It's incredible how quickly NBA teams and free agents can agree to deals, isn't it? I mean, we're talking about complicated contracts involving a lot of money that require time and attention to put together properly. Yet, somehow, in some way, teams can agree to deals with players the moment they're allowed to contact them.
Though, I suppose if an NBA team called me and offered me four years and $85 million, I wouldn't need a lot of time to think about it, either.
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Anyway, Monday's NBA free agency free-for-all was a lot of fun, and not just because I think the Chicago Bulls became a legitimate playoff team in the process. I think free agency and trades in any sport are fun. Hell, sometimes I wonder if I enjoy the roster machinations more than the games themselves.
It's the element of mystery and hope. Once the offseason ends and the games begin, you quickly figure out where you are in the pecking order. But in the offseason? That's when anything is possible. Like, a sign-and-trade that would send DeMar DeRozan to the Bulls.
- I would argue this injury is worse news for the Colts than Carson Wentz's injury.
- Injuring a teammate is not a great way for a rookie to ingratiate himself with the coaching staff.
- We have ranked all 130 college football teams for you.
Now onto tonight's MLB slate.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Astros at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 8.5 (-105): Tonight marks the beginning of a series that is not only a rematch of the trash can-bangingest World Series in recent memory, but also serves as a possible preview of the 2021 World Series. The Dodgers enter tonight's game tied with Tampa and Milwaukee for the third-best record in baseball -- a half-game behind the Astros in second place. These two franchises have been atop the MLB standings for a while, and it promises to be an exciting series, even if it starts late at night for most of us.
The good news for those of you worried about staying up late is that this game could move quickly, as I'm not anticipating many runs. While we often think about the hitters and overall offenses these teams have -- the Astros rank first and the Dodgers third in run-rate -- what has truly separated them from most other teams over the years is their pitching and defense. And even while the Astros pitching has suffered a bit since losing guys like Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, it's still an above-average unit backed by a defense that ranks third in MLB in outs above average.
Key Trend: The under is 13-5-2 in the last 20 meetings.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model is lukewarm on the total, but it has a B-graded play on one side of the money line, and that play happens to be the same one SportsLine experts Stephen Oh and Justin Perri are playing.
💰 The Picks
Cleveland at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Cleveland (+183) -- The Blue Jays are not only a fun team to watch, but a fun team to try and figure out. They're currently in fourth place in the AL East at 54-49, but their run differential of +104 is the sixth-best in the league. How is this possible? They score a lot of runs, which helps, but they also tend to win in blowout fashion. In games decided by five runs or more, the Blue Jays are 19-10 with a run differential of +90. In one-run games, they're only 6-12.
What does any of that have to do with tonight's contest? Well, Cleveland tends to play a lot of close games. Toronto has only played 18 one-run games. Cleveland has played 32, and it's done well in them, going 17-15. While mostly an anonymous team, Cleveland tends to do the baseball version of mucking it up and sticking around. Because of this, my numbers suggest that +183 on Cleveland offers a whole lot of value. I'd have the price a lot closer to +160.
Key Trend: Cleveland has won eight of the last 11 meetings.
Cubs at Rockies, 8:40 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Cubs (+125) -- OK, so it's been a tough week to be a Cubs fan. Not only did you have to watch your team trade away all your favorite players -- the ones who helped you win a World Series for the first time in a billion years -- but you also had to watch those same players immediately produce for their new teams. That's led to a slight market overcorrection for what the Cubs are as presently constructed.
Listen, the Cubs front office will be happy with the team losing as many games as possible for the rest of the season. This team isn't nearly as good as it was at this time last week, but to suddenly be this large of an underdog against one of the worst teams in baseball is a bit much. Plus, the Coors Field factor tends to level the playing field a bit on its own, so there's far too much value on the Cubs in this spot. We can't pass it up.
Key Trend: The Rockies have won only one of their last six games against a right-handed starter.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The Advanced Computer Model absolutely loves a money line play in tonight's game between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Top Three Starters
Today's Top Stack
⚾ Tuesday Night Odds Boost
You can find tonight's bet in the Odds Boosts section at Caesars Sportsbook.