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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Monday, July 23, 2018 at 4:00 PM

It started last week and should continue for several days. Buyers and sellers in Major League Baseball. High impact players being acquired by contenders in hopes that they will be a difference-maker in divisional races and the postseason.

There were a couple of big stories last week. Manny Machado is now a Los Angeles Dodger (championship contender) rather than a Baltimore Oriole (rebuilding doormat). Brad Hand is now a Philadelphia Phillie (divisional contender) rather than a San Diego Padre (rebuilding doormat, though not as bad as Baltimore).

Interestingly, those high-profile acquisitions both addressed clear needs for the contenders, yet barely moved the needle on futures prices or game prices here in Las Vegas. The Dodgers were already priced as a superpower. Maybe all the locals who wanted to bet them already had! A team like Philadelphia, who came in from off the radar this season, is still seen with so much skepticism that nobody wants to bet them yet. It’s amazing how many people still want to bet slumping Washington, but don’t want to take any flyers on the Phils.

For now, the Dodgers are a better team with Machado playing shortstop. And, the Phillies should be able to project more leads with an extra “Hand” in the bullpen. I’ll be looking to take advantage of game lines until the market makes more of a move.

I would bet that more shoes are about to drop. The Yankees are talking like they need extra help to chase down the Red Sox in the AL East. Boston doesn’t want to let that happen. This is a franchise arms race that goes back decades. Small-market Oakland is in the rare position of being a buyer, with a real chance to earn a Wildcard given how well the team is performing this season. Will the A’s and Mariners make some moves?

Over in the National League, it feels like almost everyone is still a contender. You can throw out the Padres, the Mets, the Marlins, and the Reds (who were still playing great before the ASB). Everyone else has at least a shot to get a Wildcard. Which owners will be impatient? (St. Louis already fired its manager.). Which will decide its better to gather young resources with 2019 and beyond in mind?

Most importantly for our purposes, how will the market respond?

*Oddsmakers usually move futures prices quickly on big news like this, playing defense against public money they expect to come in. Honestly, I expected more of that when the Dodgers got Machado. But, we’re so deep into the season now that we’re not talking “big” futures moves. Maybe a 10-1 team drops to 8-1, or a 4-1 team drops to 3-1.

*Sharps typically avoid futures prices because they don’t offer “true odds” due to larger-than-realized house edges. The Wise Guys know they can just wait until the playoffs, then just invest and re-invest in value choices on a series-by-series basis. You’ll probably be able to make more on the superpowers doing that in October than you could NOW by betting them on futures prices with little true value. A sharp is not going to run to a window when the Dodgers acquire Machado, or the Yankees acquire whoever (unless it’s a true superstar pitcher).

*Squares (the public), are more prone to bet their favorite team on futures price than “play the market.” It would take a big trade to get non-fans involved, and oddsmakers would probably have moved the line on the big news anyway. But, you might see a situation where Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs fans jump in to re-invest if their team makes a big move. Just part of “supporting” their team in their view.

On regular game-by-game prices…sharps will:

*Avoid big home favorites, no matter who they are

*Back some talented road favorites at value prices

*Back most talented underdogs

So…the Dodgers will get interest from the sharps in road games after the Machado trade (and they just took two of three at Milwaukee). If the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs bring in a big name, sharps are much more likely to bet those teams on the road than at home.

Philadelphia with Hand, and many other under-valued contenders will still get attention. Sharps made big money with Oakland for several weeks, and will be looking for other pleasant surprises that grind out a profit. Heck, sharps made good money backing the Cincinnati Reds before the All-Star Break because the market just wouldn’t accept how much the team had improved.

I can assure you I’ll be watching the trade market very closely. And, I’ll be looking for ways to take advantage with my personal selections for clients.

You can purchase daily BEST BETS from your friend in Las Vegas right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about long term packages that offer the best value. Check on early-bird rates for football when you call. The NFL preseason starts a week from Thursday, believe it or not. 

It’s been very hot lately here in Las Vegas. I’m sure that’s true where you live as well. Stay in air conditioning and stay hydrated! The biggest buzz in town this past weekend was actually about the British Open golf tournament. That’s a fast-growing betting sport, with more and more sportsbooks offering live betting during each round. Dream scenario for that on Sunday, with Tiger Woods at the top of the leaderboard for awhile. Sports betting is only going to get bigger and better as legalization continues across the map. I appreciate that you’ve allowed me to be your guide during this period of tremendous growth. See you again at the end of the week.  

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