Major League Baseball made a change to its scheduling format for the postseason on Tuesday. Instead of having one game played in the late afternoon followed up with a game in the evening, it pushed both games back to the evening. That meant that even though the first game started over two hours before the second game, there was an overlap. It's the same schedule tonight and will remain the same throughout the rest of the LCS.
As you'd imagine, I saw a lot of people complaining about this on Twitter. Of course, while MLB fans are rivaled only by NHL fans when it comes to finding things to complain about, the complaints were somewhat justified. When only two games are going on, it's not hard to make sure they don't overlap, but it's important to remember two different networks are broadcasting these games. Both would prefer the games are in the evening for advertising purposes.
So, nothing will change. What I would be more annoyed by if I were a fan of the four teams playing is MLB's start times for the particular games. If I'm a Dodgers fan, I'm not thrilled about my team's playoff game starting at 3:30 p.m. local time. If I'm at work and have to drive home, the game could be halfway over by the time I get there. On the other side of the coin, if I'm a Rays fan, I'm not thrilled about having to stay up until 12:30 on a Wednesday morning to see my team in a playoff game.
Of course, considering two east coast teams remain, and one of them is playing a west coast team, there's no way MLB can avoid it. So the fans will have to do what they do best: complain about it.
Here are some news stories you won't complain about after reading them. But if you do, complain to Pete Blackburn, not me.
- The SEC has had to postpone another game. This time it's Florida and LSU.
- The White Sox are set to interview 76-year old Tony La Russa for their managerial opening because it's 2020 and nothing is allowed to make sense.
- Broncos RB Melvin Gordon was charged with a DUI.
- Am I only including Prisco's NFL Power Rankings because he moved the Bears into his top 10? Maybe.
Let that be a lesson to all CBSSports.com writers: If you want me to link your story in the newsletter, write nice things about the teams I like. Now, onto today's picks!
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Braves vs. Dodgers, 6:05 p.m. | TV: FS1
The Pick: Over 9.5 (-125): Globe Life Field, the home of the Texas Rangers and where this series is being played, has not been around a long time. It opened this season and, including these MLB playoffs, has hosted only 35 baseball games. While that's not a large sample size, there is a noticeable trend with how the park plays. When the roof is closed, it has been pitcher-friendly. When the roof has been open, like it will be tonight, it has benefitted hitters.
The over has gone 8-4-1 in the 13 games the roof has been opened, compared to 9-11-2 when closed. What's more noticeable than the results, however, are the runs scored. In 13 games with the roof open, games at Globe Life have seen an average of 11.5 runs per game. In five postseason games with the roof open, games have seen an average of 10.6 runs per game. So, when we see those trends, and we see the pitchers slated to start tonight (Atlanta's Kyle Wright has an xFIP of 5.56 while the Dodgers' Julio Urias is at 4.65), it's the over that looks like the smartest play on the board.
Key Trend: The over is 8-4-1 when the roof is open in Arlington.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: SportsLine's Advanced Computer Model has a play for this game as well, so you should check out what it's saying. After all, I'm an Idiot Human, and it's an Advanced Computer.
Rays vs. Astros, 8:40 p.m | TV: TBS
The Pick: Astros +130 -- Before the MLB season began, I took out World Series futures on eight different teams. I did such a good job of it that seven of the eight teams I bet on made the playoffs this year. Well, the Rays (+1800) are the only one of those eight teams remaining. So, believe me when I tell you that I'm invested in the Rays winning this series. And it could happen tonight, but the price on the Astros here is too reasonable to pass up.
Houston's been hitting the ball hard, but the Rays are playing spectacular defense. At some point, those rockets have to fall, and at this price, there's a good chance it happens tonight. Plus, while he hasn't been peak Zack Greinke this year, Greinke still does an excellent job of keeping opponents in the park. That could play to Houston's benefit tonight too.
Key Trend: Houston is 8-3 the last 11 times it's been an underdog in the playoffs.
🏈 College Football
Coastal Carolina at Louisiana, 7:30 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Under 59 (-110) -- Betting the under in college football has been a scary proposition so far this season. The over has gone 76-62-2 in games involving an FBS team through the first month-plus of games. That's likely to balance out as the season goes along, though that's not why I'm taking the under here. The reasoning for this play is much simpler.
Coastal Carolina is averaging 44.3 points per game and Louisiana is only at 28.3. Coastal has a very explosive offense, but it's done so against a soft schedule to this point. Both are good defenses overall at making teams drive down the length of the field, and neither offense moves at an up-tempo pace. Coastal's offense moves at a pace similar to most option teams, while the Ragin' Cajuns are more like the Restin' Cajuns between plays. With neither team ever in a hurry, the under is the smartest play here.
Key Trend: The under is 8-2 in Louisiana's last 10 games as a favorite.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model, off to a 23-6 start this season on top-rated picks, has a strong play on the Coastal Carolina vs. Louisiana spread. One side is cashing in 62 percent of simulations.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Mookie Betts -- Betts is only 1 for 7 through the first two games of the NLCS, but he went 1 for 3 yesterday with two walks. Plus, his 0 for 4 performance in Game 1 was the first time he's gone hitless in the postseason this year, and he has a very winnable matchup tonight against Kyle Wright. Mookie has yet to hit a dinger in the playoffs, but there's a good chance he hits his first one tonight.
Will Smith -- No, not the rapper/actor, the Dodgers catcher. We're already on the over in tonight's NLCS game as explained above, and even if they're down 2-0 in the series, the Dodgers still have a great offense. So we're going to want to load up on them tonight, and Smith is a cheaper option that also matches up well with Braves starter Kyle Wright and hits in the top half of the lineup.
Full lineup advice
SportsLine's team of DFS insiders has you covered for daily fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won almost $2 million playing DFS and is one of the top MLB DFS experts anywhere. Check out his MLB picks here, and be sure to see what he's picking for NBA DFS here too. Use SportsLine's all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.
🏌 Top 20 golf props
The CJ Cup tees off Thursday morning with a limited field of participants, and we are going all in with 10 value plays to finish in the top 20.
- Louis Oosthuizen +125
- Harris English +130
- Billy Horschel +240
- Brian Harman +250
- Shane Lowry +250
- Corey Conners +333
- Adam Long +333
- Ryan Palmer +350
- Kevin Streelman +400
- Mark Hubbard +700