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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL and MLB Previews and Odds - 05/25/2024

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Saturday sports card features NBA, NHL, and MLB action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Boston Celtics travel to Indiana to play the Pacers on ABC at 8:40 p.m. ET. The Celtics took a 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven series with a 126-110 victory at home as an 8.5-point favorite on Thursday. They have won nine of their last ten games. The Pacers had won two games in a row before dropping Games 1 and 2 in this series. Boston is a 7-point road favorite, with the total set at 222.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The National Hockey League playoffs continue with Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The Dallas Stars host the Edmonton Oilers on TNT and truTV at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Oilers took the opening game of this series with a 3-2 victory in double overtime on Thursday. They have won three games in a row. The Stars have lost two of their last three games. Dallas is a -142 money-line favorite with an over/under of 5.5.The Saturday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Toronto Blue Jays play in Detroit against the Tigers at 1:10 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line road favorite at BetMGM with a total of 8. The New York Mets play at home against the San Francisco Giants as a -130 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. Two more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 2:10 p.m. ET. The New York Mets are at home against the Texas Rangers as a -125 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Baltimore Orioles visit the Chicago White Sox as a -192 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Two MLB games start at 4:05 p.m. ET. The Seattle Mariners play at Washington against the Nationals as a -175 money-line road favorite at BetMGM with a total of 9. The Atlanta Braves are in Pittsburgh to play the Pirates as a -155 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Houston Astros visit the Oakland A’s at 4:07 p.m. ET as a -148 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Two more MLB games begin at 4:10 p.m. ET. The Boston Red Sox host the Milwaukee Brewers as a -148 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Tampa Bay Rays play at home against the Kansas City Royals as a -122 money-line favorite with a total of 8. Two MLB games are on regional coverage on Fox at 7:15 p.m. ET. The Chicago Cubs play in St. Louis. The Los Angeles Dodgers are in Cincinnati to play the Reds as a -155 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 9. The Philadelphia Phillies travel to Colorado to play the Rockies at 9:10 p.m. ET as a -238 money-line road favorite with a total of 10.5. The Cleveland Guardians play in Los Angeles against the Angels as a -130 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The San Diego Padres are at home against the New York Yankees as a -118 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Arizona Diamondbacks host the Miami Marlins on FS1 at 10:10 p.m. ET as a -180 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9.

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2024 Roland Garros (French Open) Preview:

by William Burns

Friday, May 24, 2024

It's already been a grueling 2024 season for all of the players and it's only just getting into the busy time of the year. Fully into the "Clay Court" season after a very intriguing start to the year on the "Hard Court." Injury/Fatigue Woes:  Entering this year's French Open plenty of the top players have been dealing with issues with their bodies. World #1 Novak Djokovic might not be dealing with an injury, but he's dealing with something. As a matter of fact, he's yet to win a single tournament in 2024. #2 Carlos Alcaraz enters the big one "concerned" of his forearm still. Yes, they say he's "pain-free," coming in. However, there have been reports that he is still worried about hitting his forehand with full power. #3 in the world, Jannik Sinner also arrives in Paris with a lingering hip injury. After winning the Australian Open, fans were expecting him to play in Rome (his home country.) He wasn't able to play and everyone is eager to see if he can win another slam despite the setback. Many more players have been forced to withdraw from tournaments and not play due to injuries as well. Hopefully there's nothing to worry about for this tournament, but time will tell.   Giant Opening Round Matchups:  Kicking things off with an epic showdown, tennis fans have already been talking anxiously about the #4 Alexander Zverev/Rafael Nadal match. In what could very well be Nadal's last French Open of his career, he will have to go through one of today's best players in order to make a run at glory once again. Zverev knows that this match will not be easy, even considering Nadal's current form and health. This one is MUST-WATCH TV. (Zverev is -400) In a battle of the so-called veteran, we will get to watch the 39 & 37 year old's Stan Wawrinka/Andy Murray showdown in the opening round. Yes, it might not be as exciting of a match than the first one that I mentioned. However, this is a match that long time Tennis fans will be tuning into. Stan has won 16 tournaments (three grand slams) in his time in the tennis world including one in this very tournament back in 2015. On the other hand, the Brit has won 46 titles (three grand slams) over the course of his career. No, he's never won the French. But, he has featured in a final back in 2016. (Wawrinka is -200) On the women's side, a very good matchup will be #23 Anna Kalinskaya/Clara Burel. Both of these women are extremely talented and enter the tournament in the top 50 in the world. Kalinskaya hasn't really been all that impressive on Clay so far. But, she's coming off an excellent Quarter-Final finish in Australia and she's already beaten world #1 Iga Swiatek this season. For Clara Burel, she's not as well known in the tennis world. She made it to the Rof32 in the Australian Open, and will continue to push each and every one of her opponents. This should be a fascinating watch.  (Kalinskaya is -145) Potential Look-Ahead Matchups:Hopeful of yet another Grand-Slam win to his name, Novak Djokovic will have probably the easiest path to the final with #3 Sinner and #2 Alcaraz on the other side. If Rafa Nadal somehow manages to make it that far, a Semi Final matchup with Djokovic would be epic. Looking at the women's draw, #2 Aryna Sabalenka & #4 Elena Rybakina are on the same side. A match between former #1 Naomi Osaka and current #1 Iga Swiatek could very well happen in the second round. Overall many very interesting matchups could play out over the course of this tournament.  Odds to Win (via. DraftKings:) Men's: Carlos Alcaraz +260Novak Djokovic +330 Jannik Sinner +450Alexander Zverev +700Stefanos Tsitsipas +850 Casper Ruud +1200Andrey Rublev +2500Rafael Nadal +2500Daniil Medvedev +3000 Holger Rune +4000Women's: Iga Swiatek -165 Aryna Sabalenka +550 Coco Gauff +900 Elena Rybakina +1000Danielle Collins +2000 Jalena Ostapenko +4000 Maria Sakkari +5000 Qinwen Zheng +5000 Mirra Andreeva +6000 Ons Jabeur +6500  Burns' French Open 2024 Projections:  It's very hard to go against the two favorite's to win the whole thing. That being said, I do expect both Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek to come away with the French Open this year. They are both just way too talented on clay and I don't see them losing. A couple of players that could also win are Novak Djokovic (of course,) Jannik Sinner and Rafael Nadal (if he's playing his best) on the Men's side. For the women, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina could also win with a bit of luck. The top four women at the moment are simply much better than the rest of the field. Therefore, I believe that it's almost a guarantee that one of them wins. Best Bets: Carlos Alcaraz +260 to Win & Iga Swiatek -165 to Win. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL and MLB Previews and Odds - 05/24/2024

