Maybe it's just a slow start and Oklahoma will eventually prove itself worthy of that No. 2 spot in the preseason AP poll, but the Sooners barely beat Tulane, barely beat Nebraska, barely beat West Virginia and Vegas suggests they will barely beat Kansas State in Manhattan.
The Wildcats have been a thorn in OU's side lately, winning each of the past two and four of the past nine games in this Big 12 rivalry. Recent history has shown the rankings don't matter. Oklahoma was No. 3 last year and No. 5 in 2019, and Kansas State was unranked for both of those upsets.
But I think Oklahoma's defense is the difference here - the Sooners have held all four of their opponents to 100 rushing yards or fewer, and Kansas State—in addition to being held below 200 passing yards in every game thus far—was just limited to 62 rushing yards in its loss to Oklahoma State. I think Deuce Vaughn will be held in check and OU will finally get their offense going against a banged up K. State defense.
The Wildcats are 4-0 and already have wins over Missouri and South Carolina in which they dominated with their ground game. Factor in a defense that has allowed a top-10 mark of 4.11 yards per play this season, and Kentucky could give the Gators a real scare in Lexington.
The start of the Haynes King era as Texas A&M quarterback was less than stellar. He threw for 292 yards and a pair of scores in a 41-10 win over Kent State, but he also tossed three interceptions (two of them in the red zone) and merely led A&M to 10 first-half points against a defense that had been pretty terrible in recent years. But Aggie QB Haynes King should be able to break out the passing attack today against a mediocre Colorado secondary. This spread feels about right, so not a ton of value here but will take the Aggies to get a slim cover here.
Iowa State's defense was fine last week, but its offense was a hot mess in a 16-10 nail-biter against a bad Northern Iowa team. There weren't many negative plays, however, but the Cyclones had an unusual amount of difficulty establishing the run. And though Brock Purdy completed better than 80 percent of his pass attempts, they simply weren't as potent without star tight end Charlie Kolar, who missed the game with a lower-body injury and questionable for this game today.
Outside of an opening drive in which it went 67 yards in four plays, Iowa's offense wasn't any better in a 34-6 win over Indiana. The Hawkeyes managed just 236 yards of total offense over the game's final 58 minutes as quarterback Spencer Petras completed less than 50 percent of his passes. But because Riley Moss had a pair of pick-sixes in the first half, it felt like Iowa dominated that game much more than it actually did.
In summation, we're looking at two excellent defenses and a pair of questionable offenses that left a lot to be desired in Week 1. I'm not saying we are destined for a repeat of the Georgia-Clemson game that didn't have a single offensive touchdown, but we are talking about a rivalry in which neither team scored 20 points in either of the past two meetings. All things point to this being a low scoring defensive game today.
There are question marks around Tampa’s Chris Archer as this is his first start since April 10 after going down with an injury. Reynaldo Lopez has not allowed a run in his first two starts after looking great coming out of the bullpen this season. Coin flip game, give me the plus odds.
Both Odorizzi and Jon Gray have been middle of the road guys this season, but Jon Gray actually has the better ERA in the 2nd half of the season. Colorado has been awful on the road and Stros are good at home, but Houston has lost 3 of last 4 and I don’t trust Odorizzi at these prices. I like Colorado and plus money as the value bet here.
Both starters are descent but I don't expect either guy to last more than 3 innings. Both pens are solid, but looking at recent trends: 7 of the last 8 games for the Marlins have had totals of 8 or more runs and 11 of the last 13 games for the Padres have finished with totals of at least 8 runs. Nothing heavy but following the trends and shading the OVER 8.
White Sox will pound the Cubs today. 1.) you don't bet against Rodon and 2.) the Cubs are about as injury riddled as a team can be - Nico Hoerner is out with a strained oblique, outfielder Jason Heyward is out with a finger injury, and the Cubs are shorthanded at catcher with Jose Lobaton (sprained shoulder) and P.J. Higgins (flexor tendon surgery) on the IL. Five Cubs relievers are on the IL, including Rowan Wick (strained oblique), Jonathan Holder (strained shoulder) and Dillon Maples (blister).
In his latest pair of starts though, Gausman got banged around a little bit – as the Pirates and Astros put up nine runs across 8.2 innings of action against him (0-2, 9.35 ERA). On the other side, Gallen has struggled mightily this season and enters tonight’s game 1-5 with a 4.61 ERA – which can primarily be attributed to his 5.99 ERA across the months of June.
I’ll make the easy call here and take the Giants run line here, as Gausman boasts a 2-0 record to go with a 1.38 ERA in his pair of starts against Arizona this season, while Gallen sits at 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA against this San Francisco line-up.
After heading into the All-Star Break 3-10 with a 7.70 ERA , Harvey catapulting out of the gates to open the second half tossing 18 consecutive scoreless innings across three starts. Prior to this run though, Harvey’s days in the league appeared to be numbered, considering the 32-year-old went 1-8 with a 9.01 ERA across the months of May and June and while it’s been incredibly entertaining to witness the Dark Knight’s rise, I expect to see Harvey normalize to mediocrity. Taillon, on the other hand, was also a bit underwhelming to open the season for New York, with a mediocre first half of the season, going 4-4 with a 4.90 ERA across 83 innings. But like Harvey, since the All-Star Break though, Taillon has been essentially lights out for the Yankees with an impressive 3-0 and a 0.50 ERA across his first three starts since All-Star Break.
