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Last night saw the start of NBA free agency and the league is going to be looking much different next season. The big news is that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are heading to Brooklyn. Durant will be out with an injury for much of, if not all, of the season, but that is still a move you have to make. This is one of the best players in history and I expect him to come back strong. Brooklyn has been a fun team over the past few seasons and now they have the superstars to match. This team is going to be very good, right away. They are also likely to be very surly.
Other big moves saw the Celtics replace Kyrie Irving with Kemba Walker who is a much better fit for their team. The Miami Heat got Jimmy Butler while the Sixers replaced him with Al Horford and Josh Richardson. Milwaukee lost Malcolm Brogdon to the Pacers, but was able to bring back George Hill, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez while also adding Brook’s brother Robin Lopez. Even the Warriors got in on the action by somehow adding D’Angelo Russell to the team.
There was a lot more as well, but the story of this offseason is that there are a lot of teams going for it next year. This isn’t like the past few years where certain teams were afraid to challenge the Warriors. Next year will have a lot of great teams in both conferences, and we still are yet to get a decision from Kawhi Leonard. Free agency is crazy.
Tonight, we are back on the baseball train. Despite a really short schedule, there are three games we like tonight. Let’s get into them.
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MLB Betting Tips:
Today’s tips are all from the Bet MLB System.
Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates: The Cubs are a favorite here, but with Adbert Alzolay on the mound I am left wondering why. He’s made two starts this year and not made it through five in either while allowing too many walks and a homerun in both. His ERA may look shiny, but his FIP and xFIP tell another story as he won’t have a 100% left on base and .000 BABIP for long. This is his first road start at the major league level and I see some struggles here.
He faces Trevor Williams who is beyond due for some regression. He has a 6.00 ERA/3.49 FIP in his home starts on the season. He has a minuscule walk rate, but a terrible 50.4% left on base percentage has been his undoing in Pittsburgh. That can’t last forever. Hopefully, tonight is his night.
Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers: This is going to be a hot one and hot, humid weather typically sees the ball flying off the bat. Looking at the pitchers, today that spells out a Rangers win.
Jose Suarez goes for the Angels and he has a 3.86 ERA/4.70 FIP in limited appearances this season. The homeruns have been a real issue and they could be an issue here again today. Hot weather = hot bats and the Rangers have some boppers.
Mike Minor is a pitcher who has been outstanding this season with a 2.40 ERA/3.72 FIP. He’s done a good job by keeping the ball in the park and inducing a lot of groundballs with a high strikeout rate. The total on this one is set high because of the weather, but I think Minor can have a solid start here.
San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres: The Padres have been trying to gain some ground in the NL Wildcard race and tonight is a good opportunity to get a win on the board. They start Logan Allen who has a 1.38 ERA/2.81 FIP in his first two starts. That should continue as he throws left handed and the Giants are one of the worst teams against left handed pitching.
The Padres face Jeff Samardzija who has having a rough year. His 4.52 ERA/4.73 FIP doesn’t look too bad, but if you look at his last six starts he has allowed 23 runs. He’s allowed five runs in each of his last two and teams are just hitting him right now. I see another awful start here and a big win for San Diego.