by Big Al Staff

Friday, May 24, 2024

The Friday sports card features NBA, NHL, and MLB action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The Minnesota Timberwolves host the Dallas Mavericks on TNT and truTV at 8:35 p.m. ET. The Mavericks took Game 1 of this series with their 108-105 upset victory as a 4.5-point underdog on Wednesday. They have won five of their last six games. The Timberwolves have lost four of six games. Minnesota is a 5.5-point favorite, with the total set at 207.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The National Hockey League playoffs continue with Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Florida Panthers travel to New York to play the Rangers on ESPN at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Panthers took a 1-0 series lead with a 3-0 shutout victory at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. They have won five of their last six games. The Rangers have lost three of their last four games. Florida is a -112 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The Friday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:40 p.m. ET. The Toronto Blue Jays play in Detroit against the Tigers as a -122 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The Atlanta Braves are in Pittsburgh to play the Pirates. The Seattle Mariners visit Washington to play the Nationals at 6:45 p.m. ET as a -138 money-line road favorite at BetOnline with an over/under of 8. The Kansas City Royals play in Tampa Bay against the Rays at 6:50 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line road favorite with a total of 8. Four MLB games start at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Los Angeles Dodgers are in Cincinnati to play the Reds as a -162 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 10. The New York Mets play at home against the San Francisco Giants as a -135 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Boston Red Sox are home against the Milwaukee Brewers on Apple TV+ as a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The Minnesota Twins host the Texas Rangers as a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Baltimore Orioles travel to Chicago to play the White Sox on Apple TV+ at 7:40 p.m. ET as a -258 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Chicago Cubs play in St. Louis against the Cardinals at 8:15 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Philadelphia Phillies are in Colorado to play the Rockies at 8:40 p.m. ET as a -205 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 11. The Los Angeles Angels play at home against the Cleveland Guardians at 9:38 p.m. ET as a -115 money-line favorite with a total of 8. Three more games close out the MLB card at 9:40 p.m. ET. The Houston Astros visit Oakland to play the A’s as a -170 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Arizona Diamondbacks are at home against the Miami Marlins as a -198 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The New York Yankees play in San Diego against the Padres as a -155 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, and MLB Previews and Odds - 05/23/2024

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Thursday sports card features NBA, NHL, and MLB action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Boston Celtics host the Indiana Pacers on ESPN at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Celtics won the opening game of this best-of-seven series with a 133-128 victory as a 10-point favorite on Tuesday. They have won eight of their last nine games. Indiana had won two games in a row before the loss. Boston is a 9-point favorite, with the Total set at 204.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The National Hockey League playoffs continue with Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. The Dallas Stars play at home against the Edmonton Oilers on TNT and truTV at 8:40 p.m. ET. The Stars won for the fourth time in their last five games with a 2-1 victory at Colorado last Friday to end that series in six games. The Oilers won for the third time in four games with their 3-2 victory at Vancouver in Game 7 of that series on Monday. Dallas is a -130 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6.The Thursday card in Major League Baseball has eight games on its schedule. Two MLB games throw out the first pitch at 12:35 p.m. ET. The Pittsburgh Pirates are at home against the San Francisco Giants. The Giants won for the fifth time in their last six games with their 9-5 victory against the Pirates in 10 innings yesterday. Pittsburgh had won two games in a row before the loss. Mason Black gets the ball for San Francisco to pitch against Paul Skenes for the Pirates.The New York Yankees host the Seattle Mariners after their 7-3 victory against them on Wednesday, which ended their two-game losing streak. The Mariners had won two games in a row before that loss. The Yankees tap Luis Gil to battle against the Mariners' Luis Castillo. New York is a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Philadelphia Phillies play at home against the Texas Rangers at 1:05 p.m. ET. The Phillies are on a five-game winning streak after their 11-4 victory against the Rangers yesterday. Texas is on a three-game losing streak. Zack Wheeler gets the ball for Philadelphia to face Andrew Heaney for Texas. The Phillies are a -205 money-line favorite with an over/under of -205 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5.The San Diego Padres travel to Cincinnati to play the Reds at 1:10 p.m. ET. The Padres ended a two-game losing streak with their 7-3 victory on the road against the Reds yesterday. Cincinnati has lost four of their last five games. Matt Waldron takes the mound for San Diego to duel against Frankie Montas for the Reds. Both teams are priced at -110, with a total of 9.5. The Atlanta Braves play in Chicago against the Cubs at 2:20 p.m. ET. The Braves won their second game in the last three games in a 9-2 victory against the Cubs yesterday. Chicago has lost four of their last six games. Neither team has yet to name their starting pitcher as of Wednesday night. Atlanta is a -125 money-line road favorite at BetMGM with an over/under of 9. The Oakland A's are at home against the Colorado Rockies at 3:37 p.m. ET. The Rockies ended their four-game losing streak with a 4-3 win in 12 innings against the A's yesterday. Oakland lost for the ninth time in their last ten games. The A's turn to Joey Estes to pitch against Colorado's Ryan Feltner. Oakland is a -125 money-line favorite with a total of 8.The Toronto Blue Jays are in Detroit to play the Tigers at 6:40 p.m. ET. The Blue Jays won for the third time in their last four games with a 9-2 victory at home against the Chicago White Sox yesterday. The Tigers are on a four-game losing streak after an 8-3 loss at Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon. Toronto has yet to name their starting pitcher to face Jack Flaherty for Detroit. The Blue Jays are a -120 money-line road favorite at BetMGM with an over/under of 7.5.The Baltimore Orioles visit Chicago to play the White Sox at 7:40 p.m. ET. The Orioles lost for the third time in their last four games after a 5-4 setback at St. Louis on Wednesday. The White Sox lost for the fifth time in six games with their loss to the Blue Jays yesterday. Grayson Rodriguez takes the hill for Baltimore to battle against Mike Clevinger for Chicago. The Orioles are a -230 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, and MLB Previews and Odds - 05/22/2024

