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The Sharp Report – June 23, 2014

Tanaka takes the mound

Masahiro Tanaka took the mound on Sunday afternoon holding a record of 11-1 and an American League leading 1.99 ERA.

The Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka tried to continue the dominating start to his career when the Yankees hosted the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon. Tanaka won his major league-leading 11th game Tuesday and has emerged as the favorite to be named American League starter in next month’s All-Star Game. Needless to say bettors love it when this guy toes the rubber, he has recorded a quality start in every single one of his fourteen starts to date.

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

6/23 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.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Tampa Bay Rays (Under 7.5)
Key Line Move @ 8:16 am EST

Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs (Over 7)
Key Line Move @ 10:25 am EST

6/22 Recap:

Early Moves:

Texas Rangers vs Los Angeles Angels (Under 8) – Win
Key Line Move @ 8:07 am EST

In arguably the best pitching match-up of the day, Yu Darvish (7-3 2.39 ERA) of the Rangers took on Matt Shoemaker (4-0 3.41 ERA) of the Angels. There was a consensus early in the day as most respected groups saw this as a pitcher’s duel all the way. The line steadily moved downward all day and even fell all the way to 7 in some sports books. With neither team putting up many runs in the first two games of the series, this was one of the easiest moves to spot on Sunday’s card. I had clients on this one early as there was value here all the way down to 7 in my opinion.

Boston Red Sox vs Oakland Athletics (Under 8) – Loss
Key Line Move @ 9:00 am EST

The Oakland A’s came into Fenway Park on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball trying to finish off a sweep of the Boston Red Sox. Jon Lester was on the mound for the Red Sox facing off against Tommy Milone of the A’s in one of the better pitching match-ups of the day. Lester had allowed just four runs in his previous three starts combined, and you had to go back to May 3rd in order to find Milone’s last loss. The offenses weren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard in the previous games, the teams scored seven runs or less in each. Given all of this, the sharp move on the under was not hard to understand. The line moved just once as there were a few respected groups buying the over once the number got down to 7.5, but most of the sharp groups and the public (64%) were on the under.

Baltimore Orioles vs New York Yankees (NYY ML) – Loss
Key Line Move @ 11:15 am EST

Earlier in the week, I discussed the new-school theory of “it’s not risking money if the play wins” that sharps are using regarding betting extremely expensive money lines. This was the case on Sunday afternoon as the Yankees sent rookie phenom Masahiro Tanaka to the mound who is as close to a sure thing as there is in baseball today. His opposition, Chris Tillman of the Orioles, was exactly the “no threat” starter that sharps hope for when a sure thing takes the mound. Tillman came into the game winless in his previous three starts and has had trouble against the Yankees all throughout his career. The line on the Yankees topped out at around -225, which is one of the priciest lines that Las Vegas has put on the board this season. My position on these lines is simple; do not bet the money line straight up, play the run line (-1.5) or add the money line into a two or three team parlay. Baseball is far to fickle of a game to risk -225 on anyone, even if the reports that Tanaka walks on water are true, Baltimore is still a Major League team, and one that leads the majors in home runs on the road at that. I personally played the run line, but 70% of all action, sharp and non, was on  Tanaka and the Yankees.

Milwaukee Brewers vs Colorado Rockies (Over 10.5) – Win
Key Line Move @ 2:45 pm EST

Look at this, another Coors Field, Colorado Rockies over move! 72% of all bets placed were on the over on Sunday afternoon as the Brewers were trying to complete the three game sweep of the Rockies. These two teams lit up the scoreboard in the first two games of the series, and most groups didn’t foresee the two teams slowing down in this one. The Brewers’ starter Kyle Lohse held a lifetime ERA of 6.67 against the Rockies in Colorado coming into this game, and he has been getting hit hard as of late. Rookie Tyler Matzek was on the mound for the Rockies and has been rather impressive for a guy who has to pitch in Denver, holding a 3.75 ERA. I personally stayed away from this game, it was my thought that Matzek could hold the Brewers to a reasonably low number. With a total of 10.5 or 11, you don’t have to exactly pitch lights out to keep the game under, so I felt it was best to stay away and find better value elsewhere.

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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