I’m always caught off guard by the NBA offseason. The NBA Finals ended on Thursday night, and less than 48 hours later, I was sitting at dinner with my dad as well as my sister, her husband, and kids. We were celebrating Father’s Day when I received the notification on my phone (thanks, CBS Sports app!):.
My initial reaction other than “oh wow so that happened” was marveling how quickly it happened seeing as how the season just ended. I figured that if the trade were to happen, it would happen on draft night. This sparked another revelation.
The NBA Draft is this week. Seriously, it’s on Thursday night. A week after the Finals ended (it would have been less than a week had the series gone seven games). It’s insane to think about if you compare it to other sports. In the NFL the Super Bowl is played in early February, and then teams take the next three months to figure out who they want to take in the NFL Draft. In the NBA the Warriors and Raptors are getting a week.
I understand the NFL has far more players to scout, as well as more picks to make. I also understand that teams are preparing for the draft all season long. But I’m not a team. I’m a fan. I don’t know if my feeble mind is ready to have my indefatigable opinions formed by then. I suppose we’ll find out.
All odds are via William Hill.
1. Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals: Nationals -154
I feel like I’m getting Patrick Corbin at a discount here. His last three starts have been rough, as he’s posted an ERA of 11.37 in his previous 12.2 innings. He’s not that pitcher, though, and I think it’s been more of a rough stretch than anything. All three of those starts coming on the road probably didn’t help much, either. Tonight he’s facing off against Jake Arrieta, who hasn’t exactly been terrific himself. Arrieta has an ERA of 4.31, but his xFIP is at 4.49, and his SIERA is at 4.87, suggesting he’s been the benefactor of some luck. He isn’t striking anybody out anymore, and he’s walking too many hitters. I like the Nats here behind Corbin.
2. Houston Astros at Cincinnati Reds: Astros +110
I always enjoy getting these Astros as a dog because it doesn’t happen often, and it happens even less against teams that are 31-38. So why are the Astros underdogs here? Well, first of all, this game is being played in an NL park, so they won’t have a DH. The bigger factor is that Reds ace Luis Castillo will be starting against them, but as good as he is, the Astros offense has shown time and again that it’s capable of hitting anybody. Plus, as good as Castillo is, the Astros rarely strike out. Only the Angels are better at putting the ball in play. Combine that with a ridiculously high walk rate of 11.5 percent for Castillo this season, and I think this Astros offense can make some noise tonight.
3. San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers: Giants +220
The Giants are 16.5 games behind the Dodgers in the standings, which is leading to this price being inflated a bit. While it’s hard to put a lot of faith in Giants starter Tyler Beede, Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda is much better, but he’s nothing near untouchable. At this price, we only need the Giants to win this game 32.26 percent of the time to break even. I think they’re capable of doing that.