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Wednesday sports card features NBA, NHL, and MLB action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. The Minnesota Timberwolves host the Dallas Mavericks on TNT and truTV at 8:35 p.m. ET. The Timberwolves are on a two-game winning streak after their 98-90 upset victory on the road against Denver as a 4.5-point underdog in Game 7 of that series on Sunday. The Mavericks won for the fourth time in their last five games with a 117-116 victory against Oklahoma City as a 4-point favorite in Game 6 of that series on Saturday. Minnesota is a 4-point favorite, with the total set at 208 (all odds from DraftKings).The National Hockey League playoffs continue with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. The New York Rangers play at home against the Florida Panthers on ESPN at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Rangers ended a two-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory at Carolina in the sixth game of that series last Thursday. The Panthers won for the fourth time in five games with a 2-1 victory at Boston in the sixth game of that series on Friday. Florida is a -115 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5.The Wednesday card in Major League Baseball has 15 games on its schedule. The Minnesota Twins travel to Washington to play the Nationals at 1:05 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. The Cleveland Guardians are at home against the New York Mets at 1:10 p.m. ET as a -130 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Baltimore Orioles play in St. Louis against the Cardinals at 1:15 p.m. ET as a -142 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Two more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 2:10 p.m. ET. The Houston Astros host the Los Angeles Angels as a -192 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9. The Detroit Tigers are in Kansas City to play the Royals as a -115 money-line road favorite with a total of 7.Four MLB games start at 6:40 p.m. ET. The San Diego Padres visit the Cincinnati Reds as a -122 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 9.5. The Pittsburgh Pirates play at home against the San Francisco Giants as a -125 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the Texas Rangers as a -142 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Milwaukee Brewers play in Miami against the Marlins as a -135 money-line road favorite with a total of 7.5. The Tampa Bay Rays host the Boston Red Sox at 6:50 p.m. ET as a -125 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The New York Yankees play at home against the Seattle Mariners at 7:05 p.m. ET as a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Toronto Blue Jays are at home against the Chicago White Sox at 7:07 p.m. ET as a -230 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Atlanta Braves are in Chicago to play the Cubs at 7:40 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line road favorite. The Oakland A’s host the Colorado Rockies at 9:40 p.m. ET as a -135 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 10:10 p.m. ET as a -285 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.

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UEFA Euro Cup Group Betting (2024)

