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Thursday MLB Sharp Report (5-20)

May 20, 2021 01:57 AM

NHL favorites went 3-1 straight up in the Stanley Cup playoffs on Tuesday, improving to 10-4 (71%) so far this postseason. Playoff favorites with a line move in their favor are now 8-2 (80%).

Today, we have a loaded betting menu to choose from, including 11 MLB games, 1 NBA play-in game and 4 NHL Stanley Cup playoff games. For an updated breakdown of Thursday'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 co-hosting The Lombardi Line with Patrick Meagher LIVE from the South Point in Las Vegas from noon-2 p.m. ET.

In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for several MLB games today...

3:37 p.m. ET: Houston Astros (25-18) at Oakland Athletics (26-18)

After dropping the series opener to the Athletics 6-5, the Astros bounced back with a resounding 8-1 win on Tuesday, cruising as -115 road favorites. In this afternoon's rematch, Houston gives the ball to righty Luis Garcia (1-3, 3.34 ERA) and Oakland gives the nod to lefty Cole Irvin (3-4, 3.02 ERA). This line opened with Houston listed as a short -110 road favorite and Oakland an even-money (+ 100) home dog. This public sees two good teams at a pick'em price and doesn't know who to back. However, we've seen Houston creep up from -110 to -115, indicating some respected money leaning on the Astros off a win. The Astros have mashed against lefties in recent years, going 98-55 (64%) since 2018. Houston will lean on their bats in this one. The Astros are hitting .268, which ranks number one in baseball. The Athletics are hitting .224, which ranks 26th. We could also be looking at another higher-scoring game here. The total is 8.5 with the over juiced to -115. The wind is blowing out to right-center at 10-15 MPH. Houston has been a top over team this season (25-16-1). The over is 2-0 this series and 7-2 between these teams this season.

7:05 p.m. ET: Miami Marlins (19-23) at Philadelphia Phillies (22-21)

These NL East foes have split the first two games of this division series, with the Phillies winning the opener 8-3 as -175 home favorites and the Marlins bouncing back yesterday 3-1 win as + 110 road dogs. In today's afternoon rubber game, the Marlins start ace Sandy Alcantara (1-3, 4.06 ERA) and the Phillies counter with righty Vince Velasquez (1-0, 3.68 ERA). This line opened with Philadelphia listed as a slight -120 home favorite and Miami a + 110 road dog. The public is all over the Phillies at home laying a short price. However, despite this lopsided betting we've seen Philadelphia fall from -120 to -115. This signals some respected money leaning on the Marlins at a plus-money payout (+ 110 to + 105). Miami has value as a dog off a win, a divisional dog and a "sweet spot" dog + 140 or less. We could also be looking at a high scoring game. The total opened at 7.5 and got bet up to 8. The forecast calls for mid 70s and 5-10 MPH winds blowing out to left-center.

7:20 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh Pirates (17-25) at Atlanta Braves (20-23)

Both of these teams have struggled as of late. The Pirates have lost three straight and are now 5-14 over their last nineteen games. Similarly, Atlanta just dropped two of three to the Mets at home and are now just 3-6 over their last nine games. In tonight's series opener, the Pirates send out righty Wil Crowe (0-2, 4.35 ERA) and the Braves counter with lefty Drew Smyly (2-2, 5.23 ERA). This line opened with Atlanta listed as a heavy -185 home favorite and Pittsburgh a + 170 road dog. Pros aren't scored off by the big number and are laying the chalk with the Braves, which has pushed Atltanta up to -190 or even -195. Favorites -190 or more coming off a win are 32-12 (73%) this season. The total is 8.5 with the over juiced to -115, signaling some over liability. The Pirates are just 1-5 against lefties this season.

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