Topps may not be very happy with MLB right now, watching as their 70-year run as the official trading card supplier comes to an end. Fanatics will pick up the ball starting in 2023, ushering in what is going to be a new – and expensive – era of player trading cards. The new deal is reportedly worth “ten times” any previous arrangement; given that Topps paid $20.4 million last year for the rights to players’ likenesses, Fanatics is about to break the bank. Teams are going to have to start hustling more to make their players’ values worthwhile, and it starts with some of today’s games.
Royals Find Their Zone
The KC Royals (52-68) have been in their zone lately, winning three straight against the Houston Astros before taking a fall yesterday. They also have had recent success against the Cincinnati Reds, but will test themselves this afternoon when they take on the Chicago Cubs (54-69). This is expected to be a tight game, and there’s no clear winner, according to the odds.
The Royals are getting -115, while the Cubs are getting -105. Neither of the starting pitchers today has been all that great, which is part of the reason for the odds. However, the Cubs, able to play on their own field, are going to pull away. The Over/Under is currently 8.5, and taking the Over (-120) is a safe bet, with sloppy plays leading to runs.
Mariners Face the Astros as Underdogs
The Seattle Mariners (66-56) are visiting Texas to take on the Houston Astros (71-50) and have been on fire lately. They’ve won eight of their last ten games and are now only three games out of a wild card spot. Houston, however, has gone 5-5 across their last ten, including four losses in their last five. The Astros have a strong record at home and will use that to their advantage today.
The Astros are getting -185 and, despite the Mariners’ hot streak, the smart money is on Houston. Lance McCullers Jr has been solid against the Mariners, going 8-3 with a 2.93 ERA against the team. Houston, in general, is 12-8 when he starts on the mound. The Over/Under is 8.5, and the Under has hit five times out of the last six meetings between the two. Taking the Under at -105 is a good choice.
Yankees to Dominate the Twins
The New York Yankees (69-52) meet the Minnesota Twins (54-67) today in a game that is almost irrelevant for the Twins. The team has three consecutive wins under its belt going into today’s game, but is essentially out of postseason contention. The Yankees continue to improve this season and are now riding a six-game winning streak heading into the game.
The Yankees are clearly the favorite at -235, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for bettors to win. The Over/Under of 10 runs could be a good option, especially since the Yankees are gaining ground. The Twins, despite their missteps, have one of the best Over records this season, adding to the support for the Over (-115) in today’s game.
Cardinals Need a Win for a Wild Card
The St. Louis Cardinals (62-58) continue to impress lately and have a shot at a wild card spot in the National League. They will need to get past the Pittsburgh Pirates (42-79) to make it, though, and need to sweep this three-game series. The Cards just beat the Minnesota Brewers yesterday, which is going to give them momentum.
The Cardinals are getting -220 on the moneyline, making it not too attractive. However, taking them on the -1.5 run line at -107 is a good play. St. Louis wins, with the Pirates not showing a great deal of success when Mitch Keller is on the mound. The Over/Under stands at 8.5, with the Over (-120) adding a nice bonus for bettors.