Hello, everyone, I have returned to you for the second time this week. I'd like to thank Chris Bengel for filling in for me yesterday and for his lovely lede last night. It's too bad you only managed to go 1-2 with your picks.
Better luck next time.
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Anyway, I'm back for the rest of this week, and I promise you I will not be going on vacation again for at least another 10 days. I'm sorry, but my vacation hours don't roll over to the next year, and with football season starting soon, I have to fit in what I have while I can! I mean, I'd never consider leaving you high and dry during football season. I'm not a monster.
- Keep up with all the latest MLB trade deadline buzz, including the market for Max Scherzer, which is heating up.
- Aaron Rodgers wants Randall Cobb, and it appears the Packers have gotten him Randall Cobb.
- Ben Simmons might not be in Philadelphia for much longer.
- The SEC made its move. What are the Big Ten's options?
Ok, now let's try to do better than Bengel did last night or who knows what he'll say about me when I'm on vacation again.
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Dodgers at Giants, 9:45 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 7.5 (-110): Before the MLB season began, I ran through all my projections for the season, and those projections led to all of the MLB futures we took on teams to win the division, make the playoffs, etc. One team that wasn't included in any of those futures was the San Francisco Giants, but it wasn't because my numbers didn't find value. It was quite the opposite.
My numbers had the Giants as one of the most undervalued teams on the market before the season began, but I made the executive decision to ignore it. You see, a lot of extreme longshots have value, but I don't always bet on them in futures markets because I don't like sitting around waiting on a bet for six months when it only has something like a 5% chance of winning. So I passed up on futures for the Giants to win the NL West and make the playoffs. Now it's nearly August, and the Giants are sitting in first place in the NL West. Whoops.
Anyway, the rivalry between the Dodgers and the Giants is already one of the best in baseball, and when you factor in that these are the top two teams in the NL West, it takes on an entirely different level. We'll also be getting a great pitching matchup between Walker Buehler and Anthony DeSclafani. Those two do an excellent job of suppressing run totals on their own, and if you factor in the say the ball carries in San Francisco at night, the value on this play only increases.
Key Trend: The under is 9-3-1 in San Francisco's last 13 as an underdog.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model doesn't care much for either side of the total, but it does have an A-graded money line play.
💰 The Picks
Yankees at Rays, 7:10 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Under 8.5 (+100) -- Nestor Cortes vs. Michael Wacha isn't exactly a pitcher's duel, but there's still value below the total in this matchup. First of all, just because you don't know who Nestor Cortes is doesn't mean he stinks. He's only pitched 27.2 innings this season, but he's struck out 31.2% of hitters he's faced and has not allowed a lot of hard contact. Of course, his 9.2% walk rate is a problem, and his 1.95 ERA isn't likely to stay that low much longer. Still, he's a lefty who misses bats facing an offense that has struggled with lefties all year long.
On the other side, Wacha's overall numbers have been heavily skewed by some bad relief appearances. His ERA as a starter is 3.98, and the Rays usually don't ask him to go through the order more than two times before turning the ball over to one of the best bullpens in the game.
Key Trend: The under is 6-2 in Tampa's last eight home games.
Nationals at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Nationals (+196) -- While this falls under our NL Least Principle, this is not strictly a principle play. Though that certainly didn't hurt. More than anything, there's just far too much value on the Nationals at this price. The Phillies are a mediocre team with a couple of great parts. When those great parts don't carry the load, things don't tend to go well.
Plus, while the Phillies might have their ace going tonight in Zack Wheeler, Wheeler hasn't been particularly brilliant against Washington. Wheeler has allowed only 35 earned runs in 132.2 innings this season, but you might be surprised to learn that seven of those runs (a full 20%) have come in three starts against the Nats. The Phillies should win this matchup more often than not, but not often enough to justify the Nats being this big a dog.
Key Trend: The Nats are 10-4 in their last 14 against the NL East.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SDQL Gurus have seen a return of 15.58 units in their last 183 MLB money line plays, and they love the value on one side of tonight's game between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Top Three Starters
Today's Top Stack
- Kole Calhoun, Diamondbacks
⚾ Hump Day Parlay
It didn't work out well for us on Monday, but the value is there again tonight. This run line parlay pays +258.
- White Sox -1.5 (-120)
- Angels -1.5 (-105)