Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to the second half of the MLB's regular season! Tyler Sullivan back here again and, unlike when I filled in on Monday, we finally have some games to sink our teeth into. Before we jump into that, it looks like we have ourselves a series in the NBA Finals after the Bucks were able to knot things up with the Suns on the back of a 40-point effort from Khris Middleton.
Each club has held serve on their respective home court, which may be an indication that this thing is destined to be determined in a Game 7 in Phoenix. The Suns are still the betting favorite to win the title, but if Middleton can keep that level of play that we saw on Wednesday night up, Milwaukee could be sitting pretty alongside bettors in their corner.
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As for what's on the docket today, one MLB game, the Gold Cup, along with the Open Championship is hardly the jam-packed action that we enjoyed leading up to the All-Star break, but it's enough to get our fix in. And what better way to get our second half of the baseball season rolling than with a head-to-head showdown between the Red Sox and Yankees, right?
Speaking as a Boston native, one of the things I'm most excited about as it relates to Thursday's AL East showdown is the possible big league debut of promising Red Sox prospect Jarren Duran, who was reportedly just called up from AAA.
- Latest updates from the 2021 British Open.
- Russell Wilson says relationship with Pete Carroll is "stronger than ever" after crazy offseason.
- Steelers' Dwayne Haskins injured by wife in alleged domestic violence altercation.
- Mets to wear black uniforms for first time since 2011.
With all that out of the way, let's dive into the action!
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Red Sox at Yankees, 7:08 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Red Sox (+103) -- Boston has simply had its way with the Yankees through the first half of the season. They've won all six of their head-to-heads in 2021 and have outscored New York, 36-17, over that stretch. While Eduardo Rodriguez has the worst ERA (5.52) of any Red Sox starter this season, he's historically played well on extended rest.
When given six or more days in between starts over the course of his career, opponents are hitting just .237 against Rodriguez, who also averages 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings. Rodriguez last pitched on July 7. He's also 1-0 in the two games he's faced the Yankees already this season while New York is hitting just .227 against him.
Key Trend: Red Sox are 7-0 in their last seven meetings against the Yankees and 3-0-1 in their last four road games.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: A model has simulated this contest between these AL East rivals and there's one side that has gained a noticeable edge. Head on over to SportsLine to check out which team that is, along with which way the total is leaning.
💰 The Picks
⚽ Gold Cup: Martinique vs. USA, 9:30 p.m. | TV: FS1
The Pick: Over 3.5 total goals (-120) -- I won't lie and claim to be the leading mind in international soccer, but I have been known to spot a solid play from time to time. With the United States looked at as a -3300 favorite on the money line against Martinique and surrendering 2.5 goals at -160, things are leaning heavily towards our countrymen. While the money line doesn't provide much value and giving up over two goals may sound a bit too steep, I don't mind the Over on 3.5 total goals scored at -120.
Martinique just fell to Canada, 4-1, signaling that their defense isn't much to write home about and the United States has the firepower to pile up the goals necessary to push the Over. Not only that, but the U.S. is coming into this matchup in need of a blowout win to gain ground against Canada in goal differential. Given the inferior opponent and opportunity to draw even or leap Canada in Group B prior to Sunday's head-to-head, you can expect Gregg Berhalter's club to keep their foot on the gas.
⚾ The DFS Rundown
Top Three Captains
- Jarren Duran, Red Sox
- Eduardo Rodriguez, Red Sox
- Kike Hernandez, Red Sox
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox