For an in-depth breakdown of Thursday's betting action, be sure to catch the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted by 3 p.m. ET. I'll be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 to 4 p.m. ET. I'll also be joining Rush Hour with Danny Burke at 6:15 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss a pair of MLB games receiving sharp action today...
1:10 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Angels (52-72) at Tampa Bay Rays (68-55)
The Rays have taken the first three games of this four game set. The Rays are coming off a 4-3 win in extra innings last night, cashing as -275 home favorites. Tampa Bay has now won five straight to move to 10-2 over their last 12 games. In this early afternoon series finale, Los Angeles hands the ball to lefty Patrick Sandoval (4-8, 3.14 ERA) and Tampa Bay counters with righty Drew Rasmussen (8-4, 2.84 ERA). This line opened with the Rays listed as a -170 home favorite and the Angels a +155 road dog. Sharps seem to be saying "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" and are banking on the Rays to complete the sweep, driving Tampa Bay from -170 up to roughly -180 across the market. The Rays have correlative betting value as a favorite in a low total game (6.5). Favorites who made the playoffs the previous season against opponents who did not are 472-266 (64%). Tampa Bay holds the edge at the plate, hitting .240 compared to .226 for Los Angeles. The Rays are 50-31 as a favorite, 41-23 at home and 17-13 against lefties. The Angels are 14-40 as a dog, 26-36 on the road and 36-50 against righties. Tampa Bay is 7-2 in Rasmussen's last nine starts.
4:10 p.m. ET: Cleveland Guardians (66-56) at Seattle Mariners (67-57)
If the playoffs started today, both of these teams would be in. The Guardians lead the AL Central by four games over the Twins. Cleveland just swept a short two-game series on the road at the Padres. Meanwhile, the Mariners currently occupy the third and final Wild Card spot. Seattle just split a two-game series at home against the Nationals. In this late afternoon series opener, Cleveland starts righty Triston McKenzie (9-9, 3.11 ERA) and Seattle sends out lefty Marco Gonzales (8-12, 4.08 ERA). This line opened with the Guardians listed as a short -115 road favorite and the Mariners a +105 home dog. We've seen Cleveland creep up from -115 to -120, signaling some pro money laying the short chalk with the Guardians. Non-division road favorites are 223-143 (61%) this season. Cleveland also has correlative betting value as a favorite in a low total game (7.5). The Guardians have the better bats, hitting .251 compared to .232 for the Mariners. McKenzie has given up 2 runs or less in 7 of his last 9 starts. Gonzales has a 6.23 ERA in four August starts. Cleveland is 35-20 as a favorite and 21-13 against lefties. Seattle is 28-35 as a dog.