Action Report: Favorable Spot for Wheeler, Sharp Love for Royals

MLB Baseballs
(photo credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

Welcome to the SharpSide Action Report for Tuesday, September 10, 2019, focused on baseball betting odds from around the MLB.

In this column, we’ll take a look at the day’s betting line movement in hopes of providing valuable insight as to where sharp money is flowing so that sports bettors can be better equipped to make winning sports betting decisions.

The three games we’ve identified for Tuesday are the Arizona Diamondbacks at the New York Mets, the Kansas City Royals at the Chicago White Sox, and the Pittsburgh Pirates at the San Francisco Giants.

Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets

Diamondbacks Pitcher: Zac Gallen
Mets Pitcher: Zack Wheeler

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 7:10 p.m. ET
Citi Field
Queens, NY

The New York Mets opened Tuesday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks as small favorites at -120, but the line has crept up to about -125 even with more than half of bettors taking the Arizona side on the moneyline. The total for this game has also dropped from a bit above 8 to a bit below it, and it looks like everything is moving in Zack Wheeler’s direction despite his recent struggles.

Wheeler has had somewhat of an unlucky 2019 season, with a 4.33 ERA that comes with better underlying metrics than that. There’s also a strong pitcher’s umpire for this game (Doug Eddings) so it definitely looks like favorable spot for Wheeler back at home in one of the most extreme pitcher’s parks in baseball at Citi Field.

Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox

Royals Pitcher: Jakob Junis
White Sox Pitcher: Ivan Nova

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 8:10 p.m. ET
Guaranteed Rate Field
Chicago, IL

The Kansas City Royals opened the first game of their divisional series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday as +125 underdogs, but they’ve moved to nearly PK even with most bettors preferring the White Sox side. The public also seems to be siding slightly with the under, and the total has been rising despite that, which indicates that most of the anti-Chicago sentiment from sharp bettors is about the Royals offense against Ivan Nova.

Nova has had a pretty mediocre 2019 season, but bettors still seem to be giving him credit for being a better pitcher than he really is. Nova’s 4.69 ERA is abnormally high for his prior track record, but it actually comes with quite a bit of luck this season (5.04 FIP, 4.99 xFIP). Nova was better than this in previous seasons but he simply hasn’t been as effective this year, and there’s strong evidence that he’s actually been worse than that ERA suggests.

Pittsburgh Pirates at San Francisco Giants

Pirates Pitcher: Mitch Keller
Giants Pitcher: Johnny Cueto

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 9:45 p.m. ET
Oracle Park
San Francisco, CA

The San Francisco Giants are out of the playoff race at this point, but they’ll get some excitement back tonight as former ace Johnny Cueto takes the mound for his first start of the 2019 season. Cueto has been out since last year with an elbow injury, but even if he’s fully recovered from it, it’s clear that his best days are almost definitely behind him. Cueto hasn’t really been an effective starting pitcher since 2016 (based on his underlying metrics) and there isn’t much reason to expect him to suddenly regain his prior form.

For Tuesday’s game, The Giants opened as -140 favorites, but a wave of sharp money has dropped them all the way down to -120. The Pittsburgh Pirates have regularly been one of the more undervalued teams in the second half of this season, and that trend continues tonight with most bettors preferring the Giants. Mitch Keller appears to be particularly underrated, as his underlying metrics actually look pretty good despite his 8.18 ERA.

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