Well, I know how the Astros feel, kind of. After a very successful stint in the playoffs through Monday, Tuesday I went 0 for 3 in "best" bets. Terrible. I have no excuse. I did a bad job. It happens in this wildly unpredictable world of betting daily on baseball, a sport that gave us the Marlins in the divisional around and a team with a losing regular-season record in the final four. As if I've gotten an Aroldis Chapman pitch toward my head, I will dust myself off and try to pull a Mike Brosseau. We are, after all, both from the same state.
NLCS Game 3
L.A. Dodgers (-1.5)
ALCS Game 4
All lines via William Hill Sportsbook
The Dodgers sleepwalking through the first one and two-thirds games of this series was pretty surprising, but their bats woke up late in Game 2 and that's set to continue in Game 3. Kyle Wright was excellent last round, but the Marlins were on their last legs. Wright remains a good-upside arm, but his MLB history to this point has been spotty at best and prone to the walk in a big way. The Dodgers' offense is too good to be held down multiple times through the order by him and will take advantage of constantly being ahead of the count. They'll grab a decent-sized lead early and cruise here, cutting the series lead to 2-1.
Screw it, like any good captain, I'm going down with the ship. Nearly every time I've tried to bet on something in an Astros game this postseason, I've missed. It doesn't matter who the opponent is, if I bet on them, try to hit on an Astros player going deep, the over or the under. I'm a whiff machine when it comes to guessing with this team. A wiser man might decide to avoid this series altogether for the likely few games that are left, but, again, I'm going down with the ship here. The Astros are going down and apparently so am I.
The pick here is a simple evening out of some things. The Rays are the better team. At this point I have little doubt about that. The pitching matchup (Tyler Glasnow vs. Zack Greinke) heavily favors the Rays in the year 2020. I just don't think the Astros are going to go without something resembling a fight. I also think the Baseball Gods owe some batted ball fortune to the Astros after three games of every single bloop, hard-hit-right-at-defender and the like going the Rays' way. Penance for 2017? Perhaps some would believe that. I don't, given what happened with the Astros in the first two rounds. They aren't going quietly and will force a Game 4. And if I'm wrong, at least I'm freed from whatever betting curse they have over me this postseason.
Bonus: Margot homers +450
Rays outfielder Manuel Margot has a swagger right now that I love. After barreling over the wall in his former home to make a ridiculous catch and stay in the game, it only took things to another level. He's 7 for 17 with two homers in his career against Greinke and that'll only increase his confidence to the point of (good!) cockiness when he steps in the box. He only hit one home run in the entire regular season, but he's hit three so far in the playoffs. Let's go get another and make it four with a good payday here.