Action Report: Identifying Sharp Money for Monday’s Baseball Games

Welcome to the SharpSide Action Report for Monday, September 9, 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 Monday are the Atlanta Braves at the Philadelphia Phillies, the Oakland Athletics at the Houston Astros, and the Cleveland Indians at the Los Angeles Angels.

Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies

Braves Pitcher: Mike Foltynewicz
Phillies Pitcher: Aaron Nola

Monday, September 9, 2019, at 7:05 p.m. ET
Citizens Bank Park
Philadelphia, PA

The Philadelphia Phillies opened the first game of their divisional series against the Atlanta Braves on Monday as -130 favorites, and have moved to -140 even with more than half of bettors sticking with the NL East leading Braves in this game. The Braves have extending their divisional lead to 9 games over the Nationals and 14 games over the Phillies, and it appears as though bettors are reading more into the standings than they are into the quality of the teams, specifically the pitchers on the mound.

Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz has had a rough 2019 season, with his 2.85 ERA from last season ballooning to 5.28 this year, but for some reason bettors don’t seem to be overly concerned with his diminishing velocity and subsequently diminishing results. Phillies starter Aaron Nola has suffered a decline in 2019 as well, but he still remains one of the best pitchers in the MLB and it’s strange to such unfavorable sentiment from bettors. It seems as though the standings are playing a much bigger role in perceptions surrounding Monday’s game than they should be.

Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros

Athletics Pitcher: Mike Fiers
Astros Pitcher: Zack Greinke

Monday, September 9, 2019, at 8:10 p.m. ET
Minute Maid Park
Houston, TX

The Houston Astros are inching towards clinching the AL West divisional race, and they’ll look to accelerate that goal as they take on the Oakland Athletics Monday night. The Astros opened this game as -160 favorites, and have actually moved to -180 even with the public only having a slight lean in their direction. The total for this game may be even more notable, however, as it’s been creeping up towards 9.5 even with an overwhelming majority of bettors preferring the under.

Mike Fiers and Zack Greinke are both pitchers whose ERA’s vastly overstate their talent levels, and it seems as though bettors are wrongfully expecting somewhat of a pitcher’s duel between these two overrated names. Fiers in particular seems to be driving more of this effect, as the 20 cent move in favor of the Astros moneyline isn’t fully explainable by only a slight preference from the public. The most apparent direction of sharp money is clearly towards the Astros offense.

Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels

Indians Pitcher: Shane Bieber
Angels Pitcher: Patrick Sandoval

Monday, September 9, 2019, at 10:07 p.m. ET
Angel Stadium
Anaheim, CA

The Cleveland Indians opened Monday’s road game against the Los Angeles Indians as sizable favorites, but their opening number of -160 has actually gone all the way up to -180. This represents the same degree of line movement as the aforementioned Astros game, but this correction seems to be happening for a much different reason. The Indians are receiving about 75 percent of the moneyline bets (according the Sports Insights) and it mostly just looks like the public is biased in their direction.

The Indians have faltered a bit lately but remain in the playoff picture, while the Angels have all but been eliminated from postseason contention. The Indians also have one of the most prominent young arms in the MLB in Shane Bieber on the mound on Monday, while the Angels will be starting the struggling Patrick Sandoval. Mike Trout isn’t a lock to crack the lineup for this game, so the movement towards Cleveland could be warranted if he’s out, but there’s a chance that these various perceived discrepancies could be causing the public to dramatically overvalue the Indians.

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