Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Mets and Phillies will light up the scoreboard | Weekend Premier League picks featuring Fulham and Arsenal

I’ll be moving next month. After living in my current home since 2013, we’ve found a new house that we’re incredibly excited about calling our own, but there’s one problem-the actual moving part. I wish I could snap my fingers, and suddenly everything that needs to be done in our current house was completed, and all the stuff we’re bringing to the new house was already there where it needs to be, but that’s not possible. At least, I don’t think it is. Is it? Why hasn’t Elon Musk solved this problem yet?

Anyway, yeah, moving sucks. It was so much easier when I was in my 20s and didn’t have anything. I could just pack up my clothes in garbage bags, put the televisions, couch and mattress in the back of a truck, and begin anew somewhere else. It is no longer that simple. At the very least, it gives a person an idea of how much useless crap they’ve accumulated over the years. When faced with the simple question of “do I need this, or can I just toss it,” you’d be surprised how easily you decide to toss something you’ve spent the last decade believing was important to you.

So, yeah, moving is awful. I do not recommend it. Just live where you are forever.

All right, while I decide how badly I need this bobblehead collection, you check out these picks for tonight and the weekend.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Mets at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Over 8

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  • Key Trend: The over is 5-2 in the Mets last seven road games.
  • The Pick: Over 7.5 (-115)

We’ve been betting a lot of Mets games lately, haven’t we? This is the third night in a row we’ve led the newsletter with a Mets game this week, but unlike the last two nights when we bet against the NL East leaders, tonight we’re betting on runs. We’ve got an excellent pitching matchup tonight between Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola and New York’s Chris Bassitt, but if either has looked at the forecast, they may want to consider asking their managers to push them back a day.

The forecast in Philadelphia tonight calls for temperatures in the mid-80s and double-digit winds blowing out to centerfield. Citizens Bank is already one of the hitter-friendlies parks in baseball. It ranks seventh overall according to Statcast’s Park Factors, and it’s also ranked seventh for smacking dingers. Add in heat and wind, and the park gets even smaller.

The Coach is joined by PropStarz, Martin Green and Larry Hartstein to bring you the best bets for Friday. Download and follow The Early Edge on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.  

So, with a total as low as 7.5 thanks to tonight’s pitching matchup, we must take advantage. As good as Aaron Nola is, the majority of contact he allows is the flyball variety, and the 7.8% barrel rate against him isn’t great. He just rarely suffers because he doesn’t allow nearly as much contact as your typical starter. Chris Bassitt doesn’t have Nola’s strikeout rate but draws a lot more groundball contact. Still, he’s prone to the long ball when hitters elevate against him too. So the weather conditions are terrible for both starters.

As for the offenses, the Phillies rank fifth in baseball with a home run rate of 3.49% this season and ninth with a wOBA of .319. The Mets aren’t as prolific with the longball, posting a home run rate of 2.67% (18th), but their .322 wOBA ranks just ahead of the Phillies in eighth.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: We have the backing of the SportsLine Projection Model for the second night in a row, though it’s not as strong tonight. The model has a B-graded play on the over.


💰The Picks

⚾ MLB

Miles Mikolas Getty St. Louis Cardinals

Getty Images

Cardinals at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Arizona Diamondbacks +158

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The Pick: Diamondbacks (+158) — Our beloved Arizona Diamondbacks are being disrespected tonight! Not to the same level the Washington Nationals were last night (we love cashing +310 bets, don’t we?), but it’s disrespect all the same. The Cardinals have built a significant lead in the NL Central and are playing excellent baseball, but they’re being treated as if they’re the Dodgers at these prices. And they are not the Dodgers. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have been pretty respectable this year while playing in a far more difficult division than the Cardinals and would likely be close to .500 and in third place in the NL Central.

