Dearest reader, we have a major baseball trade to talk about. After years of speculating where Cleveland would one day trade shortstop Francisco Lindor, we finally have an answer.
Congratulations, New York Mets fans, you have a new shortstop. And a new pitcher too! Cleveland is are sending Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to New York in return for SS Amed Rosario, RHP Josh Wolf, OF Isaiah Greene and infielder Andres Gimenez. For any Mets fan reading this who hasn't watched Lindor regularly, take it from somebody who roots one of Cleveland's division rivals: I'm quite happy to know he's not only leaving Cleveland but the American League. It makes the White Sox' path to a division title that much easier. Oh, and he's going to help the Mets too. That's probably the most important part of this deal on your end.
As for Cleveland fans, all I can say is I'm sorry. It sucks to be in a position where you root for a team, knowing that if one of your players gets too good, they'll be shipped out. Lindor is just the latest Cleveland player to move on from a team that came so close to winning a World Series in 2016.
Elsewhere in the world of sports today:
- Speaking of baseball teams with awesome shortstops, have the Padres caught up to the Dodgers?
- Alabama RB Najee Harris finished fifth in Heisman voting and is still vastly underrated.
- Giants owner John Mara doesn't expect Saquon Barkley will be going anywhere any time soon.
- How will the NFL playoffs play out?
Alright, let's get to tonight's picks.
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Mavericks at Nuggets, 10 p.m. | TV: TNT
The Pick: Mavericks +3 (-110): Denver games can be fun to watch. That's what happens when you have a team that is so good offensively and horrible defensively. The Nuggets come into tonight's contest ranked second in the league in offensive efficiency at 1.126, and they rank 27th in the league with a defensive efficiency of 1.116. That poor performance on the defensive end is largely to blame for this team being only 3-4 to start the season, and two of those wins have come against a Minnesota team that is 2-5.
Dallas is somewhat the opposite situation. The Mavs score only 107.7 points per game, which is 9.3 points per game fewer than the Nuggets, but they only allow 105.1 points per game. That's 10.9 points per game less than the Nuggets. Dallas ranks ninth in the league in defensive efficiency and is 15th on offense. It's been the more balanced team, and that's why I like it tonight in Denver. If you want to take the Mavs on the money line, you have my support, but I think taking the points is the safer play.
Key Trend: Dallas has covered seven of the last 10 meetings, including four of the last five in Denver.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: I'm not the only one with an opinion on this game. The Advanced Computer Model's been simmin' up some hot takes.
💰 The Picks
Timberwolves at Blazers, 10 p.m. | TV: League Pass
The Pick: Blazers Over 121.5 (-115) -- We're fading the Minnesota defense the same way we did the other night against the Nuggets. The reasoning is simple: Minnesota's defense is awful. The Wolves rank last in the league in defensive efficiency by a decent margin and are 28th in true shooting percentage against at 119.3%. They come into tonight's game on a five-game losing streak and have allowed an average of 125.6 points in that span. No team has scored fewer than 123 points in any of those games. Portland ranks 12th in the league in offensive efficiency and shouldn't have trouble lighting up the scoreboard at home tonight.
Key Trend: Minnesota is allowing 125.6 points per game over its last five games.
🏀 College Basketball
Cincinnati at SMU, 7 p.m. | TV: ESPNU
The Pick: Cincinnati +5.5 (-110) -- As you longtime readers know, sometimes your humble handicapper just goes with pure instinct rather than numbers. The numbers tell me I shouldn't be taking Cincinnati in this game because it hasn't given us much reason to. The Bearcats are 2-6 and come into this game having lost five straight. But my gut? My gut says different. My gut says this Cincinnati team isn't as bad as its numbers show. My gut says that they've lost five in a row, but only one of those losses came by double-digits, and one of them was a nine-point loss on the road against Tennessee.
My eyes also tell me that this SMU team is 6-1, but it's not a deep team, and it's coming off a 14-point loss to Houston. Houston also happens to be the best team the Mustangs have played this year by a longshot, as KenPom ranks their schedule as the 220th-most difficult in the country. This game is going to be close. Cincinnati's defense will keep it that way.
Key Trend: SMU is 1-4 ATS in its last five games against teams with losing records.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine's Hammerin' Hank Goldberg, who is 19-6-1 with his last 26 against-the-spread picks involving the Saints, has released his pick for Sunday's Wild Card game between New Orleans and Chicago.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Full lineup advice
Get winning NBA DFS picks from SportsLine pros Mike McClure and Jacob Gibbs. McClure has won almost $2 million in daily Fantasy, while Gibbs crushed the NBA last season, cashing around 65 percent of the time in cash games and nearly 45 percent of the time in tournaments. See their DraftKings advice and FanDuel lineups here.