UNDER 9.5 - This is certainly a game the Yankees should win and should be favored but at -260 even the RL is off the board for me. Instead I’m playing the UNDER 9.5, neither offense is great and we’ve got two pitchers that are trending plus the wind is blowing straight in 12-15 MPG at Yankee stadium tonight.And
Plesac is prone to give up a lot of home runs and that doesn’t bode well against a red hot Toronto offense. I like the Blue Jays here but not at -200 odds, so I’m looking towards the total here. All three of Toronto’s games against Kansas City were ‘unders’ and yesterday’s opener in this series was under with a 5-2 score. Toronto will get 3-4 runs off of Plesac and then pile on the Cleveland bullpen. Toronto wins a 7-3 type of game and the overs finally cash.
Foltynewicz that has been routinely abused in his 20 prior starts for the Rangers. Foltynewicz is now a miserable 2-10 this year, giving him the second-most losses in all of MLB. Through 20 outings, he has amassed a horrendous 6.11 ERA. Marco Gonzales has seemed to turn a corner, allowing three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts. Love Seattle here on the low line and OVER 9 is worth a look as Mariners should light up Foltynewicz.
The Reds have won six of their last eight games and four straight on the road. Stroman (2.63 ERA) has pitched well for the Mets, but he hasn’t been getting run support and the team has lost three of his last four starts. Give me Gutierrez and the hotter team, Reds +156 are the value play.
The Rangers won the series opener 5-4 on Tuesday, snapping a 12-game losing skid and improving to 23-25 at home. The D-backs are now 12-41 on the road, the second-fewest road wins in the MLB.
Pick: Arizona has lost five of Bumgarner’s last six starts, but I think the D-backs are a green light special here today. Jordan Lyles has an ERA of 5.20 and has given up 10 runs in last 2 starts over 11 innings of work. Burmgarner has been trending in last couple starts only giving up 2 runs over 10 innings of work. Both offenses are terrible, but you have to give Bumgarner the edge on the mound here over Jordan Lyles.
Nestor Cortes is starting for the Yankees. He has a 1.95 ERA in 2 starts and 8 relief appearances. In last 2 abbreviated starts he's only given up 2 runs in 7 innings of work.
Michael Wacha is listed starter for the Rays. He is 2-2 with a 5.16 ERA in 12 starts and 5 relief appearances. Wacha has given up 7 runnings in his last 2 starts over 9 innings of work.
Pick: Yankees +110 1st 5 Innings. NY has the edge here with Cortes over Wacha as Wacha has a 5+ ERA and has potential to get lit up early. Let's go first five innings because we don't want to mess around with the Rays bullpen which is one of the best in MLB.
Jerad Eickhoff only lasted 3 innings against Cinci in his last start where he got pounded for 7 hits and 6 runs and only threw 76 pitches. Eickhoff has an ERA over 5.00. Charlie Morton has been serviceable all season and has a record of 9-3 with a 3.57 ERA.
Pick: Atlanta will get to Eickhoff so going with Braves RL and the wind is blowing out 12MPH at Citi Field so give me the OVER 9. Atlanta wins a 8-3 type of game.
Gerrit Cole is front and center of the pine tar resin crack down. He is suspected of using Spider Tack which is a clear resin and since the crack down and inspections has lost a lot of his spin rate. We will see what he has today, but I'll take a flyer on Minny +162 here as they have the MUCH better bats....and Cole well he has been cheating.
Michael King has worked mostly as a reliever and his one start against Detroit, allowing four runs (two earned) in 2 1/3 innings. My money feels saver with Eovaldi, the better offense and the plus odds.
This has been the slowest-paced series in the postseason and the only reason for two of the four games going Over the total is due to unsustainable hot 3-point shooting. I also think LA has solved the Mavericks offense + Doncic is not 100%.
***DOG OF THE DAY*** - This is a perfect spot for the Nationals to pull off the big plus money upset. A quick look at Joe Rossâ€™s stats don't look good, but on the road, he has been strong this year, and gives the Nats more than a chance here.
This game is very even and a play on either side is not a good play. Aaron Civale sits with an ERA of 3.40 while Ohtani sits with a 2.10 ERA. Look for both offenses to struggle, especially if Trout is out. The hook on this one has me leaning under 7.5 runs.
The Padres are the better team, but -250 odds is ridiculous. The Rockies offense has been inconsistent but has shown flashes of being strong. Starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzales is also coming off a start against the Reds where he went seven innings giving up four hits and one run. I'm taking a flyer on the Rockies and the big plus odds.
Arizona +180 with Bumgarner? Las Vegas you must be crazy. Over his past five starts, Bumgarner is 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA, 34 strikeouts and two walks. He fanned nine in seven scoreless innings vs. the Marlins last time out. Bueller has been solid but not elite. I really thought this line would be closer to a pick em'.
Fried is starting to find his form and Taijuan Walker is 7th best pitcher in baseball in opponents batting average (1.70). Slight lean with the Mets here just because of the plus odds, but Under 8 is probably the play here if both starters bring their A game.