Tonight the Snakes face Miles Mikolas, who has been effective for St. Louis, posting a 3.44 ERA over 149.1 innings. But he’s also a pitcher who rarely misses bats, and his groundball rate this year isn’t as strong as in previous seasons. Mikolas has excellent control, which helps him avoid big innings, but it is always hard for me to trust starters who don’t miss bats as favorites. Particularly on the road.

Key Trend: Arizona is 8-2 in its last 10 home games.

⚽ Soccer

Ivan Toney Getty Brentford FC

Getty Images

Fulham vs. Brentford, Saturday, 10 a.m | TV: Peacock

Latest Odds: Brentford +190

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The Pick: Brentford (+190) — This is an odd line to me. I understand Fulham is at home, but it’s a newly-promoted side, and it probably shouldn’t be favored against Brentford. At least, not as much as it is. My initial thought was that Fulham was being overrated after managing a 2-2 draw against Liverpool to open the season, but Brentford just beat Manchester United 4-0 last weekend. If either of these teams should be overrated this weekend, it’s Brentford, but that’s not the case, and that’s fine with me.

Brentford was impressive in its first Premier League season last year and has four points in its first two games this season. It doesn’t look like a sophomore slump is coming, which isn’t a surprise. Brentford is a club that doesn’t have world-class players but has an identity and players who fit the roles they’re asked to play. Brentford also has an outstanding manager in Thomas Frank, who can figure out an opponent’s weakness during a match and make the proper adjustments to exploit it. In other words, Brentford is an excellent team to back as an underdog, especially against a team that will be fighting off relegation all year.

Bournemouth vs. Arsenal, Saturday, 12:30 p.m | TV: NBC

Latest Odds: Over 2.5

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The Pick: Over 2.5 (-130) — We’re only a few weeks into the season, but I’ve identified two core principles on which we might base our entire season. The first is that we’re going to fade Manchester United at every opportunity, but they aren’t playing until Monday against Liverpool. The second is Arsenal overs. Arsenal has been one of the most entertaining teams to watch so far, as Mikel Arteta’s vision is finally beginning to bear fruit, but there’s a long way to go.

As fun and electric as Arsenal have been in attack with Gabriel Jesus and company, they are also a mess when they lose the ball and have proven to be vulnerable at the back. Last week Arsenal allowed Leicester City to score twice despite an expected goals (xG) allowed of only 0.6. But it wasn’t luck for Leicester as much as players being left alone in areas they shouldn’t be and some shaky goalkeeping from Aaron Ramsdale, who strikes me at times as a newborn fawn in net. Arsenal could get this over on its own, but considering the struggles Arsenal has had defending set pieces and that Bournemouth’s size makes them dangerous on set pieces (they’ve already scored two goals on them), I won’t be surprised if The Cherries knick one themselves.

Napoli vs. Monza, Sunday, 12:30 p.m | TV: Paramount+

Latest Odds: Over 3.5

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The Pick: Over 3.5 (+130) — We’ve only had one week of Serie A action, so it’s far too early to come to conclusions, but I have two theories about Napoli. First, this club was written off far too quickly based upon the players who left, without nearly enough attention paid to the talent that replaced them. This team is still good and will compete for the top four in Italy. The second theory is that Napoli could be the Arsenal of Serie A in that it will score a lot of goals while probably allowing plenty too.

That was certainly the case in last week’s 5-2 win over Hellas Verona, and we’ll see something of an encore this week against Monza. We bet Monza last week thinking it was a good value against a Torino side that had lost its two best players, but while Monza was threatening in attack, it was awful defensively. The 2.6 xG allowed last week was the most of any Serie A team, and that was against a Torino side that isn’t likely to light the world on fire this season. So if Torino could put together that kind of performance, what might a Napoli side that scored five times last week do?

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Looking to bet some preseason NFL action tonight? SportsLine expert Larry Hartstein has excelled when it comes to capping Carolina Panthers games, and he has everything you need to know about Carolina’s game against the New England Patriots tonight.


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