It's remarkable how quickly we can adapt to a new routine. I spent roughly the last seven months without regular football before college returned in full force this weekend. Then I spent my entire Thursday evening watching games before doing the same thing on Friday. Saturday was another 14 hours of football, followed by a game on both Sunday and Monday night.
It was awesome, but then Tuesday night came around, and there were no more games, and I found myself in a position where I wasn't sure what to do with myself. I mean, there was baseball and tennis on, but while I enjoy baseball, I can't just watch a random baseball game like I do football, and the White Sox were in Oakland and starting late. As for tennis, it's just not a sport I enjoy watching.
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So, there I was, after five straight nights of football experiencing withdrawal on Tuesday night, knowing that I had to wait until Thursday for more. I guess the only way to deal with it is to bet a bunch of money on baseball to kill time, so that's what I'm going to do! But first, I'm going to read these stories.
- Find out which running backs you want to start and which ones to sit for Week 1 of the NFL season.
- Our NFL QB power rankings are so powerful that you should probably step back a foot before clicking this link.
- Carson Wentz will start for the Colts this weekend.
- What's next for the Big 12 after expansion?
Let's take to the diamond.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
⚾ Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Rays (+101): You know I love taking Tampa Bay as an underdog. I mean, how often is it that you get the chance to bet the first-place team as an underdog against a team 10 games behind it in the standings? Because that's exactly what we're doing here. Especially when that underdog is 11-7 against the favorite this season and has won four of the last five games they've played in Boston.
The Rays have been underdogs in 52 games this season and have gone 29-23. They've been underdogs against the Red Sox seven times and won four. They also have the slight edge in pitching tonight, as Shane McClanahan has been better than Nathan Eovaldi, and the Rays have the superior bullpen. Honestly, it almost feels too easy.
Key Trend: The Rays are 29-23 as underdogs this season.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: While I'm telling you to take the Rays, SportsLine's Justin Perri has a play on the total he really likes, and he's gone 8-4-1 in his last 13 picks on the total in Rays games.
💰 The Picks
Dodgers at Cardinals, 7:45 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Cardinals (+115) -- I'm taking a bit of a shot here, as I think the Cardinals might be just a bit undervalued. The prices on both teams seem to be blinded by the Dodgers factor and ignoring some other vital areas of the matchup. Mitch White will start for the Dodgers tonight, and he's mainly been used as a reliever in his career. In three career starts, he's lasted only 11 innings and allowed seven runs. The Dodgers have also lost two of his three starts.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals will send Adam Wainwright to the mound, and he's been better than any 40-year old pitcher should be. Waino has an ERA of 2.91, and, while he doesn't have dominant swing-and-miss stuff like he once did, he makes up for it by not walking anybody and limiting hard contact. He's got all the old-man tricks. He's also on an absolute heater at the moment, posting an ERA of 1.54 over his last nine starts (64.1 IP), limiting hitters to a slash line of .189/.233/.291 in the process. The Cardinals have gone 8-1 in those nine starts. Finally, the Dodgers come into tonight scuffling on offense. The team's wRC+ of 81 over the last two weeks ranks 25th in MLB.
Key Trend: The Cardinals are 8-1 in Adam Wainwright's last nine starts.
White Sox at Athletics, 9:40 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 8.5 (-115) -- I'll start by saying I do have concerns about White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel tonight. Keuchel comes into this game with an ERA of 9.90 over his last five starts. It has not been great, but while some of it is just bad luck, pitchers who don't miss bats are a lot more susceptible to bad luck. The good news for Keuchel is that tonight he'll be facing an Oakland offense that has fared slightly better against righties than lefties.
But what makes this under stand out to me is that the game will be played in the most pitcher-friendly park in the game, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few key White Sox hitters sitting out. Tony La Russa has been extremely liberal with rest days lately as the White Sox have a commanding division lead, and last night saw both Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez struck in the knee by balls (one on a pitch, the other a line drive). If one or both sit out tonight, that combined with the absence of Tim Anderson (IL) takes a lot of the sting out of this White Sox offense.
Key Trend: The under is 5-2-1 in Oakland's last eight home games.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Insider Martin Green is up well over $36,000 on soccer picks over the past four seasons and just released his coveted best bets for Wednesday's Concacaf World Cup qualifying match between the USA and Honduras.
⚾ Underdog Parlay
How about a little underdog parlay action? This one pays out at +331.