MLB

There’s still value on picking the Rays over the Yankees, plus other best bets for Thursday

Hello and Happy Thursday. Judging by the lack of responses I received yesterday about my pitch to buy Italian soccer clubs Salernitana, I have to assume you’re still thinking it over. That’s fine! It’s is a big life decision, and you should think about it before you say yes.

I understand it’s also possible you were interested, but after telling you to bet the under in the White Sox-Twins the last two nights, you’re a bit short on funds. I am not telling you to bet the under in the Twins-Sox game tonight, though. Because the game is being played this afternoon. Don’t worry; I’ve bet the under myself. I’m stubborn.

As for the picks I do have for you tonight, it’s three more MLB plays like last night. As I’ve said in recent weeks, it’s difficult to bet NBA games right now, but I do have some NBA player props tonight for those of you who need your NBA fix.

Before we get to all of that, though, let’s catch up on today’s reading.

All right, let’s be like Pete Rose and bet on some baseball.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Yankees at Rays, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Rays (+120)
: It seems like there’s always value on the Rays against the Yankees. It’s a combination of the Yankees being The New York Freaking Yankees and the Rays being the little ol’ Rays, mixed with people constantly underestimating Tampa. What most don’t realize is the Rays are 32-29 (including the playoffs) against the Yankees since the 2018 season, and they’ve been the underdog in 45 of those meetings. If you’d blindly bet the Rays against the Yankees in those 61 games since 2018, you’d be up roughly 12 units.

It’s been even more drastic since last season. The Rays were 11-4 against the Yankees last season, and they’re 5-3 against them so far this season. Tonight Rich Hill starts for Tampa against Jameson Taillon. Taillon’s ERA of 5.02 is misleading, as he has an xFIP of 3.80, and his strikeout to walk ratio is strong. The problem is the contact he has allowed has been hard contact, and it’s also been flyball contact.

Do the math as to what happens when balls are hit into the air hard.

The Rays offense doesn’t have great overall numbers against righties, but their hard-hit rate of 32.4% against them ranks 9th in baseball. Now, that’s balanced out a bit by the Yankees crushing lefties, but I don’t anticipate Rich Hill going deep into this game. If Tampa can get to its bullpen with the game within reach, there’s a lot of value on it at this price.

Key Trend: The Rays are 16-7 against the Yankees since last season.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: SportsLine’s mad scientists, the SDQL Gurus, are 11-2 in their last 13 MLB picks and they have a play on tonight’s money line too.


💰 The Picks


USATSI

⚾ MLB

Reds at Rockies, 8:40 p.m. | TV: ESPN+
The Pick: Reds (-135) — 
I’m betting on regression here. Cincinnati starter Luis Castillo has a 6.42 ERA after his first seven starts, but the metrics suggest he’s been more than a bit unlucky, particularly when it comes to the longball. So, of course, it’s a trip to Coors Field that I think could be the cure to what ails him!

OK, so it’s also that the Rockies aren’t good, and the Reds lineup can mash. And it’s also that Colorado starter Chi Chi Gonzalez has been smacked around for most of his MLB career, and his swinging strike rate of 6.7% since the start of last season is pathetically low. Luis Castillo still misses bats, and he gets groundballs. I’ll take that in Coors Field over the guy who doesn’t miss bats.

Key Trend: The Rockies are only 19-45 in their last 64 games as an underdog.

Marlins at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Diamondbacks (+115) — 
Am I exposing myself to the chance of looking like a moron for betting against Miami’s Trevor Rogers again? Quite possibly! But I can’t help myself! It’s not that Rogers isn’t good — because he is. It’s mostly that I can’t resist betting against a 16-20 Marlins team as a favorite on the road. Yes, the Marlins have a run differential of +10 on the season, but on the road, they’re 8-11 with a run differential of 0. They’re better at home.

So, I see value on a Diamondbacks team that is 8-6 at home this season and has outscored opponents 82-69 there. It’s also an Arizona offense that ranks second in MLB in wOBA against lefties like Rogers and is second in home run rate against them.

Key Trend: Miami is 1-5 in its last six road games.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Looking for another MLB play tonight? SportsLine’s Advanced Computer Model has an A-graded play on the money line in tonight’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians.


💸 The DFS Rundown


Getty Images

Building Blocks

PG: Ben Simmons, Sixers
SG: Devin Booker, Suns
SF: Michael Porter, Nuggets
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
C: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Value Plays

PG: Malachi Flynn, Raptors
SG: Gary Trent, Raptors
SF: Kyle Anderson, Grizzlies
PF: Freddie Gillespie, Raptors
C: Chimezie Metu, Kings

Full lineup advice

Get winning NBA DFS picks from SportsLine pros Mike McClure and Jacob Gibbs. McClure has won almost $2 million in daily Fantasy, while Gibbs crushed the NBA last season, cashing around 65 percent of the time in cash games and nearly 45 percent of the time in tournaments. See their DraftKings advice and FanDuel lineups here.


 🏀 NBA Player Props

  • Gary Trent Over 25.5 Points, Assists & Rebounds (-110)
  • Coby White Over 3.5 rebounds (-135)
  • Aaron Gordon Under 5.5 rebounds (+120)
  • Carmelo Anthony Under 13.5 points (-125)



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