Gotta split: A doubleheader betting opportunity that can't be beat

By Jeff Fogle  (VSiN City newsletter) 

Heads up! Another MLB doubleheader on the Tuesday ticket. Plus an early look at how global exchanges are pricing golf’s final major. And we present early Power Ratings for Premier League soccer. There’s always something to bet on in VSiN City! 

MLB Tuesday: Braves-Nats doubleheaders opens the door again for 18-4 trend

A few weeks ago, VSiN’s Sam Panayotovich alerted our audience to a baseball betting trend that had been cashing tickets all season. It’s only gotten hotter!

Now 18-4 after a win this past Saturday night. In any doubleheader, take the loser of Game 1 in Game 2. Simple as can be. Oddsmakers have yet to find a price that punishes players because those G1 losers keep winning G2.

*Game 1: Atlanta (Fried) at Washington (Rodriguez), 1:05 p.m. ET

*Game 2: Atlanta (Newcombe) at Washington (Scherzer), 7:05 p.m. ET

Even if there are pitching changes, the strategy won’t change. Look for the G1 loser to emphasize getting a result in the nightcap, while the G1 winner may be prone to rest a starter or two with a win already in hand. 

Not a lot of high profile baseball on Monday night’s card…so we wanted to lead with that HEADS UP for Tuesday. Now let’s take a quick peak at a few Monday results from games featuring playoff contenders. 

MLB Monday: Houston wins with dramatic ninth-inning rally

When you see Monday’s scores, you’re going to get the sense that almost everyone in baseball wanted to race home to see the season debut of “Better Call Saul.” Had to be something like that. On this night the grand salami was a cocktail wiener. 

Houston (-135) 3, San Francisco 1 

Total Bases Plus Walks: Houston 11, San Francisco 11

Starting Pitchers: Morton 7 IP, 1 ER, Rodriguez 7 IP, 0 ER

Bullpen: Houston 2 IP, 0 ER, San Francisco 2 IP, 3 ER

Giants led 1-0 with two outs in the top of the ninth. Marwin Gonzalez hit a three-run homer off Will Smith to steal the win. Astros only had five TB plus W until going walk-walk-homer to take the lead. 

Houston’s back to 30 games over .500 at 72-42. Astros lead in the AL West over second-place Oakland is 4.5 games, 6.5 games over third-place Seattle. 

Giants fall back to .500 at 57-57. Giants, Cards, and Pirates all in that range where they’re about to be irrelevant…but they’re not quite irrelevant yet. 

In other Monday night action…

*Miami (plus 140) beat St. Louis 2-1. Bad loss for the Cardinals, who have no margin for error in the NL wild-card race. Cards fall to 58-55. Miami is actually up betting units this season despite sitting at 47-67.  

*Colorado (-125) beat Pittsburgh 2-0. Kyle Freeland and two relievers combined on a two-hitter. Have the Rockies figured out how to pitch at altitude? After nine innings, Rockies have only allowed opponents 0-2-1-1-2-2-3-1 in their last eight home games. In one of those “2’s,” Houston popped six more runs in extra innings. Still, it’s like the baseballs are suddenly made of iron out there. Rockies now 60-52 in crowded NL West race. Pittsburgh falls back to 57-56, and probably won’t be a factor in the wild-card picture unless a few teams slump. 

*Seattle (-125) beat Texas 4-3 in 12 innings. Mariners blew a 3-0 lead in the seventh. Big offensive edges for the Mariners. Up 14-6 in hits, 23-10 in total bases plus walks. Mariners move to 65-48 as they try to chase down Oakland or the NY Yankees for an AL Wildcard. 

*The NY Yankees (-180) beat the Chicago White Sox 7-0. Nice bounce back from the massive (and very late-finishing) gut punch in Boston the night before. Lance Lynn and A.J. Cole (who and whom?) combined on a 3-hit shutout. Yanks now back within nine games of idle Boston. 

*Cleveland (-210) beat Minnesota 10-0. We’re only including this one because it was another home Over for Cleveland. Over/Unders now 2-2 on this home stand, 1-1 with a rain-shortened game on the prior one. Massive Over trend before that lasted several weeks. 

*The Chicago Cubs (-190) won at Kansas City 3-1. Cubs now 65-47 after taking care of business against a doormat. NL Central is now 48-26 against the AL Central, as the NL stays positioned to end years of futility in IL play. 

WNBA: Seattle wins and covers again, New York loses and fails to cover again

Only one game on the Monday card. It was a matinee at Madison Square Garden. This was only the second game at that site all season. Liberty usually play at the Westchester County Center. The spotlight inspired the home dog for three quarters. Then, the usual…

Seattle (-9.5) 96, New York 80 

2-point Pct: Seattle 46%, New York 50%

3-pointers: Seattle 8/21, New York 6/16

Free Throws: Seattle 18/22, New York 6/8

Rebounds: Seattle 39, New York 42

Turnovers: Seattle 8, New York 20

After losing the fourth quarter Saturday to Indiana 17-2, New York lost it here to Seattle 35-20. Complete inability to play like a team when it matters. You see turnover differential was a big issue, as was a big deficit from the free throw line. 