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Most of the domestic leagues in Europe have come to an end for the season and that means that the 2024 European Championship is right around the corner now. The first match of the competition is set to kick off on Friday, June 14, between Scotland and the host nation Germany. Italy are the defending champions from the 2020 Euro Cup that was played back in 2021. Italy was +1000 to win the tournament back in the 2020 Euro Cup so there is always plenty of value to be found in these competitions, and not just with picking a winner outright. There are many different ways to bet on the competition, one of them being with the various group betting markets, so here is a list of the best bets to make for the group stage of the 2024 Euro Cup. Group Winner Scotland +800: Scotland is coming into this competition at +800 to win their group since they are in the same group as the host nation, but there is no reason why they should be priced as the worst team in the group when they are in a group where they are not the worst team by far. Scotland has done a lot to improve over the last year as they have a lot of young talent that has been breaking out for their various teams in the Premier League. Scotland also dominated their group during the qualification stage as they finished 2nd place to Spain but did have a win over the group winners. Scotland is in a group with Germany, Switzerland, and Hungary. Hungary is really the worst team in this group and should be priced accordingly, but even so, they have given Germany a lot of trouble in their recent meetings over the last few years and that is something that is going to help Scotland win this group as Hungary will steal some points with some draws from the others. Switzerland is priced as the 2nd best team in this group but they were not that good in their group of the qualifying phase as they struggled to beat some of the weaker teams in their group and ended up with a lot of draws which made winning the 2nd spot very close in the end. Finally, Germany is priced as the heavy favorite in this group due to being the host nation, but that is completely absurd for a team that has not played in a meaningful competition since failing to make it out of the group stage at the last World Cup in 2022, and for a team that has also failed to make it out of the group stage in 2 of their last 3 competitions on the world stage. Germany is also transitioning to a new manager as they sacked their manager after the last World Cup, but they have not had a real match to play in under their new manager and Scotland gets them on opening night which could spell trouble for the host nation. Scotland has the quality to win this group and are in the best situation to do so. There is a lot of value in Scotland at +800 to win Group A. Spain -125: Spain is coming into this competition at -125 to win their group and they are the best team in their group despite having some stronger competition. Spain has improved a lot over the last few years as they made it past the group stage at the last Euro Cup and the last World Cup as well, but they finally showed some results last year in the UEFA Nations League Final as they were the ones to win it. This team has been growing over the last year and they are only going to be hungry to go deep into this tournament. They are in a group with Italy, Croatia, and Albania. Albania was able to qualify from the group qualifications as they were heating up to end their campaign in that group, but they also played in a much weaker group and did not have a lot of strong opponents to play against. They had it too easy in the group qualifying, but now they are in one of the stronger groups in this tournament and it will be tough for them to steal a point from any of the teams. Croatia could be a threat in this group as they finished 3rd at the last World Cup and have had a lot of success on the world stage over the last few years, making quite a few deep runs in these competitions over the last few years, but this is also a Croatia squad that has been aging and as much experience as they have on their side, these players are still 2 years older than they were at the World Cup and a few of their core players are nearing the ends of their careers as well. Croatia can still be a threat in this tournament, but Spain has the talent to deal with them as they actually beat Croatia in the UEFA Nations League Final last year. Italy are the defending champions of this tournament but a lot has happened since they won the 2020 Euro Cup. Italy missed the last World Cup in 2022 after winning the 2020 Euro Cup and now they are in a transition phase with a new manager who has completely changed the style of play that this team has been used to for years. Italy could be a threat since they did win less than 4 years ago and have a much better manager now that has injected some youth into the squad, but there is still too much instability with this team which will give Spain an advantage when they play. Spain also beat them in the UEFA Nations League Semi Final last year. Spain has been a much improved team over the last few years and they are good enough to win this whole tournament so there is a lot of value at this price to win their group. Spain will win Group B at -125. Bottom of the Group Poland -138: Poland is coming into this competition priced at the bottom of their group and for good reason. They are -138 to finish at the bottom of the group. They did get out of the group at the last World Cup, but they only went 1-1-1 in the group stage and made it out on goal difference. Poland is already a much weaker team that has been on the decline over the last few years despite still finding ways to qualify for these tournaments, but that good fortune is coming to an end soon. They are in a group with France, Netherlands, and Austria. France is the favorite to win the group and that is no surprise as they went to the final of the last World Cup and have been a dominant force in these competitions over the last few years, winning the World Cup back in 2018 and going deep in every competition since then. France has one of the best teams in the world and there is no way that Poland rips away any points from them as they did lose 3-1 to France at the last World Cup as well. Netherlands is next in the group and it is tough to see Poland ripping away any points from them either. Netherlands was in the final four of the UEFA Nations League last year as well as making it past the group stage at the last World Cup, losing to Argentina who went on to win it all. They have a very good team that is clinical with their decision making on the pitch and they are not going to have much trouble getting out of this group, other than their match against France who they struggled against in the qualification group. Austria is the 3rd team in this group and the one that Poland would likely be fighting with, but Austria was a dominant team in their qualifying group and have improved a lot over the last year with a lot of talented players in their squad having break out seasons at their domestic league clubs. Austria is going to be a real threat in this group to be one of the teams that qualifies in 3rd place and this is really the team Poland will need a result against to avoid the bottom of the group, but Austria has been improving while Poland has been on the decline so as it stands, Austria has the much better squad in this tournament. Poland is going to finish at the bottom of this group and they will fail to qualify out of the group stage. There is a lot of value in Poland at -138 to finish at the bottom of Group D. Slovakia -125: Slovakia is coming into this competition at -125 to finish at the bottom of their group. Slovakia was a dominant team in their group during the qualifying stage as they won every match in the group except for 2 which they lost, but both of those losses came against Portugal who was the team to finish higher than them. They were very good against every other opponent in the group, but they also had one of the weakest qualifying groups with teams like San Marino, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Iceland, and Bosnia. They did not really play any strong opponents in that group and that is going to be very different here as they are in a group with Belgium, Ukraine, and Romania. Belgium is the big favorite to win this group and they are really the only real powerhouse team in this group so on the surface it does not look so bad for Slovakia, but the other 2 teams in the group are certainly no pushovers despite not being powerhouses. Belgium failed to make it out of the group stage at the last World Cup but they dominated the qualifying group for this tournament and are by far the best team in this group. Belgium will also be playing with something to prove here after failing to get out of the group stage at the last World Cup. Ukraine is listed as the 2nd team in this group and although they do not have a real star on their team, they still have a lot of talented players that have been having great seasons like some of their Premier League players. Ukraine also has a bit of an advantage here since they have not been able to play home matches at home for a while now so they have plenty of experience playing at neutral locations over the last few years. Romania comes in as the 3rd team in this group but they actually had a very impressive campaign in the qualifying group. They won their group in the qualifying phase and beat out Switzerland who was the favorite to win that group. Romania is another team that has been improving over the last year and although they are not a real threat to win this group, Slovakia is certainly a team they can beat as Romania will be right there fighting for a 3rd place qualification. Slovakia is not in a group with a lot of overpowering teams, but they will still be lucky to even get a point in this group. There is a lot of value in Slovakia at -125 to finish at the bottom of Group E. Group Qualification Scotland -138: Scotland was already covered earlier as a possible group winner for Group A and they are coming into this competition at -138 to qualify out of the group stage. For all the same reasons mentioned above, Scotland has a real chance to win this group with the way they have been building their squad over the last year so there is a lot of value in Scotland at -138 to qualify from the group stage as they have the ability to win this group and even if they cannot win the group, they are sure to finish high enough to qualify. Austria -110: Austria is coming into this competition at -110 to qualify from the group stage. This is a reasonable price since they are the 3rd best team in the group from a talent perspective, sitting behind 2 powerhouse teams in France and the Netherlands, but considering the way this qualification works with the 4 best teams that finished in 3rd place advancing, this is a very good price for an Austria team that has a very good squad and will find themselves qualifying in the 3rd place spot. It will be tough for them to rip points away from France with the form France has been in over the last year, but the Netherlands have been vulnerable with their defense so it would not be shocking to see Austria come away with a draw there. Even if they do not, Austria is going to beat Poland as they are the better team that has been improving over the last year while Poland has been on the decline, and that 3 points alone could be enough for Austria to qualify. Austria has a very underrated squad coming into this tournament and they have a team that can do some real damage. There is a lot of value in Austria at -110 to qualify from the group stage. 

