MLB

Why the A’s and Red Sox will put up crooked numbers at Fenway Park, plus other best bets for Tuesday

Is anybody else having trouble adjusting back to a more “normal” life? After spending much of the last year at home with a terrific excuse to avoid all the little things a person is supposed to do, I’m bothered by having to do those things again.

For instance, the only time I went to see my dentist was when I had to because I was in severe pain, and it turned out I needed a root canal. There was no scheduled check-up or cleaning. Well, this morning, I had to call my dentist to schedule a routine visit, and I hated every second of it.

It’s not because I don’t like my dentist or that I’m afraid of the dentist. It’s that my natural state of being is not to do anything. I also have to take my car in to get it checked out because it’s time to do so, and I’ve barely driven the thing lately, so it’s probably even more important to make sure everything is in working order.

But I don’t want to! Because then I have things I have to do, and I very much enjoyed the last year of not having nearly as many things that I have to do.

Anyway, while I have things to do, all you have to do is read these stories.

And now for tonight’s picks, which you don’t have to follow unless you want to.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Athletics at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Over 8.5 (-115)
: Boston has been one of the most efficient offenses in MLB to this point. If we look at run rate, which is just the number of runs a team has scored divided by its plate appearances, the Red Sox rank second in the league at 13.81%, just behind Cincinnati. It’s an offense that ranks first in the league in wOBA and second in wRC+. It’s also an offense that puts the ball in play, as the team’s strikeout rate of 22% is the third-lowest in baseball.

All of these are great things on a night where the weather conditions make for a hitter-friendly environment at Fenway Park, and Fenway is already one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league.

The Oakland lineup isn’t one to dismiss, either, as the Athletics offense ranks ninth in the league in wRC+ and isolated power. Neither one of tonight’s starting pitchers has an overly high strikeout rate, which means there should be more balls put in play by both teams, and that leads to a higher chance of runs being scored. 

Key Trend: The over is 23-9-1 in Boston’s last 33 home games.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: SportsLine’s John Bollman is 41-31 in his last 72 MLB picks, and he has a strong play on tonight’s total in Boston as well.


💰 The Picks


USATSI

⚾ MLB

Twins at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 7.5 (-115) — 
Like its neighbor roughly nine miles to the north, Guaranteed Rate Field is a different park depending on weather conditions. In the summer, when temps are typically in the eighties or higher, Guaranteed Rate plays like a little league field. However, in the spring, when it’s still cool, it’s not an easy park to score runs in.

The forecast for tonight’s affair in Chicago calls for temps in the high forties at first pitch and only cooling off from there. That temperature, combined with some winds, will make it more difficult for either team to rely on the longball. That’s worse news for the Twins than White Sox, but it isn’t great news for either offense, and I’m expecting a lower-scoring affair on the south side of Chicago tonight.

Key Trend: The last six games between these division rivals have finished under the total.

🏀 NBA

Nuggets at Hornets, 7 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass
The Pick: Over 223 (-110) — 
I cannot wait for the NBA regular season to end and the playoffs to begin because it has become nearly impossible to get a great read on games. I don’t want to be That Guy, but if the NBA is going to be like every other league and partner up with sportsbooks to promote gambling, the league needs to figure out a way to be more transparent with injury information and player availability.

Anyway, as for this game, there’s value to be had on the over. You know, assuming neither team announces a rash of injuries or rest days 20 minutes before tip-off. While the over has not been an excellent bet for Charlotte home games this season (it’s only 10-23-1), the number for this one strikes me as being a bit low. Denver’s one of the most efficient offenses in the league, and while Charlotte isn’t terrible defensively, I’m not sure it’s capable of doing a whole lot to slow the Nuggets down. On the flip side, Denver’s defensive efficiency has been slipping lately. I’m not expecting this game to fly past the total, but it should get past it more often than not.

Key Trend: The over is 6-1 in Charlotte’s last seven games against teams with a winning record.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model is off to a fast start in 2021, going 44-31 on all top-rated MLB picks. For Tuesday the model has identified a four-leg parlay that would pay almost 20-1.


💸 The DFS Rundown


Getty Images

Building Blocks

PG: Luka Doncic, Mavs
SG: Buddy Hield, Kings
SF: Kevin Durant, Nets
PF: Domantas Sabonis, Pacers
C: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Value Plays

PG: Malachi Flynn, Raptors
SG: Gary Trent, Raptors
SF: Kent Bazemore, Warriors
PF: Jaren Jackson, Grizzlies
C: Moses Brown, Thunder

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


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  • Jimmy Butler Over 35.5 total points, assists & rebounds (-125)
  • Josh Richardson Over 3.5 rebounds (+130)
  • Cole Anthony Over 4.5 assists (-105)
  • Julius Randle Over 7.5 rebounds (-145)



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