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Hello! It's good to be back in your inbox. It feels like I haven't done this in forever, but it's only been since last Thursday. I've missed you. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend.

I also hope Phillies manager Joe Girardi finds some joy in his life outside of work, because work isn't going so well. The Phillies have lost five straight to drop to 21-29, 12.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East. It's never a good thing to be 10 games or more out of first place on the first day of June (even though Braves fans will point out how they got off to a slow start last year before winning the World Series).

Back to Girardi: if the Phillies are going to turn things around, they better do it soon. As our R.J. Anderson went over today, Girardi is on the hottest managerial seat in baseball, and nobody would be surprised if the Phillies make a change soon. In fact, as R.J. goes over in his hot seat rankings, the NL East is a hotbed for hot seats, as Girardi is one of three managers in the division who could be teetering on the brink of the unemployment line.

Other required reading today:

Now let's do what we came here to do.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


The Hot Ticket

Brewers at Cubs, 8:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Under 8
  • Key Trend: There aren't any trends to support this, but that's fine because we have science on our side.
  • The Pick: Under 8 (-105)

Summer has arrived in Chicago, and that means it's a lot more fun to bet Cubs games at Wrigley Field. With the sun out and temperatures in the 80s, these teams combined for 32 runs in three games. Well, the sun is gone, as are the 80-degree temperatures. Tonight's forecast -- and the time of day impacts the park as much as the weather -- has temperatures in the low 60s, high 50s with moderate winds blowing in from right field.

These are the kind of conditions that lead to lower-scoring games at Wrigley Field. Balls that soared 450 feet yesterday suddenly die 20 feet short of the warning track today.

Tonight's pitching matchup plays to our advantage a bit too. Kyle Hendricks is giving up more hard contact, he still does a decent job of keeping the ball on the ground. Milwaukee is calling up 29-year-old Jason Alexander -- not the guy from "Seinfeld" -- to make his MLB debut, but his numbers in the minors show he doesn't get many strikeouts, doesn't walk a lot of guys, and gets a lot of groundball contact. Both teams will need to string hits together to score runs, and that's much harder to do in tonight's weather conditions.

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Projection Model disagrees with me on the total tonight, as it's taking the over, but The Projection Model only believes in numbers. It doesn't have enough respect for meteorology! The good news is, if you don't want to watch us fight, it's got a respectable lean on the money line as well.


The Picks

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MLB

Reds at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Cincinnati Reds +180

The Pick: Reds (+180) -- It looks like the Cincinnati Reds are the bad team we're betting on more than others this year because they're often underrated and undervalued due to how terrible they are.

Hunter Greene starts for Cincinnati tonight, and he's a promising rookie with electric stuff. The kind of stuff he hasn't figured out how to tame -- as his 11.8% walk rate will tell you -- but that leads to a lot of swings and misses -- as his 27.6% strikeout rate shows. 

He's facing Garrett Whitlock, who has been excellent since moving to the rotation in late April. However, Whitlock doesn't pitch late into games. He went six innings in his last start against Baltimore, but it's the only time he's pitched that deep into a game this season. His previous six starts averaged 3.3 innings each. We could see plenty of the Boston bullpen tonight, which would increase Cincinnati's odds of winning.

Key Trend: The Reds are 4-1 in their last five as an underdog.

NHL

Lightning at Rangers, 8 p.m. | TV: ESPN

Latest Odds: New York Rangers +110

The Pick: Rangers (+110) -- I don't often include the NHL in this newsletter because, while I bet it, I don't follow the sport as closely as I do others. All hockey plays are nothing but number plays for me. I have a system that sometimes says, "Hey, dummy, this is a good bet tonight if you want to make it." I then make that bet. I don't dig any further than that.

Be prepared for a lot of "explanations" that aren't explanations for the picks at all. I might just write about how my day is going. Today is going well, thank you for asking. I hope it goes better with a Rangers win, as the numbers suggest they're being undervalued at home against the two-time Stanley Cup champion Lightning.

Key Trend: The Rangers have won four of the last five meetings.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: If you're looking to get a head start on the NBA Finals, SportsLine's Zach Cimini has crushed Celtics games all season, and he's already put in a pick for Thursday night's Game 1.


🏌 The Memorial Top 10s

We stayed hot with our golf props last week, as both Sam Burns and Mito Pereira finished in the top 10 to make for a profitable week. Hell, Burns won the tournament outright. Let's see if we can keep the run going this week.

  • Shane Lowry (+225)
  • Joaquin Niemann (+350)
  • Mito Pereira (+400)
  • Corey Conners (+420)
  • Daniel Berger (+450)