MLB Sharp Report: Pros Betting Rangers-Athletics, 2 Other Friday Games
Texas Rangers left fielder Danny Santana (38) is greeted by his teammates after hitting a grand slam. Crredit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
- Wiseguys are betting three MLB games on Friday night, headlined by Rangers-Athletics (10:07 p.m. ET).
- Using the tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, we analyze how pros are betting each game.
Wiseguys went 1-1 with their Thursday plays but were able to turn a slight profit thanks to the Red Sox moneyline victory (+109).
Baseball is one of the only sports where you can split your plays but still make money thanks to plus-money payouts. In football and basketball, a 1-1 record based on spread or over/under bets results in a slight loss based on paying the juice.
Sharps will look to string together their third straight winning day on “Fade the Public Friday.” Historically, today is the best day of the week for wiseguys.
With Average Joes finishing their work weeks and getting their latest paychecks, ticket counts skyrocket and the market is flooded with casual money. This leads to an increased contrarian edge for pro bettors.
>> All odds as of 2:30 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.
- Sharp Betting 101: How to Track Professional Betting Action
- How to Bet on Baseball: 15 Simple, Profitable Tips
Colorado Rockies (48-55) at Cincinnati Reds (46-54)
6:40 p.m. ET | German Marquez (9-5, 4.99 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (9-3, 2.36 ERA)
Recreational bettors love backing favorites, home teams and aces. They also love betting against teams mired in a losing skid. With Colorado just 2-9 in its last 11 games, Luis Castillo and the Reds are a no-brainer for the public tonight. So of course wiseguys are buying low on the Rockies in an undervalued spot.
This game opened with the Reds listed as -145 home favorites and the Rockies as +134 underdogs. Nearly 80% of bets are laying the chalk with Cincinnati, yet we’ve seen this line fall away from the Red Legs (-145 to -134) and toward Rocky Mountain High (+130 to +124).
Why would the bookmakers drop the Cincy line and hand out a sweeter number to the public when they’re already on them to begin with? No, the books aren’t stupid or being charitable.
They got hit with sharp Colorado money, which created liability for the house and forced them to adjust the line toward the unpopular side in order to entice buyback on the Reds, thereby limiting their risk.
We’ve tracked a pair of steam and reverse line moves on Colorado and no conflicting plays on the Reds, which signals purely public support for the home team.
Sharp angle: Rockies (moved from +134 to +124)
Texas Rangers (52-51) at Oakland Athletics (58-46)
10:07 p.m. ET | Lance Lynn (12-6, 3.93 ERA) vs. Daniel Mengden (5-1, 4.65 ERA)
Texas cashed bigly for contrarian wiseguys last night, crushing Oakland, 11-3, in the series opener as a +170 dog (only 22% of bets). The public says the Athletics are the better team and have to bounce back and win tonight at home. But sharps aren’t falling victims to the Gambler’s Fallacy trap.
This AL West showdown opened with the A’s listed as short -114 home favorites and the Rangers as +105 dogs. Right off the bat, the short line tells you that the bookmakers predict a close, nearly coin-flip game.
Despite 70% of bets backing Oakland, we’ve seen this line remain frozen. In fact, the Rangers have even dipped to even-money (+100) throughout the day.
Reading between the lines, this means all liability rests on Texas. The books aren’t concerned with $5 Average Joe bets on Oakland, it’s the wiseguy Rangers bets they’re worried about. They simply refuse to hand out more plus-money to pro bettors.
Road divisional dogs off a win have been an even sweeter spot for sharps historically. According to our Bet Labs software, they’ve won an astounding +218.36 units with a juicy 7.5% ROI since 2005.
Sharp angle: Rangers (sharp line freeze +105)
Detroit Tigers (30-68) at Seattle Mariners (43-63)
10:10 p.m. ET | Daniel Norris (2-8, 5.02 ERA) vs. Yusei Kikuchi (4-7, 5.37 ERA)
The Mariners crushed the Tigers, 10-2, in last night’s series opener, handing public over bettors an easy win (74% took over 9.5 and it cashed in the 5th inning). Tonight, the public is somewhat undecided on the over/under, as they see two high-ERA pitchers but are also wary of a light-hitting Tigers lineup.
But sharps have taken a clear position.
This total opened at 9.5. Currently 57% of bets are taking the over, yet we’ve seen the total remain frozen at 9.5. In fact, the juice on the Under 9.5 has moved to -120 across the market, indicating under liability and the next move likely down to 9.
Sharps got down hard on the Under 9.5 twice, triggering a pair of steam moves. Sharps were quick to pounce on the hook, knowing the importance of the extra half-run. We also haven’t tracked any conflicting over plays (or buyback).
One reason sharps like this under: the home plate umpire. When Lance Barksdale is behind the plate the under has cashed at a 56% rate and won +33.93 units since 2005.
T-Mobile Park (formerly SafeCo Field) has historically provided an edge to unders. Since 2005, unders have gone 594-542 (52.3%), winning +17.55 units.
After a torrid start for overs, we’ve seen unders rebound in July. So far this month, unders have cashed a 53.1% clip, winning +10.26 units.
Sharp angle: Under (sharp line freeze 9.5)