The Hot Ticket! MLB Championship Series

MLB Championship Series: Braves vs. Dodgers, 6:05 p.m. | TV: FS1

MLB Championship Series: Rays vs. Astros, 8:40 p.m | TV: TBS

Major League Baseball made a change to its scheduling format for the postseason on Tuesday. Instead of having one game played in the late afternoon followed up with a game in the evening, it pushed both games back to the evening. That meant that even though the first game started over two hours before the second game, there was an overlap. It’s the same schedule tonight and will remain the same throughout the rest of the LCS.
As you’d imagine, I saw a lot of people complaining about this on Twitter. Of course, while MLB fans are rivaled only by NHL fans when it comes to finding things to complain about, the complaints were somewhat justified. When only two games are going on, it’s not hard to make sure they don’t overlap, but it’s important to remember two different networks are broadcasting these games. Both would prefer the games are in the evening for advertising purposes.
So, nothing will change. What I would be more annoyed by if I were a fan of the four teams playing is MLB’s start times for the particular games. If I’m a Dodgers fan, I’m not thrilled about my team’s playoff game starting at 3:30 p.m. local time. If I’m at work and have to drive home, the game could be halfway over by the time I get there. On the other side of the coin, if I’m a Rays fan, I’m not thrilled about having to stay up until 12:30 a.m. on a Wednesday morning to see my team in a playoff game.
Of course, considering two east coast teams remain, and one of them is playing a west coast team, there’s no way MLB can avoid it. So the fans will have to do what they do best: complain about it.
Here are some news stories you won’t complain about after reading them. But if you do, complain to Pete Blackburn, not me.
The SEC has had to postpone another game. This time it’s Florida and LSU.
The White Sox are set to interview 76-year old Tony La Russa for their managerial opening because it’s 2020 and nothing is allowed to make sense.
Broncos RB Melvin Gordon was charged with a DUI.
Am I only including Prisco’s NFL Power Rankings because he moved the Bears into his top 10? Maybe.
Let that be a lesson to all CBSSports.com writers: If you want me to link your story in the newsletter, write nice things about the teams I like. Now, onto today’s picks!

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Major League Baseball made a change to its scheduling format for the postseason on Tuesday. Instead of having one game played in the late afternoon followed up with a game in the evening, it pushed both games back to the evening. That meant that even though the first game started over two hours before the second game, there was an overlap. It’s the same schedule tonight and will remain the same throughout the rest of the LCS.
As you’d imagine, I saw a lot of people complaining about this on Twitter. Of course, while MLB fans are rivaled only by NHL fans when it comes to finding things to complain about, the complaints were somewhat justified. When only two games are going on, it’s not hard to make sure they don’t overlap, but it’s important to remember two different networks are broadcasting these games. Both would prefer the games are in the evening for advertising purposes.
So, nothing will change. What I would be more annoyed by if I were a fan of the four teams playing is MLB’s start times for the particular games. If I’m a Dodgers fan, I’m not thrilled about my team’s playoff game starting at 3:30 p.m. local time. If I’m at work and have to drive home, the game could be halfway over by the time I get there. On the other side of the coin, if I’m a Rays fan, I’m not thrilled about having to stay up until 12:30 a.m. on a Wednesday morning to see my team in a playoff game.
Of course, considering two east coast teams remain, and one of them is playing a west coast team, there’s no way MLB can avoid it. So the fans will have to do what they do best: complain about it.
Here are some news stories you won’t complain about after reading them. But if you do, complain to Pete Blackburn, not me.
Let that be a lesson to all CBSSports.com writers: If you want me to link your story in the newsletter, write nice things about the teams I like. Now, onto today’s picks!
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
MLB Championship Series 2020
Braves vs. Dodgers, 6:05 p.m. | TV: FS1
The Pick: Over 9.5 (-125)
: Globe Life Field, the home of the Texas Rangers and where this series is being played, has not been around a long time. It opened this season and, including these MLB playoffs, has hosted only 35 baseball games. While that’s not a large sample size, there is a noticeable trend with how the park plays. When the roof is closed, it has been pitcher-friendly. When the roof has been open, like it will be tonight, it has benefitted hitters.
The over has gone 8-4-1 in the 13 games the roof has been opened, compared to 9-11-2 when closed. What’s more noticeable than the results, however, are the runs scored. In 13 games with the roof open, games at Globe Life have seen an average of 11.5 runs per game. In five postseason games with the roof open, games have seen an average of 10.6 runs per game. So, when we see those trends, and we see the pitchers slated to start tonight (Atlanta’s Kyle Wright has an xFIP of 5.56 while the Dodgers’ Julio Urias is at 4.65), it’s the over that looks like the smartest play on the board.
Key Trend: The over is 8-4-1 when the roof is open in Arlington.
Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: SportsLine’s Advanced Computer Model has a play for this game as well, so you should check out what it’s saying. After all, I’m an Idiot Human, and it’s an Advanced Computer.
💰The Picks
MLB Championship Series 2020
⚾ MLB
Rays vs. Astros, 8:40 p.m | TV: TBS
The Pick: Astros +130 — 
Before the MLB season began, I took out World Series futures on eight different teams. I did such a good job of it that seven of the eight teams I bet on made the playoffs this year. Well, the Rays (+1800) are the only one of those eight teams remaining. So, believe me when I tell you that I’m invested in the Rays winning this series. And it could happen tonight, but the price on the Astros here is too reasonable to pass up.
Houston’s been hitting the ball hard, but the Rays are playing spectacular defense. At some point, those rockets have to fall, and at this price, there’s a good chance it happens tonight. Plus, while he hasn’t been peak Zack Greinke this year, Greinke still does an excellent job of keeping opponents in the park. That could play to Houston’s benefit tonight too.
Key Trend: Houston is 8-3 the last 11 times it’s been an underdog in the playoffs.

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