Sunday, August 14, 2022

The total is too low for Giants vs. Brewers, plus other best bets for Thursday

Did you wake up early this morning to watch The Open Championship? Do you call it The Open Championship or The British Open? Does it matter? Are these the kind of things you think about when you wake up at a ridiculous hour to watch golf?

Maybe, but I wouldn’t know. I slept. What’s the point of having a DVR if you can’t use it to allow yourself to sleep and watch all the golf once you wake up, right? Anyway, they’re still plugging away in Scotland, and if you slept through it all like I did but haven’t had a chance to catch up on what’s happened, we’ve got everything you need to know right here. Spoiler alert: It’s not going great for Tiger.

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It will be going great for you if you read these stories, though.

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All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


The Hot Ticket

Brewers at Giants, 9:45 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Over 6.5

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  • Key Trend: The over is 6-1 in San Francisco’s last seven home games with a total of 6.5 or lower.
  • The Pick: Over 6.5 (-105)

My immediate reaction is to take the under because when a total is this low, it’s this low for a reason. But not tonight. Tonight, even though the game is in San Francisco, where offense goes to die, we’re taking the over.

I don’t care that it’s Carlos Rodon going against Corbin Burnes, two pitchers who strike out an inordinate amount of hitters. Burnes’ strikeout rate of 32.4% is 44% better than the league average, while Rodon’s 31.0% is 38% better. But — BUT! — the contact these two allow tends to be the flyball variety, and while Burnes is excellent at avoiding walks, Rodon is merely average.

Furthermore, the Giants went with a bullpen day in yesterday’s win over Arizona. Should Rodon run into some trouble with his command and work up his pitch count (did I mention Milwaukee ranks 9th in the league with a walk rate of 9.2%?) and the Giants have to go to their pen, it could work to our advantage. On the other side, Milwaukee’s pen is rested, and as great as Corbin Burnes is, he has had some command issues lately. Tonight he’s facing a Giants lineup that is fourth in baseball seeing an average of 4 pitches per plate appearance. Milwaukee is first at 4.08. Don’t be surprised if we see more of the bullpens tonight than we typically do when Burnes and Rodon start.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Projection Model wants nothing to do with the total tonight, but it has an A-grade for one side of the money line.


The Picks

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USATSI

MLB

Braves at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Washington Nationals +192

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The Pick: Nationals (+196) — The Braves have dominated the Nationals for a long time, winning 36 of the last 51 and 22 of the last 28 games in Washington. Tonight, the Braves are sending Kyle Wright to the mound. He has an above-average strikeout rate, a below-average walk rate, gets groundball outs by the dozen and has an ERA of 2.97. Meanwhile, Anibal Sanchez will make his 2022 debut for the Nats, and the last we saw of Anibal, he posted a 6.62 ERA in 11 starts for the Nats in 2020.

I’m doing a fantastic job of explaining why you should bet the Braves but telling you to bet the Nationals. The reason why you should bet the Nats is hidden within everything I just told you. The whole world will be on the Braves tonight, and the prices reflect that. Atlanta should be favored, but not at so heavy a price, nor should the Nats be this large of a dog. It’s strictly a value play. You don’t have to like making the bet, but it’s the right one to make.

Key Trend: The trends say betting Washington against Atlanta makes us morons, but some of the smartest people I know are morons.

White Sox at Twins, 7:40 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Over 8.5

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The Pick: Over 8.5 (-115) — The AL Central could be decided in the next four days. The Twins have dominated the White Sox this season, winning five of their six meetings, but the White Sox are still only five games behind them in the standings with half the season to play. Well, if the Twins handle business in this series, they could build a lead that would be too large for the White Sox to overcome.

I feel great about that Twins winning the AL Central (+525) future I advised before the season began. I feel nearly as good about the over in tonight’s game. Neither of tonight’s starters (Sonny Gray for Minnesota, the ageless Johnny Cueto for Chicago) does a great job of getting strikeouts or groundballs. The weather in Minnesota tonight will be to the hitters’ benefit. Plus, the first six games between these teams have been high-scoring, averaging 10 runs per game. 

Key Trend: The over is 4-0-1 in the last five meetings.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The members of The Early Edge have been on fire lately. Check out their favorite plays for Thursday night.


Thursday Night Dingers

We’re betting each of these hitters to hit a dinger tonight.

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