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Five Things to Know Before the NHL Conference Finals

by Vegas Writer

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

With the NHL Conference Finals set to begin Wednesday night, here are five things you should know about the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs that might help you with your handicapping of this next round:1. Three of the 34 comeback wins during the playoffs were during series-clinching victories in the conference semifinals, with the Rangers, Panthers and Stars combining the seventh instance in Stanley Cup Playoffs history of three teams rallying for a series-clinching comeback win in the second round. And even more impressively, each of those victories took place on the road. Be wary of your in-game wagering, as 49% of games this postseason have been comeback wins.2. After half the games in the first round were won by the visiting club (22 of 44 games played), road teams carried the momentum into the second round and registered a 16-9 mark to set a playoffs record for most such victories in the conference semifinals. The four conference finalists all clinched a spot in this round with a road victory, including Florida and Dallas, which both went undefeated as visitors in the conference semis (3-0).3. The 15 games decided by a one-goal margin tied 2015 for the second-most during a second round in Stanley Cup Playoffs, so beware of laying the puck line with these remaining games. The 36 one-goal contests during the 2024 playoffs rank 10th in NHL history through 69 games played and are the highest such total at this stage since 2017.4. Looking for a reason to bet the Under in Games 1 and 2? Make note the conference semis delivered the sixth in NHL history in which all four series required at least six games. Overall, there have been three Game 7s this postseason, marking the 17th consecutive playoffs with at least three.5. Which team has motivation? Well, for the first time in NHL history, each conference finalist is looking to claim its first championship in 20-plus years. The Stars (1999), Rangers (1994) and Oilers (1990) all won their last Cup in the 1990s, while the Panthers (30th season) are still in search of their first Cup.

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UEFA Euro Cup Futures (2024)

