When you hear someone praise a team for taking care of business against teams it should beat, remember the 2021 Philadelphia Phillies might blow a chance for an NL East title because they haven't done that.
The Phillies are in good shape in the NL East, and they'd be in great shape if they weren't doing things like getting swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks a couple of weeks ago or losing two in a row last weekend to the Miami Marlins. The Phillies showed their potential again Monday, easily beating the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers as +125 underdogs.
MVP candidate Bryce Harper hit his 28th homer in the first inning, and the Phillies never looked back. The Phillies hit six homers. When the Phillies are good, they're very good. It's just the bad losses that hold them back.
The Phillies are -110 at BetMGM against the Brewers on Tuesday, as the frustrating Aaron Nola takes the hill. If the Phillies can win the series against the Brewers, then they'll have a chance to play some more bad teams. They've had a ridiculously easy schedule late in the season.
The Phillies have a seven-game homestand against the Rockies and Cubs. Then after three against the Mets, they have another seven home games against the Orioles and Pirates. The Phillies trail the Atlanta Braves by 1.5 games in the NL East, but the path to a division title is clear.
We'll still take the Brewers today. They've been a very good team and Nola has been maddeningly inconsistent. But also maybe take a minute and look at the Phillies +220 to win the NL East. If they could just handle business against the worst teams on their schedule, that ticket will look really good in a couple weeks.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Tuesday:
No football, huh?
No, but wasn't it was nice to have football the past six days? On the bright side, it's a chance for you to finish up your NFL futures bets before the season starts (here's our picks for best NFC season win totals, AFC season win totals and player awards).
What does the MLB slate look like?
The best games are still in the AL East. The Tampa Bay Rays are -105 at BetMGM against the Boston Red Sox, and the Toronto Blue Jays are +165 underdogs against the New York Yankees, who have Gerrit Cole on the mound. The Rays are always worth a play as a slight underdog, and the Blue Jays are one of the few teams that could get to Cole. Toronto might be worth a play at some good odds.
The other MLB story that will be great the rest of the season is the NL West race. The Giants lead by a game. They're -200 favorites at the Colorado Rockies. The Los Angeles Dodgers trail, and they're at the St. Louis Cardinals. One of those teams will be stuck in a one-game wild card, possibly after winning 100 games this regular season.
Who cashed tickets on Monday?
Ole Miss did, in a big way. Even though the line kept inching toward Louisville, getting under 9 at one point, Mississippi won 43-24. The Rebels led 26-0 at halftime, making it easy for anyone who bet them as a favorite.
The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays each won as underdogs, which were the dual best bets in The Daily Sweat on Monday. The Rays' win was a wild one, with them coming back from 7-1 to tie it in the top of the ninth on an inside-the-park homer and winning in extra innings. That's a big blow to the Red Sox, and the AL wild-card standings tightened a little more.
What's the best bet?
The Kansas City Royals aren't exactly great, but they're still 18.5 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the standings. The Royals are -110 on Tuesday night and anytime you can bet against the 43-93 Orioles the rest of the season at any reasonable odds, you should do it. Just don't make yourself watch those games.