Weekly MLB Underdog Report
by Matt Foust - 09/05/2008
We are into the stretch run of the MLB season now and things are starting to heat up as far as division races and wild card spots are concerned. The dogs are starting to heat up as well; the last two weeks have been great for astute MLB bettors. There are likely to be some faders the next few weeks but there is also a good possibility that some of these borderline playoff teams may give an increased effort as the season comes to a close (i.e. the New York Yankees). Either thing can be good for the bankroll.
This week's sampling was 95 games (8/29 to 9/4) and there were 44 underdog victors in those 95 contests. At 44 percent, they were a shade below last week's 46 percent mark, but impressive nonetheless. The home dogs were particularly strong this week, albeit in fewer opportunities, hitting in 12 of 23 games (52 percent). And the roadies pulled in a solid 44 percent, winning 32 times in 72 chances.
Dog(s) of the Week:
The Dog of the Week this week goes to the Toronto Blue Jays, who won four times in four tries as an underdog. The kickbacks were not outstanding due to the Jays strong play of late, but hey, a win is still a win.
Toronto split their dog wins between a road swing in New York and a homestand versus the Minnesota Twins. In New York, Toronto scored their biggest coup by winning 7-6 as a +146 dog. The line was definitely a head scratcher as Jays' starter John Parrish had given up just four earned runs in his last four starts going into the Yankees game. Meanwhile, the Yankees Darrell Rasner had been shelled four 17 earned runs in his previous four home starts. Keep an eye out for these kinds of odds, even if the pitcher -such as Parrish - is somewhat of an unknown. Everybody knows what Rasner has done of late and no team should ever be a +146 dog against him. The other win in New York was a much smaller +110 return.
The two victories at home brought +101 and +100 returns with Twins starters Glen Perkins and Kevin Slowey squaring off against Toronto's David Purcey and Jesse Litsch, respectively. The odds would reflect the slight pitching advantage the Twins had, but the bookmakers were clearly considering that the Twins were just 1-6 in their last seven at Toronto entering this series.
Honorable Mention: the New York Yankees won four out of five as a dog this past week with returns of +108, +138, +110, and +101.
A Look Ahead:
Well, the Orioles officially made me look like a you-know-what last week and it would appear that Jeremy Guthrie might be getting a little worn down after having a brilliant season. Guthrie has now given up 14 earned runs in his last three starts and until he gets things corrected I would avoid a play on him.
This weekend I like another team that could make me look foolish, but I'll go with them anyway - the Kansas City Royals. The Royals are hosting the Indians and they are sure to get some juicy lines with the exception of tomorrow's matchup between Zach Jackson and Gil Meche. Kansas City has been streaky all season (wins and losses) and right now they are fairly hot. Sunday's game is likely to bring home the biggest return with Cliff Lee matched up against Zach Greinke. The Royals could have easily beaten Lee a couple of weeks ago in Cleveland had it not been for some costly errors. Greinke pitched in that game as well and allowed just one earned run. Lee gave up four earned runs in six innings of work in his last start in KC.