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Most of the domestic leagues in Europe have come to an end for the season and that means that the 2024 European Championship is right around the corner now. The first match of the competition is set to kick off on Friday, June 14, between Scotland and the host nation Germany. Italy are the defending champions from the 2020 Euro Cup that was played back in 2021, but with the start of the tournament now just a few weeks away, it is time to see if Italy can repeat or if there will be a new champion crowned this year. To Win Outright England +300: England is coming into this tournament as the team with the best chance to lift the trophy according to the oddsmakers. England has had a lot of success in these competitions in recent years as they went to the final at the last Euro Cup, losing to Italy in penalties after a 1-1 draw, and they also made a deep run at the last World Cup, losing 2-1 to France in the quarterfinal. They did manage to get themselves relegated from group A in the UEFA Nations League between the Euro Cup and the World Cup, but they corrected their poor form recently as they dominated the group they were in the qualification stage for this tournament. England also has a very favorable group so they are very likely to get out of it in a good position, and they have shown they can make deep runs in these kinds of competitions with their performance in the last 2. They also have a team that is overflowing with talent at all positions and very well do have one of the best squads in the competition this year, but that is also one of their biggest problems as well. One of their biggest problems as a club is actually on the managerial side of things as Gareth Southgate has made some bad decisions over the last few years when picking players for the starting XI and there was even speculation that he was going to be gone after the last World Cup. England failed to pull the trigger on that decision and that could come back to bite them at the later stages in this tournament. England does have one of the best teams in the tournament but there is no real value in them at this price with a manager that cannot be trusted to make the right decisions deep in this tournament, especially with the pressure to perform on their shoulders, and there are also teams that are just as talented at a much better price. England does not have a lot of value here. France +400: France is coming into this tournament as the team with the next best chance at lifting the trophy according to the oddsmakers. France has been one of the best teams in the world going back to 2016 with their consistency on the world stage. They went to the final of the 2016 Euro Cup which they lost to Portugal in, but then they followed it up with a World Cup back in 2018. They ended up getting knocked out of the last Euro Cup in the Round of 16 by Switzerland, but they once again had a deep run at the last World Cup in Qatar as they went all the way to the final, losing to Argentina in penalties after a 3-3 draw. France has been in great form since then as well, dominating the group they were in to qualify for this tournament. They do have a tougher group in the group stage of this competition, but they are still the best team by far and should have no problem getting out of the group. France also has a squad that is loaded with talent at all positions and they have a lot of attacking talent that can score goals which they are going to lean on, but this team is not nearly as strong defensively and can be easily exploited deeper in the competition against a team with the right attack. This was evident in their last meaningful competition that they played in at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as they allowed at least 1 goal in 6 of their 7 matches played in the tournament, including 3 goals allowed to Argentina in the final. France definitely has the talent to make a deep run in this tournament as well as the experience from some very good performances on the world stage over the last few years, but they also have a defense that is not very sound and teams will exploit that as they get to the later stages. They have also performed much better at the last 2 World Cups than they have at the last 2 Euro Cups, winning the 2018 World Cup and going to the final in 2022 while losing in the final of the 2016 Euro Cup and losing in the Round of 16 in 2020. France does have some value here as they have been crowned champions on the world stage over the last few years, but they also have a defense that could get them into a lot of trouble so there is not a lot of value in them at this price.  Germany +550: Germany is coming into this tournament as the team with the next best chance at lifting the trophy according to the oddsmakers. Germany is getting a lot of love here since they are the host nation for this tournament and will have the home crowd behind them in every game, but other than the home crowd on their side, they really have nothing going for them here. Germany has been awful in these competitions over the last few years as they have been on the decline as a team and they really have no chance at winning this tournament compared to the strength of some of the other teams in this competition. The last significant run that Germany had in one of these competitions was back in the 2016 Euro Cup when they lost to France in the semifinal. Since that tournament, they have been a complete disaster as they failed to make it out of the group stage in the 2018 World Cup, followed that up with a loss in the Round of 16 of the 2020 Euro Cup after a 1-1-1 group stage, and then they failed to make it out of the group stage again at the 2022 World Cup which was the last meaningful competition they played in. They have hired a new manager since the last World Cup, but they also face the problem of having automatic qualification from being the host nation so they have not played in a single meaningful competition since that group stage exit at the last World Cup and they have not even played a meaningful match yet under their new manager either. This team is also lacking in talent at various positions, and they have the same players on defense that have caused so many defensive problems over the last few years. There is no value in Germany to lift the trophy at this price as they have no real shot at winning this tournament. Portugal +800: Portugal is coming into this tournament as the team with the next best chance at lifting the trophy according to the oddsmakers. Portugal did not make it past the Round of 16 in the last Euro Cup but they were much better at the last World Cup as they went to the quarterfinal before getting kicked out by Morocco. They were very good in the qualification stage as they won every single match in their group and they have a very potent attack that has been scoring lots of goals for them going back to the World Cup. Their defense was a big problem in the World Cup as they did allow at least 2 goals in 2 of their 3 matches of the group stage and even lost in a 1-0 match to Morocco in the quarterfinals, Morocco not having a very strong attack either. They have fixed some of their defensive woes since then as they only allowed 2 goals in their 10 qualifying matches for this tournament, keeping 9 clean sheets in those 10 matches. Portugal was in a tough spot during the last World Cup as they were transitioning from Ronaldo being the guy to a team with some younger players and attacking talent all over the pitch. Ronaldo is still a key piece to this team when he is on the pitch, but they have also surrounded him with a lot of younger talent now and they have the potential to be a very dangerous team even when Ronaldo is not playing. This team has been arguably better with Ronaldo off the pitch as Goncalo Ramos is slowly making a name for himself as the next in line to replace that goal production. Either way, this team is not just Ronaldo anymore as they have built a very good team the last few years with a lot of quality in the midfield specifically and they have the potential to control matches with the talent they have in that area of the pitch. Portugal is a team flying under the radar right now but they do have a lot of value to win the tournament at this price as they have been quietly improving since their run in the last World Cup and they are going to be a lot better than the team that was seen in Qatar 2 years ago.  Spain +800: Spain is coming into this tournament as the team with the next best chance at lifting the trophy according to the oddsmakers. Spain has a very talented team with a lot of young players and they have been trying to find their way in these competitions over the last few years as the younger players on the team grow with the experience, but now they have hit a point in which they have been in much better form over the last year and these young players are finally starting to round themselves into a team that can be a real threat on the world stage. They have been much better since their disappointment at the World Cup as well, dominating the group they were in for the qualifying phase as they won 7 of their 8 matches with some dominant scores in those as well. They also won the UEFA Nations League last year after beating Italy in the semifinal and Croatia in the final. Spain does have a tough group to get out of, but they are still the best team in their group by far and the other 2 strongest teams in the group are Italy and Croatia which they have recent experience beating at the Nations League Final last year. Spain is a team that has been regarded as a threat in these competitions over the last year, but now this team is finally here as a well rounded and balanced team with both their attack and their defense. Spain has the youth on their side to deal with the short periods of rest between matches in this style of tournament, but they also have a team that can win with their attack when they need to and also win with their defense in tighter matches, and that is going to carry them for in this tournament. There is a lot of value in Spain to win the tournament at this price.  Italy +1400: Italy is coming into this tournament as the team with the next best chance at lifting the trophy according to the oddsmakers. Italy are the defending champions of this tournament but a lot has changed since they lifted the 2020 Euro Cup back in 2021. Shortly after winning the Euro Cup, they failed to even qualify for the World Cup in Qatar which was an embarrassment for a team coming off of a Euro Cup win and is also one of the most decorated teams in the World Cup. They followed up missing the World Cup in 2022 by going to the semifinal of the UEFA Nations League last year. They finished with the 3rd place medal after beating the Netherlands 3-2 in the consolation final, but they lost to Spain 2-1 in the semifinal when they had a chance to make amends for missing the World Cup. That was the final straw for Italy as they finally sacked their manager Roberto Mancini which has been a long time coming. Luciano Spalletti is now in charge of the team and they have been much better under his management. His 1st match with the team was a 1-1 away draw against North Macedonia, but they followed up by winning 3 of their next 4 matches, winning those by scores of 2-1, 4-0, and 5-2. This team is drastically different under Spalletti as Mancini loved to play a much together defensive style, tending to favor his older players as well, while Spalletti is not afraid to go for the wins in their matches with an all out attack from the talented young players they have in the squad. Italy is going to be a true wild card in this tournament as they have the talent with their younger players to be a dangerous team as they can score goals, but the defense is clearly not as sound as it was under Mancini and they are still in a transition phase with the new manager as he tries to figure out the best combination of players for this starting XI. There is some value in Italy to repeat as champions if the youth decides to step up here, but their defense is not all there yet with Spalletti and that will be a big problem as they get deeper into the tournament since it was their suffocating defense that won them the last Euro Cup. Italy has some value here at this price but there are still better options as there are more complete teams that can win this tournament.  RecommendationEngland and France are always going to be the popular teams to pick to win the Euro Cup this year and both teams have the talent required to make a deep run, but there are also a lot of other factors that could lead into another disappointment for both sides, especially with the amount of pressure constantly on these two sides to perform. The real value in this tournament lies with some of the other teams lower on the list as they are flying under the radar compared to teams like England and France despite having just as much talent in the squad. When Italy won the last Euro Cup, they were +1000 to win prior to the tournament starting. There are plenty of good teams in Europe this year that can win this tournament but the best value on the board is to go with Spain at +800 or Portugal at +800 as these are both teams that have underperformed over the last few years but have also done nothing but improve since the last World Cup. Spain at +800 has the best value followed by Portugal at +800.

