MLB best bets include a Yankees-Mariners surprise and Mother Nature is the top play in Cincinnati

Did you know that there’s a football game tonight? I’m serious! There is a real-life, genuine (preseason) NFL game tonight between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. I’m asking you this because I did not know. It kind of snuck up on me, but do you know what’s more amazing than the NFL preseason starting and me not even realizing it until earlier this morning?

Leo Messi is leaving Barcelona

Yep, that’s happening. One of the greatest soccer players in history, who became an international icon with the Spanish giants, will not be returning. The move comes as more of a surprise than the NFL season beginning because, up until a few hours ago, the assumption was that Messi would return. Both sides still had to hammer out contract details while Barcelona — which is in the midst of a financial quagmire — sorted things out. Unfortunately for Barcelona, they couldn’t do so, and the club announced Thursday that an era was officially ending.

This means Messi is a true free agent now and free to sign wherever he pleases. The prevailing theory is that he’ll sign with French giants Paris St. Germain. Still, it’s not out of the question that he could unite with his former manager at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola, and sign with Manchester City.

Could City, which stole my beloved Jack Grealish from me just yesterday for $140 million, decide to abandon its pursuit of Harry Kane for Messi instead? Possibly! Or maybe Messi will decide to come to the United States and play in MLS.

All we know right now is that his days with Barcelona are over, and it’s not often that one of the greatest players of all-time in any sport hits the open market.

Now let’s win some money with our picks tonight so maybe we can afford Messi ourselves.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Mariners at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Mariners (+183)
: The Yankees are hot right now. They added a couple of big power bats at the trade deadline to mash taters, and now everybody is excited. They’ve won seven of their last 10, and you know what happens when the Yankees start playing well? They become overvalued on the market!

That’s the case here tonight. As you’ll see later in the DFS section, I have Yankees starter Nestor Cortes as the best value pitcher in DFS tonight, but that doesn’t mean the market isn’t overestimating how often the Yankees will win this game. They play up in the Pacific Northwest, where few pay attention, but the Mariners aren’t horrible. For context, the Yankees are 58-49 and two games behind Oakland for the final AL Wild Card slot. The Mariners are a game behind the Yankees.

Jonathan Coachman is joined by Zack Cimini and Matt Severance to dish out Wednesday’s best bets. Download and follow The Early Edge on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.  

Now, other metrics will tell you that, despite the records, the Yankees are the better team, but they’re not so much better that you can justify a price like this on the Mariners. I’d have Seattle a lot closer to +170 than the +183 we’re getting.

Key Trend: Seattle has won seven of its last 10 as a road dog.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model doesn’t find much value on the money line, but it does have a B-grade for one side of the total.

💰The Picks

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Pirates at Reds, 7:10 p.m | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 9.5 (-115) — 
As any longtime subscriber to this newsletter knows, the weather has always played a significant role in how I handicap baseball games. Unfortunately, we’ve been in a bit of a weather drought when it comes to baseball games the last couple of weeks, but thankfully tonight, Mother Nature makes her glorious return in Cincinnati! With the wind blowing in from center tonight, the forecast calls for the kind of rare conditions that turn the Great American Ballpark from a hitter’s haven to a pitcher’s paradise. OK, maybe not a paradise, as the total is still at 9.5, but it provides enough of an edge to provide us with plenty of value on this side of the total.

Key Trend: There aren’t a lot of trends that support this play, but that’s fine. Mother Nature is stronger than trends.

Twins at Astros, 8:10 p.m | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Astros -1.5 (-130) — 
An area I like to attack in my baseball betting after the trade deadline is spots like this. On one side, we have a Houston team competing for its division. A team that sees itself as a legitimate challenger to win the American League and the World Series. On the other side is a Minnesota team that just traded away anything of value and is entirely in “prepare for next season” mode. It’s not precisely tanking, but it’s something of a mid-season equivalent to it, where Minnesota is more interested in figuring out what it has right now that could still be valuable to it in the future. In other words, we’ve got a juggernaut against a regular-not. Blowouts often ensue in these scenarios.

Key Trend: 53 of Houston’s 65 wins (81.5%) have been by two runs or more.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: There’s an NFL preseason game tonight! While I don’t have a pick for the clash between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers, SportsLine expert R.J. White does.

💸 The DFS Rundown

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Top Three Starters

Value Starter

Today’s Top Stack

Value Hitter

Full lineup advice

 ⚾ Keep It Breezy Parlay

A nice, easy two-leg money line parlay paying +135.

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