MLB Sharp Report: Pros Betting Cardinals-Giants, 2 More Friday Games

MLB Sharp Report: Pros Betting Cardinals-Giants, 2 More Friday Games article feature image

San Francisco Giants catcher Stephen Vogt and relief pitcher Will Smith. Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

  • Wiseguys are betting three MLB games on Friday, headlined by Cardinals-Giants (10:15 p.m. ET).
  • Sharps are also getting down on Yankees-Rays (7:10 p.m. ET) and Rangers-Twins (8:10 p.m. ET).
  • Using the tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, we analyze how pros are betting each game.

Independence Day has come and gone. The burgers and hotdogs have been eaten and the firework shows have ended. Time for wiseguys to get off the beach, clean up the backyard barbecue and get back to the baseball grind. Luckily for sharps, today is Fade the Public Friday.

Historically, Fridays are the best day of the week for professional bettors. Average Joes are finishing their workweeks (and getting their latest paychecks), which means they are more apt to get down on games tonight. This leads to an influx of public money across the market, creating softer than usual lines and lopsided betting splits that wiseguys can exploit.

After analyzing Friday’s 13-game schedule using the betting tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, I’ve identified sharp action coming down on a trio of MLB games.

>> All odds as of 2:45 p.m. ET.  Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets.

Betting Terms to Know

Steam Move: Sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the market caused by an overload of sharp action from respected players.

Reverse Line Movement (RLM): When the betting line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages. It’s a top smart money indicator.

Line Freeze: When one side is getting heavy betting, but the line won’t budge, indicating sharp liability on the other side.

Juice: The tax or commission that bettors must pay sportsbooks in order for them to accept your wager. A -115 juice means a bettor would have to wager $115 to win $100.

New York Yankees (56-29) at Tampa Bay Rays (50-38)  

7:10 p.m. ET | Masahiro Tanaka (5-5, 3.74 ERA) vs. Brendan McKay (1-0, 0.00 ERA) 

Public bettors love getting down on good teams, historic franchises and big market clubs that feature a plethora of All-Star players. The Yankees fit the description every time they take the field. Wiseguys love betting against popular teams like New York, knowing they can capitalize on recreational bias and take advantage of inflated lines.

Tonight’s AL East showdown at the Trop is a perfect example.

This game opened with the Yankees listed as short -114 road favorites and the Rays a +105 underdog. Currently 68% of bets are backing the Bronx Bombers, yet we’ve seen this line plummet away from the Yanks (+114 to -106) and toward the Rays (+105 to -102).

Anytime you see the line move away from the popular side and toward the unpopular side, it’s a dead giveaway that sharps have made their move.

Using our Sports Insights Bet Signals, we tracked a big reverse line move on Tampa. We haven’t seen any conflicting plays (or buyback) on New York. This means the NYY support is purely public.

The Rays are a divisional dog with a high total, a profitable spot historically. Tampa also matches one of our top Bet Labs PRO Systems: Betting Against the Public (+160.64 units since 2005).

Sharp angle: Rays (moved from +105 to -102)

Texas Rangers (47-40) at Minnesota Twins (54-32)

8:10 p.m. ET | Adrian Sampson (6-5, 4.16 ERA) vs. Martin Perez (7-3, 4.15 ERA)  

Casual bettors are somewhat torn on this over/under. On the one hand, they see two of the American League’s most potent lineups going head-to-head and lean over. (The Twins’ 486 runs scored is second-most in AL, the Rangers’ 471 runs scored is fourth-most.) But they also see a high-total and two starters with respectable ERAs facing off.

But sharps have taken a clean position.

This total opened at 10.5. Currently 57% of bets are taking the over, signaling a slight public lean. However, we’ve seen this total fall to 10 despite the majority of bets going over.

Why would bookmakers drop the total a half run to make it easier for casual bettors to cash? Because they got pummeled with smart under money from pro players with a long track record of success.

Sharps crushed the under 10.5 four separate times, triggering two steam moves and two reverse line moves. This influx of big money forced the books to adjust the total down to 10 in order to compensate for their liability and entice buyback on the over.

The wind is blowing in from left at 7-10 mph and the under also matches a pair of profitable Bet Labs systems.

1. Bet Against the Public on Under Streak: When the total is between  eight and 10, the under is getting less than 50% of bets and the home team has gone under in the past two to four games the under has won +202.31 units since 2005.

2. Good Teams High Total Unders: When both teams have a win percentage of .520 or higher, the total is 9.5 or higher and the under is getting 45% or less the under has hit at a 56.5% clip with a 10% ROI.

Sharp angle: Under (moved from 10.5 to 10)

St. Louis Cardinals (43-42) at San Francisco Giants (39-47)  

10:15 p.m. ET | Dakota Hudson (6-4, 3.40 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (2-8, 6.25 ERA)

This late night showdown by the Bay is the biggest Pros vs. Joes matchup of the night.

On paper, this looks like a layup for the Cardinals. They’re the better team and enjoy a massive edge in the starting pitcher department. However, sharps aren’t scared off of San Francisco. They’re buying low on an undervalued dog at home that has been playing well as of late (SF 6-4 last night, STL 4-6).

The Cardinals opened as short -129 road favorites and the Giants +119 underdogs. Currently 64% of bets are backing St. Louis at the relatively cheap price, yet we’ve seen this line tank so far that San Francisco is now a slight favorite (STL -129 to -101, SF +119 to -107). This signals massive reverse line movement on the Giants caused by heavy smart money in their favor.

Wiseguys steamed the G-Men at +115, +112 and -108 across the market, further evidence of pros fading the trendy dog.

So far this season, unpopular favorites (receiving less than 50% of bets), have gone 113-77 (59.5%), winning +13.19 units. Home non-division favorites with reverse line movement have won at a 59.3% clip (+79.94 units, 7.1% ROI since 2005).

Sharp angle: Giants (moved from +119 to -107)

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