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The NBA Conference Championships

by AAA Sports

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

BOSTON CELTICSOdds to win Eastern Conference finals: -1300Odds to win NBA championship: -160Turns out all those regular season wins were good for something. Getting the overall No. 1 seed bought the Celtics two crippled opponents in the first two rounds. Miami without Jimmy Butler was a shell of the team that knocked out Boston a year ago, and Cleveland minus Jarrett Allen and (for the last two games) Donovan Mitchell were no match for the 64-win Celts. When (if?) Kristaps Porzingis returns could have a huge impact on the ECF finals vs. Indiana, because 38-year-old Al Horford is running on fumes as it is. Boston was the pre-season favorite to come out of the East, and is now four wins from getting a chance to win its first championship since the 2007-08 Pierce/Garnett/Allen juggernaut. A few questions: Will the Celtics stick with their ISO-rich offense, hunting out individual matchups, against better opponents? If they don’t get it done, would they even consider breaking up the Jayson Tatum/Jaylen Brown frontcourt tandem?INDIANA PACERSOdds to win Eastern Conference finals: +730Odds to win NBA championship: +3100Anyone see THAT coming? Between the WNBA’s Caitlin Clark and the Pacers in the ECF, these could be the best times in the heartland since Hoosiers in the 1950s. If the Pacers’ decisive Game 7 victory on the road at New York showed anything, it’s that Indy has more weapons than just Tyrese Halliburton. Six different Pacers scored in double figures as Indy pantsed the wounded Knicks at MSG. It’ll have to be all hands on deck against the Celtics, as Boston has a top-3 defense. Both are modern NBA teams, with centers who can shoot 3s. Myles Turner and Al Horford will no doubt be firing away, as will Kristaps Porzingis if he can return from injury. Two interesting side notes – Aaron Nesmith was drafted by the Celtics as a 3-point specialist but has transformed himself into a relentless defender. And it should be fun watching high-energy, undersized reserves T.J. McConnell and Payton Pritchard go at it.MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVESOdds to win Western Conference finals: -150Odds to win NBA championship: +290They kept coming and coming, and in the end the Timberwolves had erased a huge Denver lead and earned a spot in the WCF. The exhausted Nuggets had zero answers for Minnesota’s size and long arms, setting up an intriguing conference final against Dallas. The Wolves’ defense is a nightmare. Anchored by Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, in two games in which they faced elimination, Minnesota held Denver and MVP Nikola Jokic to 160 points. Total. And they don’t need a huge game from emerging Top-5 player Anthony Edwards to get it done, either. Edwards had an off night in the clincher on Sunday, scoring just 16 after a poor first half. No worries. There was plenty of firepower to pick up the slack, despite Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns both being in foul trouble. Now, after being so bad for so long, the Wolves are knocking on the door and just eight wins from their first-ever title.DALLAS MAVERICKSOdds to win Western Conference finals: -190Odds to win NBA championship: +600With two offense stars and a lot of filler, not many NBA watchers gave the Mavericks much of a shot at getting this far. But here they are, and you have to respect a team that comes from 17 points down and sends the No. 1 seed (OKC) home for the summer. Luka Doncic is Luca Doncic, but given Kyrie Irving’s track record, did anyone expect Irving to play in most of Dallas’s games, AND not cause trouble, after laying waste to the Cavaliers, Celtics and Nets franchises by being a general PITA. The new Irving has forced opponents to resort to funky defenses, like OKC which doubled both stars and left one defender trying to cover three others. Whether the Mavs have eight more wins in the tank is anyone’s guess. But consider where this team was only two years ago. After losing in the WCF, the team was rebuilt. Doncic stayed, but four other starters – Irving, PJ Washington, Daniel Gafford and Derrick Jones – were brought in.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA and MLB Previews and Odds - 05/21/2024

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Tuesday sports card features NBA and MLB action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Boston Celtics host the Indiana Pacers on ESPN and ESPN2 at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Celtics won for the seventh time in their last eight games with a 113-98 victory against Cleveland as a 15.5-point favorite last Wednesday in the fifth game of that series. The Pacers won for the fourth time in the last five games with their 130-109 upset victory as a 2.5-point underdog in New York against the Knicks on Sunday in Game 7 of that series. Boston is a 9.5-point favorite with the total set at 221 (all odds from DraftKings).The Tuesday card in Major League Baseball has 1 game on its schedule. The Cleveland Guardians play at home against the New York Mets at 6:10 p.m. ET. The Guardians turn to Carlos Carrasco to take the mound to pitch against the Mets’ Adrian Houser. Cleveland is a -125 money-line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Four more MLB games throw out the first pitch at 6:45 p.m. ET. The San Diego Padres travel to Cincinnati to play the Reds. Joe Musgrove takes the ball for the Padres to face Andrew Abbott for the Reds. San Diego is a -118 money-line road favorite with a total of 9. The San Francisco Giants play in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. The Giants tap Logan Webb to battle against the Pirates’ Martin Perez. San Francisco is a -135 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Philadelphia Phillies are at home against the Texas Rangers. Ranger Suarez takes the hill for the Phillies to go against Jon Gray for the Ranges. Philadelphia is a -175 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Milwaukee Brewers play in Miami against the Marlins. the Brewers send out Robert Gasser to duel against Trevor Rogers for the Marlins. Milwaukee is a -142 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Minnesota Twins are in Washington to play the Nationals at 6:45 p.m. ET. Joe Ryan gets the start for the Twins to face Patrick Corbin for the Nationals. Minnesota is a -185 money-line favorite with a total of 8. The Tampa Bay Rays host the Boston Red Sox at 6:50 p.m. ET. The Rays tap Zack Littell to battle against Cooper Criswell. Tampa Bay is a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8. The New York Yankees play at home against the Seattle Mariners at 7:05 p.m. ET. Clarke Schmidt takes the ball for the Yankees to face Bryan Woo for the Mariners. New York is a -155 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Toronto Blue Jays are at home against the Chicago White Sox at 7:07 p.m. ET. The Blue Jays send out Yusei Kikuchi to face the White Sox’s Garrett Crochet. Toronto is a -180 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Two more MLB games begin at 7:40 p.m. ET. The Kansas City Royals host the Detroit Tigers. Alex Marsh takes the ball for the Royals to go against Casey Mike for the Tigers. Kansas City is a -112 money-line favorite with a total of 9. The Atlanta Braves visit Chicago to play the Cubs on TBS. The Braves send out Charlie Morton to pitch against the Cubs’ Javier Assad. Atlanta is a -125 money-line road favorite. The Baltimore Orioles play in St. Louis against the Cardinals at 7:45 p.m. ET. Kyle Bradish gets the start for the Orioles to duel against Lance Lynn for the Cardinals. Baltimore is a -148 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Houston Astros play at home against the Los Angeles Angels at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Astros turn to Cristian Javier to battle against the Angels’ Griffin Canning. Houston is a -218 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5. The Oakland A’s are at home against the Colorado Rockies at 9:40 p.m. ET. Aaron Brooks gets the ball for the A’s to face Cal Quantrill for the Rockies. Oakland is a -135 money-line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The Los Angeles Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks at 10:10 p.m. ET. The Dodgers send out Gavin Stone to face the Diamondbacks’ Brandon Pfaadt. Los Angeles is a -175 money-line favorite with a total of 8.5.

