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Today is a pretty big day. Not just because it's a Friday and the weekend is upon us, but because we're officially 50 days away from the start of college football season. Now, 50 days is nearly two months, but 50 days sounds like less time than nearly two months, doesn't it?

These things matter when you hit July and are in the desert portion of the sports calendar. Sure, baseball is going on, but the excitement of a new season wore off a long time ago, and you're still a few months away from the postseason. The 50 days away mark is an oasis in that desert and one I'm holding close to my heart as I stare at three more months of White Sox baseball.

Keep me in your thoughts as you read these stories.

We're 50 days away from college football, but you're only five words away from tonight's bets.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


The Hot Ticket

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

Latest Odds: Over 10
  • Key Trend: The over is 1-0 since I told you to take it yesterday and it's going to be 2-0 after tonight.
  • The Pick: Over 9.5 (-120)

Second verse, same as the first! After hitting on this same bet last night with Gerrit Cole on the mound for New York, we are going back to the well with Nestor Cortes starting for the Yankees. While he doesn't have Cole's overall strikeout power, Cortes does a good job of limiting hard contact. The problem for Nestor is his flyball rate is 28% higher than the league average, and with similar weather conditions tonight, the contact doesn't have to be as hard as usual for the ball to carry.

Cortes is facing a Boston offense that has been much better against lefties (118 wRC+, .340 wOBA) than righties (101 wRC+, .315 wOBA). Toeing the rubber for Boston is Connor Seabold. It's his third start of the season, but he didn't reach the fifth inning in either of the first two, and I don't have the highest of hopes for him against the Yankees. It's a limited sample size, but a barrel rate of 10.3% against him should be terrifying for Red Sox fans.

Making matters worse for Boston: the Red Sox bullpen had to cover four innings last night and has worked 31.2 innings over the last week. Our over cashed by the end of the fifth inning last night, and while that's still in play tonight, I think we're more likely to hit it in the later innings when the Yankees get to that tired Boston pen. But, hey, it's Friday. You can stay up late.

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: Once again, the Projection Model likes what we're selling with the over tonight, but it's a bigger fan of a run line play.


The Picks

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USATSI

MLB

Marlins at Mets, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Over 7.5 (+100) -- 
The situation in Queens isn't dissimilar to the one in Boston tonight. Weather conditions won't work well for the pitchers, and the matchup features two hurlers who could be susceptible to its powers. New York's Chris Bassitt has pitched better than his 4.01 ERA indicates, but he's a victim of allowing too much contact. He makes up for it by avoiding walks, but he allows fly balls and has suffered an HR/9 that's 19% higher than the league average because of it.

Miami starter Pablo Lopez has an ERA of 2.97, but his peripherals are nearly identical to Bassitt's -- with much different results. We're likely to see that balance out, considering batters have a barrel rate of 9.5% against Lopez this season. Tonight provides a particularly difficult matchup for him, as current Mets players have slashed .324/.471/.833 against him in 116 plate appearances. 

Key Trend: The over is 9-4-1 in the Mets' last 14 division games.

Cubs at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 8.5 (-110) -- 
We've got two overs going in the early slate, so we'll cleanse our palates with an under to end the evening. There's a significant disparity between the quality of these teams (and I'll have more on the Dodgers for you here shortly), but the pitching matchup tonight evens things a bit.

Chicago's Keegan Thompson has been surprisingly solid for the Cubs as a starter. He runs into occasional trouble with walks, which could easily bite him against this Los Angeles lineup, but he avoids the bat's sweet spot. Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson has a strikeout rate below league average, but his control is remarkable. His walk rate of 4.4% is 48% better than the league average for starters this season, and similar to Thompson, he does an excellent job of avoiding hard contact.

There is some value on the Dodgers moneyline tonight, but there's more on the under. The Cubs offense is struggling lately, and Anderson doesn't strike me as a particularly good matchup for them.

Key Trend: The under is 5-0-2 in the last seven meetings in Los Angeles.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The Projection Model sees a ton of value on the board in tonight's game between the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants, giving an A-grade to a money line play. But on which side?


Friday Future

The Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series (+450) -- It's been a while since we've added a future to our portfolio, and as we near baseball's All-Star Break, now feels like a good time to look toward the World Series. It's never as much fun to bet chalk, but there's value here. The Yankees are the best team in baseball and the current favorites to win it all, and it's well deserved. But the Dodgers are pretty dang good too. When you look at the landscape of the NL, the Mets and Braves look good, and the Brewers have terrific pitching.

But there are fewer landmines between the Dodgers and the World Series, while the Yankees will have to get through a more formidable field in the AL. Granted, everything could change depending on what happens before the trade deadline and injuries, but the Dodgers have depth that other teams don't, and they've proven it the last few years. This is a terrific price to get them at.