Happy Fade the Public Friday! The "Gambler's Vacation" is over and baseball is back. Today, we have a loaded MLB slate on tap, with 17 games. For an updated breakdown of Friday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 1 p.m. ET. I'll also be joining The Lombardi Line at 1:30 p.m. ET to offer a market update.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for several Friday night MLB matchups...
7:07 p.m. ET: Texas Rangers (35-55) at Toronto Blue Jays (45-42)
The Jays enter the second half of the MLB season 8-games back of the Red Sox in AL East and just 4.5-games back of the 2nd Wild Card spot. Meanwhile, the Rangers are cellar dwellers in the AL West and own the 4th-worst record in MLB. In tonight's series opener, the Rangers start righty Jordan Lyles (5-5, 4.86 ERA) and the Jays tap lefty Robbie Ray (7-4, 3.13 ERA). Toronto opened as an expensive -210 home favorite and Texas a + 190 road dog. Wiseguys aren't scared off by the big number and have rushed to the window to back the Jays at home, steaming Toronto up from -190 to -225. Home favorites -200 or more are 82-34 (71%) this season. Non-division home favorites are 302-184 (62%). The Jays will lean on their bats in this one. Toronto is hitting .264, which ranks 2nd-best in MLB. The Rangers are hitting .233, which ranks 21st. Pros have also leaned on the under, dropping the total from 10 to 9.5.
7:20 p.m. ET: Tampa Bay Rays (53-37) at Atlanta Braves (44-45)
This Interleague showdown features a pair of teams within striking distance of first place in their respective divisions. The Rays trail the Red Sox by 1.5 games in the AL East while the Braves are just 4-games back of the Mets in the NL East. In tonight's series opener the Rays hand the ball to Michael Wacha (2-2, 4.87 ERA) while the Braves counter with veteran Charlie Morton (8-3. 3.64 ERA). This line opened with Atlanta listed as a -128 home favorite and Tampa Bay a + 118 road dog. Sharps have pounced on the Rays getting plus money, dropping Tampa Bay from + 118 to + 114. The Rays have value as an Interleague team with a line move in their favor (90-66, 58% this season). Tampa Bay is 33-21 against righties this season. Atlanta is 34-36 against righties. The Rays are + 85 in run differential. The Braves are + 19. Pros have also targeted this under. The total opened at 9 and smart under money has dropped it to 8.5.
9:38 p.m. ET: Seattle Mariners (48-43) at Los Angeles Angels (45-44)
These AL West rivals enter the post-All Star Break riding respective hot streaks. The Mariners are 6-4 in their last ten games while the Angels are 7-3 over their last ten games. In tonight's series opener, the Mariners start righty Chris Flexen (8-3. 3.51 ERA) and the Angels hand the ball to lefty Andrew Heaney (5-6, 5.38 ERA). This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a hefty -165 home favorite and Seattle a + 150 road dog. The public is happy to lay the chalk with Ohtani and Company at home. However, despite this lopsided support we've seen the Angels fall from -165 to -155. This signals some respected money buying low on the Mariners (+ 150 to + 145). Seattle has value as a road division dog. Historically, divisional dogs have been a smart bet as the built in familiarity levels the playing field and benefits the team getting plus money. Seattle leads the season series 6-4 against Los Angeles. Wiseguys also seem to be leaning under, as we've seen the total tick down from 9 to 8.5.
Remember to check the VSiN Betting Splits every day for money and ticket counts so you can tell who the public is betting on.