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5 Starting Pitchers Who Should Regress- Sell High?

by Kyle Hunter

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

We are about two months into the season. Now is a good time to look at starting pitchers and who is overachieving based on both expectations and advanced metrics. A deep dive into the profile of these pitchers can give some great perspective. Here are five starters who are likely to struggle to keep on the same path they are on so far this season. Jose Berrios (2.82 ERA, 4.68 FIP, and 4.19 SIERA) Berrios is bottom 15 in the majors in hard hits allowed. His batted ball profiles consistently look poor. Berrios has allowed just a .229 batting average on balls in play so far this season despite giving up a lot of hard hit balls. He has also stranded 88.6% of runners on base thus far this year. Berrios isn’t a new pitcher. He is a veteran who isn’t bad, but he isn’t nearly as good as he looks right now,. Seth Lugo (1.79 ERA, 3.21 FIP, and 3.61 SIERA) Seth Lugo is 34.5 years old. He isn’t some youngster who is breaking out. He is a crafty veteran who has good control and a really good curveball. He has stranded a ridiculous 90.1% runners on base this season. Lugo has pitched really well in his most recent outings, but he has also had the good fortune of going against some of the worst offenses in the majors.  Carlos Rodon (3.27 ERA, 4.48 FIP, and 3.88 SIERA) Rodon is a quality pitcher so I’m not terrible anxious to sell high on him. His advanced metrics definitely suggests his ERA should be going up though. Rodon is stranding 85.9% of runners on base. Rodon is a tricky handicap because he can be absolutely lights out, but he also has the potential to get hit around and give up a big inning at any time.  Jordan Hicks (2.38 ERA, 3.51 FIP, and 4.10 SIERA) Hicks has been one of the best stories in baseball. His transition from the closer role to a very good starter has been a ton of fun. Hicks is one to keep watching closely since he does carry very low home run rates and he has great movement on his pitches. Can he handle the huge jump in workload as we get later in the season though? Trevor Williams (2.35 ERA, 2.83 FIP, and 4.23 SIERA) Williams is 32 years old and he has consistently been an average or below average starting pitcher. The last two years he has allowed 1.20 and 2.12 home runs per nine innings pitched. So far this year he has allowed a mind boggling low 0.20 home runs per nine innings pitched. His BABIP allowed is only .267 too. Williams doesn’t have swing and miss stuff. He is pitching above his head right now, and I think he is a sell high candidate. 

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Early MLB MVP Value - By ASA

by ASA, Inc.

Monday, May 20, 2024

American League Salvador Perez (+6000) .337 avg/ 8HR/ 37RBIEven at the ripe age of 34, Salvador Perez is off to a smoking hot start in 2024. He is 3rd in RBI’s in the AL, and is a huge reason the Royals are well above .500 for the first time in what seems like an eternity. Perez is an everyday player, and in 2021 he led all of MLB in RBIs (121) while hitting 48 homers, missing only one single game that year. The past 3 AL MVP winners have averaged at least .290 and hit in 109 RBIs, leaving plenty of room for the Royals catcher who is on pace to surpass both easily. Perez is lacking in the home run category, but only trails the MLB leader by seven, and has put up massive home run numbers in the past. Kansas City’s veteran could be right in the MVP mix come September and his numbers warrant a small investment. Adolis Garcia (+6500) .251 avg/ 11HR/ 35RBI Adolis Garcia was the star of the postseason last year, putting the Rangers on his back, delivering in every big moment needed. His previous three regular seasons have been extremely consistent, hitting right about .250, 30HRs, and 100RBIs. With his notoriety now through the roof, a slight jump in his fourth year numbers could result in some individual hardwear. If you average Garcia’s 2023 postseason numbers over a year, you get 86 homers and 237 ribbies. Obviously unsustainable during a year but it's a glimpse at his ceiling when playing the best pitchers in the biggest moments. Texas will need all Garcia has to offer to get into the playoffs and defend their Championship.   National League Bryce Harper (+1800) .273 avg/ 10HR/ 35RBIMookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani are rightfully the two heaviest favorites for NL MVP, having won three of the past 6 between them. Yet, the Phillies have 2 time MVP Bryce Harper leading them to the current best record in baseball. Harper's average is down, but his HRs are right on pace (38) to match his two MVP seasons while his RBI pace would smash his MVP seasons. Harper is a huge name, coupled with Philly being the possible top seed in the NL, there is value elsewhere than the Dodgers in the MVP race.    Elly De La Cruz (+3600) .256 avg/ 9HR/ 22RBI Cincinnati is last in the NL Central but Elly De La Cruz is a walking highlight at only 22 years old. His slugging numbers are up from his first action in 2023, almost already surpassing his home run total from 98 games last year. De La Cruz has all the tools needed to be an MVP, it is just a matter of time when he puts it all together. The NL MVP odds are very top heavy and only a big name with superstar potential could get into the conversation down the stretch. The Reds young stud will need to carry the offensive load in order to keep their season alive past summer, and if so, may arrive early to the MLB elites list.

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