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The Sharp Report – July 8, 2014

Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg took the mound on Monday night for the Nationals, who were the priciest favorite on the betting card.

Monday night’s Beltway Series game between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles featured the National’s starter Stephen Strasburg, who seems to be shaking off some early season dust of late and contributing to the Nationals’ MLB leading ERA. Couple this with the fact that the Orioles came in off of a double header on Sunday, one of which lasted five hours and 12 innings, and you have your reasons why the Nationals were the highest priced money line team on the board.

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

7/8 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.

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds – Game 2 (Under 8.5)
Key Line Move @ 9:22 am EST

Miami Marlins vs Arizona Diamondbacks (Under 9.5)
Key Line Move @ 10:15 am EST

7/7 Recap:

Early Moves:

Pittsburgh Pirates vs St. Louis Cardinals (Over 6.5 and PIT ML) – Loss and Loss
Key Line Move @ 8:02 am EST

Both of these moves seem counter-intuitive at first glance, but when we dig in a little you can see why they were made. The Pirates and especially Andrew McCutchen (.382 avg)  have done very well against the Cardinals and starter Adam Wainwright historically, and they are currently on a 12-3 run overall. The Pirates at a price of +165 is a very good value play and a completely understandable move.

The Pirates’ starter, Charlie Morton, improved to 4-2 in his last six outings after allowing one run on five hits in six innings en route to a 5-1 triumph over Arizona on Wednesday. It is definitely feasible for Morton to be reached for three to four runs, and for Wainwright to have some struggles of his own. From there, the bullpens can certainly take care of the remaining run or two to cover the 6.5.

Late Moves:

Baltimore Orioles vs Washington Nationals (WAS ML) – Loss
Key Line Move @ 4:32 pm EST

This move came in late afternoon and was another case of sharp groups not caring about the expensive price tag. The line got hit hard at around -167 and by the time of first pitch it was up to -191.

The Orioles’ starter, Chris Tillman, has posted a 5.53 ERA on the road. He has never pitched in Washington and has a 6.52 ERA in two no-decisions against the Nationals. The Nationals’ starter, Stephen Strasburg, is becoming more consistent recently. Strasburg tossed 7 2/3 solid innings against Colorado on Tuesday, allowing one run and striking out eight. He has fanned at least eight batters in each of his last four starts at home, where he is 6-1 with a 2.35 ERA.

When you combine the pitching match-ups to the fact that the Orioles are coming off of a long Sunday doubleheader, it is easy to see why so many groups moved on this regardless of the price.

Miami Marlins vs Arizona Diamondbacks (Under 9) – Loss
Key Line Move @ 6:52 pm EST

This move was against the public, who were 67% on the over. After going through the numbers myself, I sided with the sharps and took the under because of Tom Koehler’s performance of late. The Marlins’ starter, Tom Koehler, allowed three hits and struck out seven in six innings in a win over Philadelphia on Wednesday. Koehler pitched well in his only career start versus Arizona last year, yielding one run on three hits and striking out seven in six innings.

The Diamondbacks’ starter, Chase Anderson, is my worry point with this move. Anderson is extremely streaky and is capable of a collapse and allowing runs at a high rate. I took the under and Miami to win in this match-up.

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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