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The Sharp Report – July 10, 2014

Red Sox Walk Off

In a thrilling game to watch as a spectator and a frustrating game to watch as a bettor, the Boston Red Sox rallied from being down 4-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning to win in the bottom in the ninth against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

What has happened to bullpens these days? What happened to holds after your starter pitches seven shut out innings? I want Mariano Rivera back. This season and past few weeks in particular have been absolutely brutal to bettors in terms of taking bad beats due to lousy bullpen pitching.

On Wednesday night it happened twice. The White Sox and the Rays had their respective games well in hand after solid outings by their starters, they then handed the ball to the bullpen for a hold/save, only to see the game blown. I am not sure about the Rays, but I know for a fact that this has happened to the White Sox and Chris Sale in particular on multiple occasions this year. I miss the days where leads were held with six outs left in a game, where bullpens did their job. 

There is a trend going around of sharps and public bettors betting only the first five innings of game, and it is completely understandable with the incompetence being showed  by bullpens around the league.

Please refer to my first post in this series for a list of recommended sites to aid you in your handicapping.

7/10 Early Moves:

Here are some lines that were hit by sharp groups early enough this morning to make this report. I have not had time to research games myself, so I am not recommending that you try to find these numbers and tail the plays at this time. These are listed to show you what has happened so far this morning, always do your own research on these before following along.

New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians (Under 8.5)
Key Line Move @ 8:33 am EST

Los Angeles Angels vs Texas Rangers (Under 10)
Key Line Move @ 8:40 am EST

7/9 Recap:

Early Moves:

Toronto Blue Jays vs Los Angeles Angels (Under 8.5) – Loss
Key Line Move @ 9:08 am EST

The groups were split on this move a bit, due to the fact that you had two starting pitchers streaking in opposite directions and the Angels coming off of a scoreless outing.

The Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman has pitched superbly in his last three starts, allowing only three runs over 21 2/3 innings. Friday in Oakland Stroman struck out a career-high seven in seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball.

The Angels’ C.J. Wilson is coming off three consecutive ugly starts where he allowed 16 runs over 13 innings. Wilson served up three homers and was battered for six runs over 4 1/3 innings against Houston in his last outing.

This was a no play for me, too much uncertainty and inconsistency.

New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians (Under 8.5) – Loss
Key Line Move @ 9:15 am EST

This move baffled me as I sipped my morning coffee. As you all know by now I focus mostly on the starters and their streaks for the purposes of these reports on sharp moves, check these out and tell me why so many sharp groups would be all over the under.

The Yankees’ Brandon McCarthy is making his New York debut and is 6-4 with a 4.38 ERA in 17 career appearances (nine starts) against Cleveland, but has pitched well of late. The Indians’ Josh Tomlin has lost four of his last five starts allowing eight or more hits in each of the four losses, including 10 (and five runs) in 5 2/3 frames against Kansas City his last time out on Friday. Tomlin is 2-2 with a 6.14 ERA in four career starts versus New York to boot.

Call me square, but I sided with the public who were 80% on the over.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Detroit Tigers (Under 7.5) – Win
Key Line Move @ 12:23 pm EST

This move was coming all morning, groups just waited to hammer it until the last minute so that books had little time to adjust. The public even knew it, hitting the under at a 70% clip. Two phenomenal starting pitchers here, over backers would focus on the Tigers’ offensive outburst on Tuesday night, but it always comes down to the pitchers.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ starter, Zack Greinke, was 13-6 with a 2.74 ERA in 27 career games against Detroit, coming into Wednesday night. He matched his longest start of the season with eight innings at Colorado on Thursday night (no easy task) and has worked at least into the sixth in eight consecutive starts. The Tigers’ starter, Max Scherzer, is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his last three. He let up just two hits and struck out seven in eight frames against Tampa Bay on Thursday to improve to 6-1 with a 3.52 ERA at home.

A no-brainer here in my opinion, the books were off by a run and should have set this at 6.5.

Late Moves:

Philadelphia Phillies vs Milwaukee Brewers (PHL ML) – Win
Key Line Move @ 6:00 pm EST

This move came in at the last minute and made my head spin a bit, this was hammered at +185. You will only see a number this high hit hard like this a few times all year. Usually there is some information leaked, it gets to the right people and before you know it sharps all over the world are hammering the move. I’m not sure that was the case here though. Let’s take a look at the stats and see if we can make sense of this.

The Phillies’ starter, Roberto Hernandez, has lost three straight starts and six of his last seven after getting tagged for five runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings Friday at Pittsburgh. The Brewers’ starter, Kyle Lohse, came in looking to lock up his fourth straight season of double-digit wins. He is 5-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 14 starts against the Phillies and beat them on April 8 in Philadelphia.

I don’t necessarily think there was any type of information leaked here; groups just saw a lot of value in the fact that the Brewers have lost seven of eight and were still such heavy favorites. Why not take a shot at +185?

Chris Sharp is a professional sports handicapper and daily contributor to BettingSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @CSharp_Picks and on his web site IvyLeaguePicks.com.

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