Money Monday

July 17, 2023

Suggestions for early-in-the-week action

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San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds
Great American Ball Park – Cincinnati, OH
7:10 PM ET
SuperBook Line: San Francisco -160

This is a good Monday matchup, as both teams have playoff aspirations and weren’t exactly trendy National League picks at the beginning of the year. The Giants currently hold the top wild card spot in the NL, while the Reds sit 2.0 games back for a wild card and that same margin behind the Brewers in the NL Central. With the second half off and running, these games get more and more important each night. 

Why to like the Giants…

  • Both teams came out of the All-Star break playing the way they ended the first half. San Francisco swept the Pirates and has now won five in a row
  • Cincinnati was swept by Milwaukee and has now lost four-straight games 
  • The Reds scored just three runs in three games against the Brewers, including getting shutout twice by scores of 1-0 and 3-0; their bats are ice cold; the Giants beat Pittsburgh by at least two runs in every game.
  • Projected starter Logan Webb has a 3.14 ERA and is coming off a complete game shutout against the Rockies on July 9; he’ll keep the Cincy bats quiet in an easy San Fran victory.

Richard DeMala’s pick: San Francisco M/L (-156)


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Miami Marlins at St. Louis Cardinals
Busch Stadium – St. Louis, MO
7:45 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Miami -105

There probably isn’t a more disappointing team in baseball this year than the Cardinals. Some folks thought they could win the World Series, instead they sit with a 40-53 record and dead last in the National League Central. Meanwhile, the Marlins (53-42) are in a good position to claim a playoff spot for the first time since the COVID-shortened season of 2020 and first time in a regular year since 2003.

Why to like the Marlins…

  • Miami starter Jesus Luzardo has won two starts in a row and three of his last five, giving up zero earned runs in three of those starts and just two earned runs in the other two; he’s 8-5 with a 3.29 ERA overall
  • Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas has won just once over his last eight starts, and St. Louis is 1-7 overall in those games; he’s given up at least four earned runs in four of those appearances, including four to the Marlins back on July 3 in a 5-4 loss 
  • St. Louis is just 19-26 at home this year, a shocking record considering Busch Stadium is usually thought of as one of the best homefield advantages in baseball; that’s the second worst mark in the NL, with only the pitiful Nationals (15-32) posting a worse number

Richard DeMala’s pick: Miami M/L (-105)


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Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers
Globe Life Field – Arlington, TX
8:05 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Tampa Bay -125

This is an extremely juicy game, as it could be a playoff or even ALCS preview. Tampa Bay has cooled off of late, but the Rays’ 60-36 record is still the best in the American League. Texas isn’t far behind at 55-39, boasting a 3.5-game lead on the Astros in the AL West. Both teams are almost assuredly going to play in October, and one of them could eventually be crowned champion. 

Why to like the Rangers…

  • Texas started the second half with a statement, sweeping the Guardians and doing it in pretty convincing fashion; the Rangers outscored Cleveland 20-9 over the weekend and started a nine-game homestand by busting out the brooms 
  • The Rays are just 3-8 over their last 11 games going back to the first half, including a seven-game losing streak to limp into the break; they came out of the time off better, taking two of three from Kansas City, but the opponent was the lousy Royals and should not be considered much
  • Tampa Bay starter Shane McClanahan has solid numbers on the year, but only lasted three innings his last start, giving up four runs to the Mariners; he made it just 3.2 innings the outing before that
  • Rangers starter Dane Dunning is 8-2 with a 2.84 ERA and has given up two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts; he should guide Texas to yet another win as slight underdogs on Monday

Richard DeMala’s pick: Texas M/L (+100)

Three Things We Learned…

Takeaways from a weekend full of great games and performances

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The changing of the guard

For the last two decades, it seems like one of three men have won every single Grand Slam title. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic simply took turns hoisting the trophies. But with his victory in the Wimbledon final on Sunday, Carlos Alcaraz signaled that a new era is dawning. The 20-year-old rising star is the next generation of tennis greatness, ready to take the torch from the three players who have dominated the sport throughout the 2000s.


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It’s all about the Benjamins

DeAndre Hopkins has finally found a new home, landing in Tennessee. There had been rumors that the talented wideout might end up with the Chiefs or Patriots, but he instead will don a Titans uniform. Why? Because they made him the most-lucrative offer. There’s nothing wrong with taking the most money; the NFL is a violent sport, where careers can end in a flash. But the decision to bypass the chance to play with Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champions does say something about how Hopkins is wired.


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Steph Curry has ice water in his veins

Everyone already knew that Steph Curry was a champion. He and his Warriors teammates have hoisted four Larry O’Brien Trophies. They also knew that he was clutch, as he won a Finals MVP along the way to one of those titles. But this weekend, the deft-shooting guard proved that his coolness under pressure extended beyond the basketball court. He won the American Century Championship, a golf tournament in which he recorded a hole-in-one earlier in the weekend, by carding an eagle on No. 18.