MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres
USATSI

It's the start of a new week, and I'd like to start it with blunt truth. Are we in the trust tree? Because if we are, then I'd like to share with you that I'm not excited to bet baseball tonight. Don't get me wrong, I have as much faith in tonight's picks as I do every other afternoon I send this letter to your inbox, but after having the college football season start this weekend, and getting that football taste in my mouth, betting baseball seems so last month.

Thankfully there are only a few more days left this year when we won't have football games to bet on. The college season resumes Thursday night, will go through Labor Day, and then the NFL season kicks off next Thursday. I cannot wait. Nor can I wait to read these stories.

Time to grit our teeth and best some more baseball.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Padres at Giants, 9:45 p.m. | TV: ESPN+

Latest Odds: Over 7
  • Key Trend: You might be surprised to learn the over is 19-9 in the last 28 meetings.
  • The Pick: Over 7 (-125)

The ball doesn't carry well out west at night. I don't think it's fair, but it's the truth. However, that truth can sometimes work in our favor because the knowledge that the ball doesn't carry well tends to depress a total more than it should.

Tonight is one of those nights.

Night games in San Francisco don't involve a lot of runs and feature even fewer when Carlos Rodon is on the mound, but this total should be closer to eight than seven. Rodon allows a lot of flyball contact and tonight's weather forecast suggests it could be one of those rare nights when that mean marine layer doesn't dash the ball's dreams. On the other side is Mike Clevinger, who allows even more flyballs than Rodon, and a lot more hard-hit ones. Opponents have a barrel rate of 8.1% against Clevinger this season, which is Not Good, and his home runs allowed per nine innings is 13% higher than the league average.

In other words, this is one of the rare nights in San Francisco we could see offensive fireworks.

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Projection Model doesn't like much of anything here tonight, but it does have the slightest of leans to the over, and that's good enough for me.


💰 The Picks

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⚾ MLB

Cardinals at Reds, 6:40 p.m | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Cincinnati Reds +185

The Pick: Reds (+180) -- We will never stop betting on the Cincinnati Reds in this newsletter! At least, not this season. The Reds have been discounted all year long, but tonight there's an extra wrinkle the market is overreacting to. The Reds signed Chase Anderson last week after he opted out of his minor league deal with the Rays. He began the season with Detroit, and now he'll be starting for the Reds. It's not the optimal situation for Cincinnati, but let's be honest: how much worse is Anderson than Cincinnati's other options at the moment?

Yes, I'm including "how much worse" as a phrase explaining why I'm telling you to make a bet. Life is weird sometimes, and while I don't have high hopes for Anderson, there's still value on the Reds. I'm not a fan of betting on starters like St. Louis' Miles Mikolas. It's nothing personal, but pitchers who allow as much contact as Mikolas does tend to have varying results. Mikolas' control helps him avoid the devastating innings, but he's still vulnerable.

Key Trend: We are 1-0 in our last one (1) picks when betting the Reds.

Red Sox at Twins, 7:40 p.m | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Over 8.5

The Pick: Over 8.5 (-115) -- We have favorable weather conditions for our over play tonight in Minneapolis. It's a favorable pitching matchup as well. Dylan Bundy gets the start for a Minnesota team clinging to its hopes of catching Cleveland in the AL Central. His strikeout rate is well below average at 17%, but while he has done a great job limiting walks, the contact he allows is hard and airborne. A high flyball rate combined with a barrel rate against of 8.5% does not typically work to a pitcher's favor, but it helps us.

Boston counters with Brayan Bello, whose strikeout rate of 20.4% is better than Bundy's but still below average. And that walk rate of 11.1%? Why, friends, that's straight terrible. Bello draws far more groundball contact, but groundballs can only do so much to save you when you're walking everybody in the building. This helps explain why he has a 7.36 ERA through 22 innings. 

Key Trend: The over is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: It's fantasy football draft season. Do not go into your draft without SportsLine's Fantasy Football Draft Bible. It's quite literally the bible of fantasy football.