Everyone said the 2020 MLB season would be unpredictable. So far they've been proven right. No team is undefeated and no team is winless. Three teams we expected to be cellar dwellers, the Orioles, Tigers and Marlins, are all 2-1 and tied for first place in their respective divisions.
With so much variance at play, bankroll management will be key for baseball bettors this season. So will the mental game. MLB bettors need to have extra thick skin this year, knowing that upsets and bad beats will be more prevalent than usual. The peaks will be higher and the valleys will be lower. The key is staying even keeled and never getting too high or too low. If you're on a hot streak, don't get overconfident and double down. If you're struggling, don't panic and start to chase.
Also, don't put all your faith in a recent trend. For example, favorites started out 14-2 on Thursday and Friday and it looked like chalk would reign supreme. But then we saw dogs bark back on Saturday, going 9-6 with huge upset wins by the Orioles, Giants, Tigers, Royals and Nats. Long story short: expect the unexpected this year. Be disciplined with your bankroll. Stay the course and trust in your handicapping.
Today a new week begins. We have 12 games to get down on. Let's discuss a trio of matchups receiving notable sharp action from respected bettors.
For an updated breakdown of Monday's MLB betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at Noon ET.
6:05 p.m. ET: Toronto Blue Jays (1-2) at Washington Nationals (1-2)
After beating Tampa on Opening Day, Toronto has dropped two straight, including a 6-5 loss in 10-innings to the Rays on Sunday. The Nats are also coming off a loss after blowing a 2-0 lead in the final innings and losing 3-2 to the Yankees. In today's early evening matchup, the Jays send Trent Thornton (6-9, 4.84 ERA in 2019) to the mound to face Nats veteran Anibal Sanchez (11-8. 3.85 ERA).
Washington opened as a relatively modest -140 home favorite with Toronto a + 130 road dog. Sharps have quickly sided with the Jays at the appealing plus money price, dropping the line to Nats -125, Jays + 115. Toronto has value as a road dog with a very high total (10). High totals benefit dogs as the higher expected runs scored leads to more variance and upset opportunities.
6:40 p.m. ET: Chicago Cubs (2-1) at Cincinnati Reds (1-2)
These two NL Central foes are trending in opposite directions. The Cubs are coming off a 9-1 win and just took two out of three against Milwaukee. Meanwhile, the Reds just dropped two straight at home to the lowly Tigers. Two lefties go head-to-head in this one with Chicago's Jon Lester (13-10, 4.46 ERA in 2019) facing Cincinnati offseason acquisition Wade Miley (14-6, 3.98 ERA).
The Reds opened as a slight -110 home favorite and the Cubs a + 100 dog. Respected money has sided with Chicago, completely flipping the line to Cubs -110, Reds + 100. Cincinnati is down two key players with infielder Mike Moustakas and outfielder Nick Senzel possibly contracting coronavirus. We could be looking at a high scoring game.The total opened at 9.5 and has been bet up to 10. Some books are even inching closer to 10.5. The forecast calls for 10-12 MPH winds out to center and possibly some rain.
7:05 p.m. ET: Milwaukee Brewers (1-2) at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2)
Both teams are 1-2 to start the season, but the Brewers are coming off a 9-1 loss to the Cubs while the Pirates just upset the Cardinals 5-1 as + 127 road dogs. Milwaukee looks to bounce back with Adrian Houser (6-7, 3.72 ERA in 2019) facing Pittsburgh lefty Steven Brault (4-6, 5.16 ERA.
The Brewers opened as -135 road favorites and the Pirates a + 115 home dog. The public is torn. They know Milwaukee is the better team but they are coming off a bad loss. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is playing well off a win and now is getting plus money at home. However, sharps have taken a clear side. The Beer Makers have moved from -135 to -150, signaling clear sharp action in favor of the road favorite. Smart money also seems to be leaning on the under. It opened at 9.5 and the under is -120. Some books are even down to 9.
Remember, the sports betting market is fluid and constantly changing due to action coming in. Stay up to date with the latest odds by visiting our free VSiN MLB Live Odds Page for Nevada and for other legalized states.