Monday, August 15, 2022

The Marlins continue to be undervalued, plus other best bets for Wednesday

We’re all still waiting to find out what punishment the NFL will hand down to Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, but we may have gotten a sign about how severe the potential punishment could be. The Browns made a trade Wednesday, sending Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers for a fifth-round pick. The pick could become a fourth-round pick based on playing time, and the two teams will split the money owed to Mayfield in 2022.

Now, if the Browns were worried about not having Watson around for a large chunk of the 2022 season, they might have been more hesitant to move Mayfield. At the very least, you’d think they would hold out for more compensation in return. I wouldn’t be surprised if we all have a clearer view of the picture soon.

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As for Carolina, I don’t know if Mayfield makes the Panthers a playoff team, but assuming he’s healthy, it’s safe to assume he’s an upgrade to what the Panthers had.

There are sports on tonight. Let’s bet on them.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

The Hot Ticket

Angels at Marlins, 6:40 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Miami Marlins +140

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  • Key Trend: The Angels are 5-16 in their last 21 road games.
  • The Pick: Marlins (+140)

Are the Marlins the new Rays — a baseball team in Florida that the market seems to believe is bad, even though they aren’t? The Marlins are 39-40 on the year, but their run differential of 15 isn’t far off the run differential of teams with much better records like the Toronto Blue Jays (+18) and, yep, Tampa Bay Rays (+19).

The Marlins are underdogs against an Angels team that is 37-45 and has lost four straight and seven of its last 10. The only reason the Angels are favored tonight is that Shohei Ohtani is starting, which is a strong reason. Meanwhile, Trevor Rogers starts for the Marlins, and he’s been somewhat craptacular (scientific term) in 2022.

Ohtani is also on a heater: he’s allowed one run in his last four starts (26.2 IP) with 36 strikeouts and only six walks. The Angels have won all four of those starts, but their offense has gone AWOL lately, and Ohtani is backed by a bullpen that’s strived for mediocrity most of the season. We’re facing an uphill climb tonight, but the hill isn’t as steep as the price suggests.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: I am not alone in seeing value on the Marlins tonight, as the Projection Model sees it too. It also sees value in a play on the total.

The Picks



Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Under 9

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The Pick: Under 9 (+100) — The Red Sox offense has fallen into a rut, and I’m anticipating Tampa starter Corey Kluber and the Rays bullpen will be able to keep them there for at least another night. Kluber is not the strikeout pitcher he used to be, but he still does an excellent job of pounding the strike zone and avoiding the fat part of the bat.

The wild card tonight is Boston starter Brayan Bello. Bello, 23, is making his Major League debut, and his minor league numbers suggest he’s not the easiest guy to make contact against. He’s struck out 12.1 hitters per nine innings across Double and Triple-A this season, but his control is touch-and-go (3.5 walks per 9). As long as he isn’t overly nervous and walking the ballpark, it’s not crazy to think he can get the Red Sox through a few innings before turning the ball over to a Boston bullpen that’s performed well lately.

Key Trend: The under is 3-1-1 in Boston’s last five home games, and 3-1-1 in the last five meetings between these teams.

Cardinals at Braves, 7:20 p.m | TV: ESPN

Latest Odds: Under 8.5

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The Pick: Under 8.5 (+100) — Long-time readers know that I’m drawn to the under in games between starters who limit home runs, and we have that scenario in play tonight at SunTrust Park. Atlanta starter Max Fried has an above-average strikeout rate, an elite walk rate and induces a lot of groundball contact. He’s also limited opponents to a barrel rate of 4.5%. On the other side, Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas does just as good a job of limiting walks and keeping the ball on the ground. His barrel rate isn’t as outstanding as Fried’s, but 6.1% is still solid.

Mikolas’ ability to keep the ball on the ground and in the park will come in handy against an Atlanta offense that ranks second in baseball in home run rate. Both starters are backed by good defenses and two of the better bullpens in the league. If this total drops to eight by the time you get to it, I’d back off, but as long as it’s at 8.5 or better, it’s a solid bet.

Key Trend: The under is 5-0 in Atlanta’s last five home games.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The Projection Model says the best value on the board tonight is the game between the Red Sox and Rays, but while I told you to bet the total, the model says you should be betting the money line.

Scottish Open Top 10s

Put on your kilts, we’re off to Scotland this weekend. We’re betting each of the following golfers to finish in the top 10.

  • Xander Schauffele (+225)
  • Sungjae Im (+450)
  • Corey Conners (+500)
  • Keegan Bradley (+550)
  • Mito Pereira (+700)

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