Hello, and good afternoon. Welcome to the home stretch of your Monday. The NBA and NHL seasons are over, and there are only two MLB playoff series going on. We do still have Monday Night Football, but only one game this week! Don't worry, we'll get to it soon enough, but I want to talk about short memories before we do.
The Chicago White Sox "parted ways" with manager Ricky Renteria on Monday. As a White Sox fan, this was major news to me, but what stood out more than anything was who the rumored replacements were for Renteria in the immediate aftermath. The names that popped up were former Astros manager A.J. Hinch and former Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Two managers who have both won a World Series but currently find themselves out of work because of a minor situation in which it was discovered that their teams cheated, and they were both suspended a year because of it.
Whether or not either end up with the White Sox, the odds seem good that both will have jobs next season, and I find it fascinating. I grew up during the steroid era, and players like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens are still reviled by many baseball fans and media members. They're kept out of the Hall of Fame, but even though what they allegedly did might have been immoral, it was not against MLB rules at the time. I don't sense the same kind of anger about Hinch and Cora possibly returning already.
Now, to be clear, I hold no animus toward any former baseball player from the steroid era, and I'm not all that bothered by the idea of Hinch or Cora managing my White Sox next season. I don't absolve them of anything they did, but I'm also not naive enough to believe that the Astros and Red Sox were the only teams doing what they got caught doing. Nor do I believe they'll be the last.
I'm just interested in seeing the reaction to it all when it happens, and you should be interested in these stories.
- Cincinnati Reds legend and MLB Hall of Famer Joe Morgan has died.
- Dak Prescott had a successful surgery on his ankle.
- The difference in GOATs.
- I wrote about why Georgia still isn't good enough to win a national title.
OK, let's make some money
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Chargers at Saints, 8:15 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Saints -7 (-105): Do you know what's been a horrible idea when gambling on the NFL this season? Betting home favorites. Through Sunday's action, home teams have gone 33-41-1 ATS on the season. Home favorites are performing slightly better at 23-28-1. So what are we doing tonight? We're taking a home favorite! But we're doing it for some very good reasons.
First of all, we're betting on Drew Brees and the Saints at home, which is usually a good idea. Also, we're betting against Justin Herbert. Herbert has been impressive for a rookie, but the "for a rookie" qualifier is important here. Herbert makes a lot of the same mistakes we see all rookie QBs make. In his three starts, Herbert has thrown three interceptions and fumbled twice. Tonight he'll be making his first start without Austin Ekeler in the backfield with him. He'll also be starting behind an offensive line missing two starters in tackle Bryan Bulaga and guard Trai Turner.
Key Trend: Home favorites have been bad bets overall, but home favorites of seven points or more are 12-7 ATS in 2020.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: SportsLine's Larry Hartstein is 7-1 in his last eight Chargers picks, 5-1 in the NFL this week, and 131-98 ATS in the NFL since the start of the 2018 season. And he has a pick for tonight's game waiting for you!
Chargers at Saints, 8:15 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Saints Over 28.5 points (-110) -- I was strongly considering the over for this game, but I don't have enough faith in the Chargers offense. Instead, I'll take the over on the Saints total. Even without Michael Thomas, this is an offense that's been putting points on the board frequently. The Saints are scoring 30.8 points per game this season and 32.0 points per game at home. The only time they've scored fewer than 29 points in any game this season was in the 34-24 loss to the Raiders on the road. Tonight they face a Chargers defense that might not have Joey Bosa -- and will have a limited one at best -- and just allowed Tom Brady to throw for 369 yards and five touchdowns last week.
Key Trend: The Saints have scored at least 29 points in 12 of Drew Brees' last 13 starts at home.
Dodgers vs. Braves, 8:08 p.m. | TV: Fox
The Pick: Under 8 (+100) -- Ordinarily, in a spot like this, the first game of a league championship series with two aces going against one another, we'd see a total somewhere in the 6.5 to 7.5 range. Tonight it's at eight because both of these offenses have raked lately. But that's not why they're here. They're here because they've combined to allow 16 runs to opponents in the playoffs. So we're going to remember that and take the under tonight.
Key Trend: The under is 7-3 in the 10 games these two have played in the postseason this year.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model is heavily favoring one side in the Braves-Dodgers NLCS game at 8:08 p.m. ET. SportsLine subscribers can get picks for that game, and for every other MLB game during the playoffs, here.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Your MVP or Captain
Alvin Kamara -- Sometimes, the obvious choice is obvious for a reason. If you're doing multiple lineups, make sure to squeeze in some Drew Brees and Justin Herbert lineups for balance, but if you're only rolling with one lineup, it's Kamara. He's been the entirety of the Saints offense without Michael Thomas around, and that's likely to continue tonight. Kamara offers a very high floor with a ridiculously high ceiling due to his volume and talent.
High Risk/High Reward
Jalen Guyton -- If you're looking for somebody to put in your lineup that won't cost much and could potentially win you a lot of money tonight, I'd go with Guyton. Even if Mike Williams doesn't play, Guyton's not going to get a lot of targets. That's not his role. He's a deep threat, and in a game where I expect the Chargers to be trailing and in need of deep plays, it's not crazy to think Guyton could find himself on the receiving end of one. Like last week when he caught a 72-yard touchdown against Tampa Bay.
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.