Why the Astros shouldn’t be underdogs against Red Sox, plus another best bet for Monday

Good afternoon fellow gamblers, Chris Bengel is back with you. I will fill in for Tom Fornelli through Thursday and do my best to earn some money for us this week.

As a sports enthusiast, how have you not been entertained lately? Last weekend yielded something awesome drama after the season and some disappointment (I’m looking at you Phoenix Suns). For the first time in 30 years, we had five Game 7s in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday. Four of the five Game 7’s were ultimately decided by one goal and two of them went into extra time.

As your regular NHL pundit at CBS Sports, I’m going to urge you to watch playoff hockey even if you don’t have a horse in the race. The Eastern and Western Conference semifinals should be great with matchups Lightning/Panthers, Rangers/Hurricanes, Blues/Avalanche and Oilers/Flames. Trust me, even if you’re not a seasoned hockey fan, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are the highest-octane action sport has to offer and you’ll love the theater.

Anyway, we don’t have a playoff hockey or basketball tonight, but I have a few baseball picks on tap (I actually had three picks for you, but Mets vs. Cardinals has been postponed). Let’s hit the diamond!

All times East, and all opportunities through Caesars Sportsbook

The warm card

Astros on Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB Network

Last Chances:

Houston Astros +105

The choice: Astros (+105)This is one of those situations where I feel like the wrong side is preferable. I understand that the Red Sox are the home side and have just won two out of three games against the Rangers. However, the Red Sox are only standing 4-9 at Fenway Park so far this season. I will gladly side with the Astros here.

Houston has won 12 of its last 13 games with Saturday’s only loss to the Nationals. The Astros are fourth in home runs (48) and sixth in slugging percentage (0.408) in Major League Baseball. They have also scored at least six points in four of their last five games.

It doesn’t hurt that the Astros did well against right-handed pitchers, as they won eight of their last nine games against right-handed starters. The Red Sox will send Garrett Whitlock to the mound, who has started no more than five innings in a row this season. I expect the attack from Astros to continue to thrive and put a lot of runs on the board.

Main trend: The Astros are 8-1 in their last nine games against a right-handed starter


CBS Sports

Nationals in Marlins, 18:40 | TV: MLB.TV
The choice: Sandy Alcantara over 5.5 strikeouts (+125) —
The Marlins have quietly developed a one-two punch at the top of their rotation with Pablo Lopez and Sandy Alcantara. Aside from a May 1 start in which he gave up five earned points against the Mariners, Alcantara was sensational. As of Monday, the right-wing has given up two runs or less in six of his seven starts, including three starts in which he gave up just one run or less.

Alcantara struckout at least six batters in three of his last five starts. He also knocked down at least five batters in 2022, all but one. The trend is certainly there to suggest that he can hit this number with ease. Since the Marlins are one of the better baseball teams, their attack should allow Alcantara to go deep into this game and hit the strikeouts. It also never hurts when you get a prop bet like that for plus money.

Main trend: Alcantara has recorded at least six strikeouts in three of his last five starts

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