Chris Paul and Jrue Holiday
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) is defended by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday during the first half of Game 5 of basketball's NBA Finals, Saturday, July 17, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Degens Only: Tuesday Plays, July 20

The battle of the Manning brothers is coming back to TV. Not on the field, but this time they will square off in the booth. The Manning brothers will co-anchor an alternate Monday night football broadcast and will be joined by other celebrities and former players. The broadcast can be watched on ESPN2 for 10 games and the deal has been signed for the next three seasons. It will be interesting to see how the Manning’s will call games, whether it will be Tony Romo esq or another failed attempt by ESPN to add some viewers to Monday night football. For good or bad, we are strapped in for three years of Manning broadcasting on Monday nights. Just like the Manning’s were locked in when it comes to the top plays of the day let’s get into it. 

1st Half Adjustments: 
Suns/Bucks 1H Under 109

This is a high first half total based on how this series has played out. Only game five has gone over this total and the other four games were off typically by four or five points. It comes down to this game for the Suns who come into this one having lost three straight games. The Suns have to adjust or its over; clearly what they have been trying to do for the past three games is not working. These adjustments are effective and should be able to slow down the Bucks. The next reason we’re on this side is because in the one game where this total did go over, both teams had a quarter where they shot out of their minds. The Suns put up 37 in the first quarter and the Bucks responded with 43 in the second. After not seeing this for four games and a season on the line for one team and a championship for the other look for these guys to tighten things up and the scoring to drop a little bit. Take the under 1H.

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Big Birds: Blue Jays F5 ML
This Blue Jays offense is the real deal and has come out firing after the break. It was the sorry Rangers, but the Jays hung 25 runs on them in just three games. The Jays are 4-5 vs Boston this season, but they lead the F5 series with a 5-3-1 record. We were big on fading Richards earlier in the season then backed off when his form improved, but here is a good spot with the Jays red hot and they are 2-1 in the F5 when facing Richards this season. Richards has been hit pretty well over the last half of June and has been alright in his first two starts in July, but he still has yet to pitch past the fifth inning in a start since June sixth and he has allowed multiple runs in all of those starts. Alex Manoha looks to be getting the start for the Jays and the book is small on him though he excelled in his first start against the Sox going six strong only allowing one run. Manoha has been solid throughout most of the first half and hasn’t allowed any team to even get more than four hits in any of his outings so far. The only question mark we have seen with him is that his control can sometimes be an issue, but that has a limited sample size for this season. Look for the Jays to continue swinging the hot bats and take them in the F5.

Rise of the Red Birds: Cardinals F5 TT over 2
The Cardinals have been a super strong second half team and a super strong home team for many seasons and they look to be on the same track this season as they came out of the break taking two of three from the first place Giants. While this offense is taking its time to heat up look for the red birds to put together a strong second half. The Cubs were one of the teams that couldn’t wait to get to the break and need to string a decent amount of wins together to save this team or the front office will for sure move some pieces. The Cubs started with a cake walk in the D backs in the second half and now get their first test in the red birds. The Cardinals haven’t named a starter yet, but the Cubs have in Williams. This spot checks off the boxes for us as it’s a second half home game for the red birds against a pitcher that the whole projected lineup has been able to tee off on. The Cardinals are hitting a combined .323 lifetime against Williams and the lowest batting average for the projected lineup is .222 with 10 at bats. This should be a good test for the Cubs, but one I don’t see them passing. Since there is no starter named for the Cardinals, were going to just take their TT here.

A Game: A’s ML
We’re looking to back another strong second half playoff bound team here in the A’s. While this offense is more suspect than the ones in years past, this team should still be able to string along a good amount of wins due mainly to their pitching. A team they have seen good success against with the bats though is the Angels. The A’s come in 7-3 against this Angles team whose season has been written off, mainly due to injuries to its biggest stars and a huge lack of pitching. The A’s completed a sweep of the Angels the last time these two teams met scoring over six runs in all three games. They will face a tough test in Suarez as he has been able to hold this A’s lineup in check through limited work in two starts. The Angels will have to continue on without their two biggest bats in Rendon and Trout and do so against Kapielian who held this Angles team with Trout and Rendon to only two runs. The Angels are in trouble here unless Suarez throws a complete game because their bullpen is an absolute dumpster fire (you don’t spend every draft pick you have on pitchers unless is really obvious you have a problem) This game should remain close while both starters are in the game but then look for the A’s to start scoring on this sorry excuse for a bullpen. Take Oakland on the ML.

Big Boy Sox: White Sox ML
Coming into this season there was big expectations for the White Sox and so-far, they have delivered. The White Sox are absolutely destroying RHP in the month of July so far, as a team they are hitting over .300 and are 24 points higher than the second place Blue Jays. The White Sox have dominated this matchup this season with a 10-3 record against the Twins. What’s even more impressive is what the Sox bats have been able to do to Twins pitching, the Sox have scored 91 runs against the Twins so far this season scoring seven or more runs in six of the games. Keuchel has had up and down results this season against the Twins, but with success like that against a team he should have more than enough run support. Ober goes for the Twins and he has seen this Sox team three times already this season and in two of those games he let up four runs before exiting the game and were expecting right around the same result in this one. Take the White Sox on the ML.

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