This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ PM Newsletter, the ultimate daily sports gambling guide. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday afternoon here.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
- Key Trend: Burnes is averaging 7.29 strikeouts over his last seven starts.
- The Pick: Corbin Burnes Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-129)
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been one of the biggest surprises of the MLB season, and as somebody holding an Over 74.5 wins ticket from the preseason, I'm happy to see it. When I bet it, I was thinking more along the lines of a 78-84 season for Arizona, though. Instead, it's mid-June, and Arizona is 43-29, sitting in first place in the NL West and 3.5 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants. Barring an incredible collapse over the second half of the season, I don't see my win-total bet losing.
That said, tonight will not be easy for Arizona. Earlier this season, we made money in this newsletter by taking the under on Corbin Burnes' strikeout prop because, unbeknownst to the books, Burnes was off to a bad start. His strikeout rates were way down, and the adjustment was slow.
Now we're on the other side of that wave. Burnes seems to have figured things out, and the market is slow to correct again. In Burnes' first seven starts of the season, he averaged 4.57 strikeouts and only exceeded this mark of 6.5 once. Over the last seven starts, he's averaging 7.29 strikeouts and has gone over this total in six.
The one team that allowed Burnes to get at least seven strikeouts in his first seven starts? That would be Arizona. Burnes struck out eight Diamondbacks on April 11, which isn't easy considering the DBacks have the third-lowest strikeout rate in MLB. While that's a concern, matchups also matter, and nobody on the Arizona roster has had much success against Burnes. Arizona hitters have struck out in 37.3% of their plate appearances against him, and only one of their 11 hits has gone for extra bases.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: If you're looking for a more traditional play in this game the Projection Model has a solid lean toward one side of the total.
💰 More MLB picks
The Pick: Over 9.5 (-115) -- I don't know who the starting pitcher for the White Sox is tonight, and I don't care. It doesn't matter. Odds are it'll be the recently called-up Jesse Scholtens, but considering he pitched in relief on Friday and Saturday, I don't anticipate him going deep. Whomever it ends up being, it'll be a bullpen game for the Sox, and that's great news for the Rangers.
Chicago's bullpen ranks 26th in MLB in both ERA and home run rate allowed. It's also shorthanded due to injury. On the other side, Texas' Andrew Heaney does not miss a lot of bats and struggles with control. All of that, combined with what should be a warm day with the wind blowing out to right in Chicago, leads me to believe you'll need at least five runs to win tonight.
Padres at Giants, 9:45 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 8.5 (+105) -- The Giants' offense is red-hot at the moment. San Francisco has won seven straight and scored at least seven runs in six of those seven. Their run rate of 19.05% over the last seven days ranks second in MLB, and they've done that despite a HR rate of only 2.2% (20th). That, along with winds of over 20mph to center, have helped elevate tonight's total to 8.5, and I'm happy to fade that number tonight.
The thing about San Francisco's Oracle Park is the wind doesn't matter nearly as much there as it does in other parks. It'll still be cool and hard to hit the ball out of the park. Also, as good as the Giants' offense has been, it will cool off eventually. San Diego starter Michael Wacha has allowed only five runs over his last eight starts (49.1 innings). He may just be the man to do it.