Good afternoon fellow gamblers, it’s Chris Bengel back with you once again. I’ll be filling in for Tom Fornelli through Thursday and doing my best to make us some money this week.
As a sports fan, how are you not entertained of late? This past weekend provided some terrific postseason drama and some disappointment (I’m looking at you, Phoenix Suns). For the first time in 30 years, we had five Game 7s in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs across Saturday and Sunday. Four of the five Game 7s ended up being decided by one goal and two of them went to overtime.
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As your resident NHL expert at CBS Sports, I’m going to urge you to watch playoff hockey even if you don’t have a horse in the race. The Eastern and Western Conference Semifinals should be terrific with the matchups being Lightning/Panthers, Rangers/Hurricanes, Blues/Avalanche and Oilers/Flames. Trust me, even if you’re not a diehard hockey fan, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are the most high octane action that sports have to offer and you’ll love the theater.
Anyway, we don’t have any playoff hockey or basketball tonight, but I have a pair baseball picks on tap (I actually had three picks for you, but Mets vs. Cardinals has been postponed). Let’s hit the diamond!
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
The Hot Ticket
Latest Odds: Houston Astros +110
The Pick: Astros (+105): — This is one of those situations where I feel like the wrong side is favored. I understand that the Red Sox are the home team and just took two out of three games against the Rangers. However, the Red Sox are just 4-9 at Fenway Park so far this season. I’ll gladly side with the Astros here.
Houston has won 12 of its last 13 games with the only loss coming on Saturday against the Nationals. The Astros rank fourth in home runs (48) and sixth in slugging percentage (.408) across Major League Baseball. They’ve also scored at least six runs in four of their last five games.
It doesn’t hurt that the Astros have thrived against right-handed pitching, as they’ve won eight of their last nine games against right-handed starters. The Red Sox will be sending Garrett Whitlock to the mound, who hasn’t gone more than five innings in a start this season. I’m expecting the Astros offense to continue to thrive and put plenty of runs on the board.
Key Trend: The Astros are 8-1 in their last nine games against a right-handed starter
Nationals at Marlins, 6:40 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Sandy Alcantara Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+125) — The Marlins have quietly developed quite the one-two punch at the top of their rotation with Pablo Lopez and Sandy Alcantara. Aside from a May 1 start in which he surrendered five earned runs against the Mariners, Alcantara has been sensational. Entering Monday, the righty has given up two runs or less in six of his seven starts, including three starts in which he’s only yielded one run or less.
Alcantara has struck out at least six batters in three of his last five starts. He’s also mowed down at least five batters in all but one of his starts in 2022. The trend is certainly there to suggest that he can hit this number with ease. Considering that the Marlins are one of the better hitting teams in baseball, their offense should allow Alcantara to go deep into this game and reach the strikeouts. It’s also never a bad thing when you’re getting a prop bet like this at plus money.
Key Trend: Alcantara has recorded at least six strikeouts in three of his last five starts