Action Report: Sharp Bettors Targeting High-End Pitching on Tuesday

Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals
Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals (photo credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

Welcome to the SharpSide Action Report for Tuesday, September 3, 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 New York Mets at the Washington Nationals, the Chicago White Sox at the Cleveland Indians, and the Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Athletics.

New York Mets at Washington Nationals

Mets Pitcher: Jacob deGrom
Nationals Pitcher: Max Scherzer

Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at 7:05 p.m. ET
Nationals Park
Washington D.C.

The New York Mets and Washington Nationals have aligned their Cy Young contenders for Tuesday’s matchup, with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer taking the mound for their respective teams. The betting public justifiably has this one pegged as a pitchers’ duel, with a particular lean towards Schzerzer, but sharp bettors actually seem to have a different take on the situation.

The Mets opened this game as +125 underdogs, but actually have moved all the way to +105 even with most bettors landing on the Washington side. The total has also risen incrementally, from just below 7.5 to just above it, and it’s notable in the face of bettor preference for under wagers. It’s tough to gauge exactly what we’re seeing here, but the trend of the Mets offense being undervalued in this spot is a very clear one. Perhaps sharp bettors still don’t think Scherzer is fully healthy, or maybe a lineup full of lefties figures to give him more trouble than most people realize it will.

Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians

White Sox Pitcher: Dylan Cease
Indians Pitcher: Mike Clevinger

Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at 7:10 p.m. ET
Progressive Field
Cleveland, OH

Sharp bettors are targeting a second high-end pitcher Tuesday night (in addition to Scherzer) with the Chicago White Sox taking on Mike Clevinger in Cleveland. The White Sox opened this game as +270 underdogs and are still hovering around that number, but the line freeze around that number with so many bettors taking the Cleveland Indians seems to indicate that sharp bettors are on their side. The total has also been steadily rising, from nearly 9 up to nearly 9.5, and that comes with only a slight public preference for over bets.

The newly healthy White Sox lineup (with Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez back from the IL) has been regularly undervalued lately, but this game in Cleveland on Tuesday has an extra wrinkle, with winds expected to be blowing out pretty strongly (nearly 15 mph) to center field. Clevinger is still in a good spot against a strikeout-prone lineup, but he should have a tougher time than usual keeping the ball in the ballpark.

Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics

Angels Pitcher: Jaime Barria
Athletics Pitcher: Mike Fiers

Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at 10:07 p.m. ET
Oakland Coliseum
Oakland, CA

The Los Angeles Angels opened Tuesday night’s road game against the Oakland Athletics as +165 underdogs, but have moved to +155 even with most bettors going against them. The total has also been increasing, indicating that A’s pitcher Mike Fiers is once again being overvalued by the opening lines and by the public. Fiers has a 3.40 ERA with just a 4.65 FIP and 5.22 xFIP, but the mainstream consensus seems to be more closely tied to that luck-based ERA. The Angels offense has also tended to be undervalued throughout 2019, and their positions in the standings (well behind Oakland) is probably causing some bias against them as well.

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