MLB: AUG 18 Mets at Braves
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If you missed this morning's newsletter, Wajih went over the new balanced schedule MLB released Wednesday for the 2023 season, and I want to say I'm a fan of it. Long story short, teams will play fewer division games and more interleague games. In fact, everybody will play everybody at least once, which makes plenty of sense now that the National League has adopted the designated hitter.

But MLB needs to take it a step further. It's time to realign the entire league. The National League and American League don't need to exist. Baseball might be the national pastime, but it's a regional sport. Change the league to reflect that. New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have two teams, and those teams should compete directly within the same divisions. It should be the case throughout the league. The teams closest to you should be the ones you're competing against. Instead of an AL East and an NL East, there should be a Northeast Division, a Southeast Division and so on.

You can keep the new balanced approach of everybody facing everybody while enhancing the local rivalries that have always driven the sport. I hope it's the next step in MLB's evolution. I also hope you read these stories.

Let's win some money.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Rockies at Mets, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Over 7
  • Key Trend: The over is 18-8 in New York's last 26 series openers.
  • The Pick: Over 7 (-120)

I was very close to flipping the switch on #OperationFadeGrom tonight as the Rockies are one of the biggest underdogs I remember seeing in an MLB game in a long, long time. As of writing, they were listed at +345, while the Mets are at a ridiculous -455. Based on the principle of #OperationFadeGrom and the principle that no professional team should be that large a dog, you'd think this would be an auto-fire.

But it's not because, crazy as it seems, I don't think there's much value on the Rockies at that price! There's some, but not enough.

So we're taking #OperationFadeGrom in a slightly different direction tonight by betting the over. The total is this low largely due to Jacob deGrom being a cyborg sent back in time to destroy the confidence of Major League hitters, but the weather could work against him tonight. It'll be hot and humid in Queens with the wind blowing out toward center, so while deGrom doesn't allow much contact, any ball put in play tonight will have some additional carry. So much so that we might not even need the Rockies to score to get over the total.

Ryan Feltner starts for Colorado, and while he isn't quite as bad as his 5.88 ERA suggests, he's not good, either. He rarely misses bats and allows a lot of hard contact and dingers. Not a great combination, given the offense he's facing and the weather he'll be facing it in. 

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Projection Model is with us on the Over, giving it a B-grade, but if you'd rather bet the run line, SportsLine expert Matt Severance sees more value there.

💰The Picks

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles


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

Latest Odds: Cincinnati Reds +300

The Pick: Reds (+300) -- OK, so I'm ignoring some principles in New York, I can only ignore them to a point. The Reds are a considerable underdog tonight, but the difference between the Reds and Rockies is that the Reds don't deserve it nearly as much in this matchup. Aaron Nola starts for Philadelphia, and he's a stud like deGrom, but he's not deGrom. He bleeds, whereas if you cut deGrom, I think his body would heal itself instantaneously. If only his elbow did the same, but I digress.

The point I want to get across here is that the Reds are not, nor have they been, as bad as the market believes them to be. Having Justin Dunn starting doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence, but he's better than he has been in his first 13 innings of work this season. He's not great, but he's good enough to possibly keep the Reds in this game on a night when the ball should be carrying in Philly as well. This game could get a little sideways, meaning the Reds have more of a chance than you'd think.

Key Trend: The Phillies are only 2-5 in their last seven against right-handed starters.

White Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m | TV: MLB.TV

Latest Odds: Over 8

The Pick: Over 8 (-105) -- There are many reasons why the White Sox have fallen below expectations this year, but one of the biggest is that two of the starting pitchers they expected to lead the rotation have struggled. Lance Lynn began the season on the IL and has since posted an ERA of 5.30. He's also allowed a lot more contact this year, too, and I suspect he'll allow plenty of it tonight.

The same can be said of Baltimore starter Jordan Lyles, who allows even more contact than Lynn, but also walks nearly twice as many hitters. So we've got two flyball pitchers toeing the rubber tonight and a forecast suggesting the ball will get a little extra carry. This is all much better news for the hitters than the pitchers, which makes it a great night to bet an over in Baltimore.

Key Trend: The over is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Baltimore.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine's R.J. White has shared his full slate of 23 -- twenty-three -- futures bets for the 2022 NFL season.