There's no Guardians game today, which is probably for the best based on how they've been playing lately.
Instead, we can turn our attention to football with the Browns taking on the Jets in the Hall of Fame Game today. There's also more AL Central action for interested baseball bettors to consider.
Here are the Factory of Sadness editors' top Cleveland sports betting picks for Thursday.
Best Cleveland Bets: August 3, 2023
Isaiah De Los Santos: Jets @ Browns UNDER
The return of the NFL is exciting, but be careful to not get blinded by the anticipation. The Hall of Fame Game is known for being a slog, as teams’ fourth-, fifth- and sixth-stringers often battle it out so they can protect their most important contributors.
Accordingly, I’m targeting the Under tonight in Browns vs Jets. These are two rosters full of stars and established players already penciled in at the top of the depth chart for the upcoming year, so don’t expect them to be too aggressive in their very first warm-up game. These coaching staffs aren’t new, either, which will prevent another Josh McDaniels situation after he made first-string running back Josh Jacobs play in last year’s HOF Game.
Aside from the Raiders’ unusual approach to the 2022 Hall of Fame Game, scoring hasn’t been very prevalent in this event. In 2021, the Steelers and Cowboys combined for just 19 total points, and the 2020 exhibition between the Broncos and Falcons saw only 24 points.
The Over of 34 on DraftKings Sportsbook for this game hasn’t cashed in three of the past four Hall of Fame exhibitions, making that an awfully attractive play tonight.
Tyler Maher: Twins Moneyline @ Cardinals
Thankfully, the Guardians are off today after getting swept by the Astros. Hopefully that helps us reset before the White Sox come to town on Friday.
Until then, we might as well keep an eye on the Twins, who only lead us by two games in the AL Central. It may not feel like it right now, but we’re still very much in the race.
Minnesota wraps up its road series against the Cardinals today with Sonny Gray on the mound. Gray is 4-4 with a 3.22 ERA, but his real skill has been keeping the ball in the park this year. He’s allowed just 4 homers in 117 ⅓ innings over 21 starts, which is the best HR/9 rate (0.3) in the majors. That mark will be tested by St. Louis, however, which ranks third in the National League in home runs.
Matthew Liberatore starts for the Cardinals, and things haven’t gotten any easier for him in Year 2. The 23-year-old southpaw is 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP in 32 innings this season, showing almost none of the potential that made him a first round draft pick back in 2018.
I’m surprised the Twins aren’t more favored here. They’re a first-place team with an All-Star on the mound, while the Cardinals are a last-place squad with a struggling hurler. Hammer the Minnesota moneyline and consider the runline as well.
Jason Schandl: Mets @ Royals UNDER
Yesterday’s Royals-Mets under bet hit with ease, and I’m gonna keep riding this gravy train today.
The team-level trends that were present yesterday are obviously still the case on Thursday. The Mets (2nd) and Royals (11th) are both some of the most Under-heavy teams in baseball, and hammering the Under should be your baseline approach to betting either one. Of course, that’s especially true when they play each other.
Today we have a matchup between the types of pitchers that I like to bet the Under on as well. Both Brady Singer and Carlos Carrasco have terrible ERAs, which is what leads to two Under-prone teams like these still getting a fairly high total of 9 runs set.
But neither Singer nor Carrasco has been nearly as bad as their ERAs indicate, with significantly lower xFIP marks that suggest they’re due to bounce back a little bit. Singer has a 5.46 ERA but a 4.23 xFIP, while Carrasco has a 6.40 ERA with a 4.94 xFIP.
I’m not projecting a pitching duel or anything, but it shouldn’t be hard for this one to come in under 9 runs.
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