MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Oakland Athletics

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All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Phillies at Cubs, 8:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

  • Key Trend: The Phillies are 10-1 in their last 11 on the road and have won four straight against the Cubs.
  • The Pick: Phillies (-120)

I don't know how baseball teams are playing in these conditions. Like so much of the country, Chicago has been dealing with smoky air due to wildfires in Canada. While things have improved since, Chicago had the worst air quality in the world Tuesday, which is not an award you're trying to win.

I live near Chicago and have only been outside for a few minutes at a time. Imagine playing an entire baseball game in it. These teams did, and they'll do it again tonight. I'll be inside, watching on TV, rooting for the Phillies because we're getting good value on them.

We've bet on Kyle Hendricks here recently, but tonight we're fading him because he's facing a Phillies lineup that's had plenty of success against him. In 110 plate appearances against Hendricks, current Phillies have struck out nine times, and six of those belong to Trea Turner. Nobody else on the team has had trouble squaring Hendricks up.

Also, while Hendricks' strikeout stuff has improved this year, he still doesn't strike many hitters out, and his 2.60 ERA has included a lot of luck. Against a Phillies lineup that can mash, all the flyballs Hendricks' has allowed that have stayed in the park so far might find their way to the bleachers. Finally, the Phillies are simply playing good baseball right now. They can ride this wave a little longer.

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Projection Model is with us, but it doesn't feel strongly about it or anything else in this game.

💰More MLB picks

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Marlins at Red Sox, 6:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

The Pick: Red Sox (-110) -- It makes sense the Marlins would be favored on the road against Boston. Not only have they won the first two games by a combined score of 16-3, but they're 47-34, while the Red Sox are 40-41. But the records are a bit misleading. 

Even after being outscored by 13 runs in the first two games, Boston's run differential of +8 on the season is 12 better than Miami's -2. The records may not reflect it, but these teams are much closer in quality than you think, and I see some value in the Sox tonight. Jesus Luzardo has been fantastic for the Marlins, but while he doesn't give up a lot of contact, what he does allow is often hit hard. Plus, the Red Sox hit lefties pretty well. Their .337 wOBA against lefties ranks sixth in MLB. 

Astros at Cardinals, 7:15 p.m. | TV: MLB Network

The Pick: Cardinals (+110) -- If any of my three plays tonight are going to blow up in my face, this is the one, but I don't care. There is value here Yeah, the Cardinals stink, and they've been a major disappointment. Tonight they're sending Adam Wainwright to the mound, and he's been awful this year. He has an ERA of 6.56 and couldn't strike you out.

But you know what? The Cardinals have been decent bets as underdogs. They're only 18-29 as favorites and 9-17 as home favorites. They're 15-17 as dogs overall and 5-5 as underdogs at home. They've also not been that terrible lately. They've won six of nine, and Houston starter J.P. France isn't exactly a Cy Young candidate.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Want another MLB play tonight? The Projection Model has an A-grade on the spread in tonight's contest between the Mets and Brewers.