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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM

It’s very clear in early betting action that sharps (professional wagerers) are looking for the American League to be superior once again in 2012 in Interleague action…with an expectation that oddsmakers haven’t fully accounted for the likely edge.

We’ve seen in past years that sportsbooks have been embarrassed in IL play because they hadn’t realized how bad things had gotten in the National League. But, the NL’s nadir was a few years ago, as some deep-pocketed teams have made investments in pitching to improve themselves. Plus, the Vegas line was adjusting at the same time the NL was getting better. If you know the AL is superior…but the oddsmakers also know it, then there’s no value! Early betting on Thursday Night and Friday for tonight’s card suggests that sharps think the AL is going to offer value.

Let’s take the most noticeable moves in rotation order:

*KANSAS CITY received strong support in Pittsburgh. The Pirates opened at -150 but have been bet down to -135 or -140 as we go to press. The Royals have been on a good run lately, and some sharps have told us they have an eye on the Royals this weekend.

*NEW YORK YANKEES money came in at the opener of -130, as the Bronx Bombers are now -145 at home against the Mets. Note that this is Johan Santana’s first start since his no-hitter last week.

*BOSTON was a popular bet as a home underdog against Washington and Stephen Strasburg (some big names on the mound tonight!). Washington opened at -130, but is down as low as pick-em in some stores.

*CLEVELAND has been getting the nod as a road dog in St. Louis. The Cardinals opened as a favorite of -155, but are down to -135 or -140 in most stores as we go to press.

*OAKLAND is in the same boat as Cleveland on the road at Arizona…with the same things happening in the same general price range.

*SEATTLE opened at -105 or pick-em at home against the NL West leading LA Dodgers. They are now up to -120, with some indicators that the line may go even higher through the day.

*TEXAS opened at -135 in San Francisco, in their rematch from the 2010 World Series. The line is now up to -145 in most places.

That’s ALL teams from the American League in terms of moves of at least 10 cents or more. There’s not a single National League team enjoying any sort of bandwagon effect. Let’s also note that most of the smaller 5-cent moves (give or take) are also shading to the American League. Among teams getting interest are Detroit (+) at Cincinnati  and Tampa Bay (+) at Miami. We have seen some minor NL interest for the Cubs (+) at Minnesota and Colorado (+) at home vs. the LA Angels (note that Colorado often has a good IL record because of a very unique home field environment).

Clearly, the sharps have made a statement that they believe the American League is superior…and that oddsmakers aren’t fully up to speed. Be sure you monitor the lines all weekend long to see if this betting tendency continues, or to see if oddsmakers adjust to take it away. And, be sure you’re monitoring the scoreboard all weekend just in case reality provides a rough wake-up call for either group! We’ve all seen sharps suffer some surprises in the 2012 sports world…particularly those who pounded San Antonio at the series price in the Western Conference finals. When the National League finally does pull up to parity with the American League, or even surpass it…that development will surprise sharps and the market .

Remember that baseball selections from the sharpest minds in handicapping are available here at the VegasSportsMasters website every day. Link up with your favorite industry legend this afternoon so you can get this weekend started in fine fashion.  Don’t forget that we also have Game Seven of the Eastern Conference finals on the weekend schedule…that’s Saturday Night in Miami. And, the Belmont was thrown wide open when I’ll Have Another was a disappointing scratch late Friday morning. This huge sports weekend is going to get VERY interesting!

We’re planning a special report for the NBA Finals once sharp tendencies are clear at the series and opening game prices. And, we’ll keep monitoring Interleague play so we can present breaking news on important developments.

If you’re going to beat the market, you need to THINK LIKE A SHARP and BET LIKE A SHARP! There’s no better place to develop those skills than VegasSportsMasters!

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