Storm have won six of their last seven games by double digits. Against the spread, they’re on current runs of 7-1 the last eight, and 11-2-1 the last 14. Though the market is now pricing Seattle as best in the league, it’s STILL underestimating the likely #1 seed in terms of victory margins. Straight up record is 22-7 for the season.

New York falls to 7-21. Liberty are now 6-16 ATS their last 22 against the spread. We talked about potential chemistry issues for New York on “A Numbers Game” during our visit with Jonathan Von Tobel a few weeks ago. That’s still trending in the WNBA! 

Updated “market” Power Ratings using a standard three points for home court advantage.  

87: Seattle 

84: Minnesota, Los Angeles

82: Atlanta, Connecticut, Washington

80: Phoenix

77: Dallas, Las Vegas

74: Chicago, New York

72: Indiana

Seattle has been in championship form for a while. Can they keep it going once the playoffs begin? 

PGA Golf: Global exchanges offering strong returns in “anything can happen” major 

Already time for the final major of the 2018 golf season. The PGA will begin Thursday at Bellerive just outside of St. Louis. 

Historically, the PGA has been friendly to longshots. The course is usually demanding, but not so impossible that it prevents off-the-radar threats from getting hot. A list of winners from the past 11 years shows a mix of big names and relative shockers. 

2007: Tiger Woods

2008: Padraig Harrington

2009: Y.E. Yang

2010: Martin Kaymer

2011: Keegan Bradley

2012: Rory McIlroy

2013: Jason Dufner

2014: Rory McIlroy

2015: Jason Day

2016: Jimmy Walker

2017: Justin Thomas

Rory McIlroy was able to win twice. Tiger’s win in 2007 was a repeat. But, Jimmy Walker won two years ago, Jason Dufner in 2013, and who can forget Y.E. Yang outdueling Tiger in 2009. 

Here are prices at the Betfair exchange overseas as of Monday evening. We like using the exchange prices in the VSiN City newsletter because they give you the best sense of “true odds.” Exchanges allow for a “No” option that helps create liquidity and really pin down a fair price. 

(If you’re a regular reader, you’ll remember these from the British Open and earlier majors. If you’re new and interested in monitoring the exchange through the week, please save this link. The number you see in blue at that link represents the return including a $1 bet. So, a 20 in blue means the golfer is 19/1 to win. The number in pink represents the “no” bet. A 20 in pink means you have to lay $19 to win $1 that he WON’T win the tournament.)

Current Betfair Exchange Prices

Dustin Johnson: risk $1 to earn $9…risk $9.50 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Rory McIlroy: risk $1 to earn $13.50…risk $14 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Justin Thomas: risk $1 to earn $14.50…risk $15.50 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Brooks Koepka: risk $1 to earn $22…risk $23 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Jason Day: risk $1 to earn $22…risk $23 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Justin Rose: risk $1 to earn $25…risk $26 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Jordan Spieth: risk $1 to earn $25…risk $26 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Rickie Fowler: risk $1 to earn $25…risk $26 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Jon Rahm: risk $1 to earn $29…risk $31 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Tommy Fleetwood: risk $1 to earn $29…risk $31 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Tiger Woods: risk $1 to earn $35…risk $37 to earn $1 that he won’t win

Francesco Molinari: risk $1 to earn $37…risk $41 to earn $1 that he won’t win

The South Point sent us their odds to win the tournament Monday night as we were preparing the newsletter. Here’s their latest.

10/1: Dustin Johnson (9% win equivalent) 

12/1: Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods (8% each)

15/1: Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas (6% each)

18/1: Justin Rose, Jason Day (5% each)

20/1: Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed (5% each)

25/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari (4% each)

Sports books create a universe larger than 100% to represent the house edge. That’s why the top 13 names at the South Point are already up to 78% by themselves. To calculate a win equivalent from posted odds, simply divide the number on the right by the sum of the two numbers. DJ is one divided by eleven, for 9%.  

We’ll monitor the markets for you through the week. 

Premier League Soccer: An early estimate of “market” Power Ratings as action begins this week 

Because Monday’s baseball schedule was so light, we have room today to run our estimated “market” Power Ratings for Britain’s Premier League soccer. The regular season begins Thursday. 

If you were with us during the World Cup, our goal supremacy scale is now second nature to you. Only difference here is that we use 0.2 goals for home-field advantage. World Cup action was obviously “neutral field” games for everyone but Russia. We take global goal line prices and try to reverse-engineer a scale representing how “the market” sees the league. 

2.6: Manchester City

2.3: Liverpool

2.2: Manchester United

2.1: Chelsea

2.0: Tottenham, Arsenal

1.5: Wolverhampton, Everton

1.4: Newcastle 

1.2: Leicester

1.1: Southampton

1.0: Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Watford, Brighton, Fulham, Crystal Palace

0.9: West Ham

0.8: Cardiff, Burnley

Though there are 20 teams in the Premier League, it’s really only a six-team battle for the championship. Manchester City is a clear favorite to repeat. The next five teams below them from 2.3 down to 2.0 are hoping to make things interesting. A real logjam down low. Very hard to differentiate amongst the distant non-contenders this early. There’s so much parity down at the bottom of the barrel that it may stay hard to differentiate the whole season.

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