025 San Jose Sharks at 026 St. Louis Blues, 7:00 p.m. CT
Since starting FTBW again last month, this will be my first posted hockey play. Regular readers know that I usually avoid playing big moneyline favorites but I’m making an exception tonight.
Thanks to the Blues’ unrelenting forecheck, the Sharks are worn down. They were gassed and frustrated the entire third period of their Game 5 loss and in their morning stake on Tuesday, a couple of players even got into a small scuffle. With frustrations boiling over, San Jose will also be without Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl tonight. Captain Joe Pavelski is questionable.
While I could see the Sharks playing well in the first period, eventually the wheels will fall off. Martin Jones didn’t play well in Game 5 but the defense was also non-existent in front of him. Meanwhile, Jordan Binnington continues to play at an elite level and the Blues are getting contributions from every player that touches the ice. Since the “hand pass,” the Blues have also outscored the Sharks, 7-1. In a weird way, they seemingly benefited more from that play than the Sharks did. They’re focused, while the Sharks are fighting themselves.
I love the Blues’ chances to wrap up the Western Conference Finals with a win tonight at Enterprise Center. The Blues are expensive on the moneyline (-175) but I’m not going to lay -1.5 on the puckline in case the Sharks keep things close and the game goes to overtime (in that case, I can’t win, even if the Blues do). The home team in every game of this series has been listed between -130 and -140 on the moneyline. For Vegas to increase the Blues’ odds in Game 6 to -175 is an indication that oddsmakers believe this series will be over tonight, too.
Again, I usually don’t lay these kinds of odds in any sport but the Blues are primed to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1970. It’s their night.
The Pick: St. Louis Blues -175 Money Line (Risking 1.75 units to win 1.0 units)
915 New York Yankees at 916 Baltimore Orioles, 6:05 p.m. CT
David Hess faced the Yankees in his last start and allowed five runs in just six innings. He also surrendered four home runs in that outing and is a low-strikeout, high fly-ball pitcher that is capable of a blow up at any point. I took the over on the Yankees’ team total (5.5 runs) against Hess in that start and after scoring five runs in the first four innings, they somehow were shut out in their final five frames to hand me a loss. It was a fluke. With guaranteed ninth-inning at bats and another crack at a bad Baltimore bullpen, I’m rolling with the Yankees’ over again tonight.
The Pick: Yankees Team Total Over 6.5 Runs +100 (Risking 1.0 units to win 1.0 unis)
919 Seattle Mariners at 920 Texas Rangers, 7:05 p.m. CT
This is a bit of a risk but I’m going to play the board and take the over in not only this game, but also on the Mariners and Rangers’ team totals. Seattle is starting Tommy Milone, who owns a 6.38 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP over 144 innings during the past three seasons. His advanced profile isn’t much better, as his FIP is 5.78 and his xFIP is 4.59 over that same span. Making matters worse for Milone and better for Texas hitters, he’s managed only a 16.9% strikeout rate and has allowed 2.3 homers per nine innings over those same 144 innings of work.
Meanwhile, former Cardinal Lance Lynn will start for the Rangers and he’s giving up hard contact at a 40-percent rate. From Mitch Haniger to Daniel Vogelbach to Edwin Encarnacion and Omar Narvaez, the Mariners’ projected lineup is loaded with power. After these two teams put up 19 runs last night in warm and humid Arlington, here’s hoping for an encore tonight.
The Pick: Mariners/Rangers over 11.5 -105 (Risking 1.05 units to win 1.0 units)
The Pick: Mariners Team Total over 5.5 Runs -105 (Risking 1.05 units to win 1.0 units)
The Pick: Rangers Team Total over 5.5 Runs -135 (Risking 1.05 units to win 1.0 units)
921 Chicago White Sox at 922 Houston Astros, 7:10 p.m. CT
The Astros will held to only three runs last night but I expect them to jump Dylan Covey, who will start tonight for the White Sox. Covey is an extreme fly-ball pitcher whose walk rate (16.2%) is somehow higher than his strikeout rate (8.1%). His current xFIP is also a disastrous 7.51 and he’ll face one of the best offenses in baseball tonight. Somehow Houston’s team total is sitting at only 5.5 runs. Perhaps Vegas believes that since Justin Verlander is on the hill that the Astros won’t supply him with much run support but the over is one of my favorite plays on the board tonight. Not only has Covey struggled, but the Astros will eventually face Chicago’s bad bullpen as well.
The Pick: Astros Team Total Over 5.5 -110 (Risking 1.10 units to win 1.0 units)
2019 Betting Results:
MLB: 29-22-4 (+6.15 units)