (in 10 innings)
Total Bases Plus Walks: Colorado 16, St. Louis 18
Starting Pitchers: Anderson 6 IP, 4 ER, Martinez 4.2 IP, 2 ER
Bullpen: Colorado 3.1 IP, 1 ER, St. Louis 5.1 IP, 2 ER
Marcell Osuna hit a walk-off home run to win the game in the bottom of the tenth. Rockies had jumped to a 4-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning to no avail. St. Louis moves to 54-52 with the win, hanging around the Wildcard discussion if not the heart of the race itself. Colorado falls to 57-48 after a big homestand launched them back near the top of the NL West.
When VSiN City was co-hosting “A Numbers Game” with Jonathan Von Tobel during Gill Alexander’s vacation, we talked about how Carlos Martinez had a stellar ERA but a mediocre xFIP. Since that discussion, he’s allowed seven earned runs in 9.2 innings. His ERA has risen from 3.08 to 3.41. Laws of math catching up, though the Cards were able to win anyway Monday.
In other early Monday finishers…
*Atlanta (-170) beat Miami 5-3. Braves move back within a half-game of first place Philadelphia after Monday’s results. But, Atlanta is still a disappointing 7-13 its last 20 games. Marlins are 26-23 their past 49 games even with this loss. Might offer value down the stretch in this division if the Braves and Phillies gag. Washington is rumored to be shopping Bryce Harper. Would be something if Miami went from allegedly “tanking” early in Derek Jeter’s rebuilding plan to playing the best ball in the division down the stretch. Important couple of days for Atlanta after getting humbled through much of the Dodgers series this past weekend.
*Minnesota (plus 130) beat Cleveland 5-4. Cleveland still leads Minnesota by eight games in the AL Central. Indians are the only playoff-bound team in the AL with a losing road record. Tribe falls to 25-27 away from home with this result. Indians are 5-5 since the All-Star break against a manageable schedule, 8-11 their last 19 games. Minnesota is 14-5 its last 19 games when not playing Boston…which at least suggests they might offer value when not facing any of the superpowers. Cleveland just isn’t a superpower this season, despite being priced that way. Indians now down just under 17 betting units.
MLB Market Notes: What high money lines mean in scoreboard terms
There was a lot of shock and awe in gambling circles this past weekend when a baseball money line flew over -400 in one of Saturday’s Yankees/Royals games. Numbers THAT high have been very uncommon through the lifetimes of current bettors. Evolving MLB trends away from parity suggest we’ll see more numbers in the 300’s and 400’s this season and beyond.
Generally speaking, bettors and the public don’t have a sense of what prices that high mean in scoreboard terms. A no-vigorish money line near -400 with an Over/Under of 9 is roughly equal to a projected final score of 6-3. There wouldn’t be much shock and awe about that! Games ending 6-3 (or more one-sided) happen all the time, particularly when elite contenders play doormats.
A recent newsletter tutorial talked about turning run projections into money lines in more depth. The simple version…
*The formula “runs scored squared” divided by the sum of “runs scored squared” plus“runs allowed squared" will give you a winning percentage. That’s the “Pythagorean” formula devised and presented by Bill James a few decades ago. A projected score of 6-3 would turn into 36 divided by 45 with that formula. Exactly .800 or 80%.
*Baseball money lines can also be expressed in terms of winning percentage. Click here to see a chart. A winning percentage of .800 is exactly -400 on a money line.
*Therefore, a projected score of 6-3 equals a no-vig line of -400.
Here are a few estimated conversions for price/total ranges that you’ll likely confront the rest of the season.
Score: Price and Total
4-2: Favorite -400, total of 6
4.5 to 2.5: Favorite -310, total of 7
4.5 to 3: Favorite -225, total of 7.5
5-3: Favorite -280, total of 8
5.5 to 3: Favorite -340, total of 8.5
6-3: Favorite -400, total of 9
Again, those are “no-vigorish” money lines…meaning that sports books might have the favorite -440, the underdog 360 for the 4-2 or 6-3 games…maybe -320 and 280 on the 5-3 example.
The next several weeks will feature A LOT of games with high numbers. The Yankees and Red Sox, in particular, play many games against the wreckage of the AL Central. In the National League, the Cubs and Dodgers might get that expensive at home if they start playing to the high standards set by futures prices. The chart above gives you a ballpark sense of scoreboard expectations in blowout situations.
Will sports books start giving run lines of -2.5 more exposure? Might begin happening very soon.
WNBA: Westgate updates odds to win the championship
Hope you caught a very entertaining All-Star Weekend in the WNBA. Regular season action resumes Tuesday night. Here are updated odds to win the championship from the Westgate. Equivalent win percentages are in parenthesis.
Seattle 7/2 (22%)
Phoenix 9/2 (18%)
Los Angeles 9/2 (18%)
Minnesota 9/2 (18%)
Atlanta 9/2 (18%)
Dallas 10/1 (9%)
Washington 12/1 (8%)
Connecticut 12/1 (8%)
Las Vegas 15/1 (7%)
Already thinking about next year…the three worst teams in the league: Chicago (2,000/1), New York (3,000/1), and Indiana (ha!).
Those top five choices in a packed playing field add up to 94% all by themselves. It’s a total of 126% for the nine listed because sports books create a universe larger than 100% to represent a house edge.
The playoffs are going to be something. Those top five teams have all had stretches of dominance thus far (though Minnesota hasn’t been as dominant as expected). Dark horses further down have elite players who can carry a heavy load in the postseason.
The Las Vegas Aces aren’t much of a threat to win the title this season. But, the franchise’s first year here in Nevada has created quite a local buzz. Bettors backing the Aces against opponents from the weaker Eastern Conference have cashed several tickets.
Stars have really aligned this season to create exciting basketball featuring healthy future Hall-of-Famers in some appealing TV windows. Our game coverage will resume with the season. Don’t forget that this is a sport many sharps love to bet because the overall markets are less liquid, creating more vulnerable point spreads.
Industry News: Mississippi to accept sports bets beginning at noon local time Wednesday
Aug. 1 is a special day in Mississippi gambling history. On 1992, a ceremonial roll of the dice launched the casino era in the Magnolia State. Wednesday, 26 years to the day, sports betting begins simultaneously at two locations.
*Beau Rivage in Biloxi
*Gold Strike in Tunica
Both MGM locales have invited local dignitaries and special guests from the world of sports to attend launch festivities. Both sports books will take their first legal bet as the clock strikes noon local time (that’s 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. in Las Vegas).
Mississippi will join Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey on the growing list of states to offer legal sports betting. VSiN is proud to have partnered with the Biloxi Sun Herald to provide helpful betting and market information to “The Playground of the South” every Thursday and Saturday.
NFL Preseason: Early betting action hitting the Baltimore Ravens in Thursday’s preseason opener
Yesterday, we told you that the South Point had the Baltimore Ravens as a 1-point favorite over the Chicago Bears in Thursday’s Hall of Fame game. Betting action has driven the number up to -2.5 at the South Point and many Vegas locations. The Over/Under is currently 32.5 or 33 depending on where you shop (the average scoring sum in Hall of Fame games since 2000 is exactly 32 points, by the way).
Three is a key number, even in the preseason. It will be interesting to see if Ravens -3 gets tested. Remember, this is a neutral site encounter…and that’s a fairly tall exhibition line on a neutral site. Might take the full three to inspire Bears money given early indicators. Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh does have a solid career record against the spread in exhibition action, including a 4-0 sweep in 2017.
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