Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams, second from left, hugs Chris Paul, left, and Jae Crowder, second from right, as Devin Booker stands by as time runs out in Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. The Suns won the game 130-103 to take the series 4-2. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Degens Only: Tuesday Plays, July 6

Every year I watch this event and every year I am amazed and grossed out at the same time. I am talking about the famous Nathans Hot Dog eating contest held every Fourth of July. Joey Chestnut took down his 10,000th mustard belt in a row it seems and he did so in grand fashion breaking his own record of eating 75 hotdogs by eating 76. Chestnut was such a huge favorite to win this event at -5000 and that line rang true as no one even came close to challenging Chestnut this year with the second place, eater falling about 20 hotdogs behind the legendary eater. Chestnut’s competition was not as strong this year and it remains to be seen if next year will bring back more familiar faces and give him a run for his money or if a new competitor will come onto the scene and be able to challenge Chestnut. One thing is for sure dunking hotdogs in water and shoving them down your throat will never be not disgusting.

Sun Rise: Suns -5
I’m taking the Suns early here. Giannis cannot be 100% after that knee injury and if he does end up suiting up, you know the Suns are going to get pass happy and test that knee early and often. I can see the Bucks taking the long approach here and possibly resting their star for the first game to try and get him right for the whole series and decrease his injury risk. This strategy could give the Bucks confidence that they can compete without Giannis, that is of course until the Suns beat them. This Suns unit is very much in sync and is poised and ready for this moment. Either way, if Giannis plays or does not play, the Suns at home in game one of the finals is going to be too much for a shorthanded or injured Bucks team to overcome. Take the Suns -5.

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Take Flight: Blue Jays/ Orioles RHE over 26
These two teams have already met seven times this season so they are not strangers. As the weather gets warmer up north the ball will continue to be hit hard in the small parks. The Blue Jays remain one of the league’s top offenses scoring right around five runs at home. The Orioles remain one of the leagues bottoms teams, but have seen a rise in their offense, scoring four or more runs in seven of their last 10 games. All seven games that these two teams have played this season have gone over this total for RHE. With more warm weather on tap and a bad bullpen in the Orioles and a top offense in the Blue Jays, there should be no issues with this one becoming the eight game to go over this total. Play the over on the 26 RHE.

Battle out West: A’s/Astros over 8.5
These two teams have been neck and neck in the AL west almost all season and with Houston currently with a three game lead, a sweep here could put them in a commanding position heading into the break. The real trend with these two teams is runs. They have played 10 times before tonight’s game and all of those games have reached eight runs or more. These teams have been battling for the top spot in the West for the last few seasons and know how important each game against each other is. Even with the level of pitching that each team has, runs are still going to come in bunches. This game should be no different take the over 8.5 runs.

The Fanatic: Phillies ML
The Cubs are imploding rapidly. Their offense is not able to generate any runs and has ultimately lost 10 straight games. Now in baseball the one thing you never want to do is bet against a streak, so were going to continue to ride this one here. Teams on a slump like this that can see the All Star break get what they call turtle syndrome. That is where the team just goes inside the shell and just kind of coasts and doesn’t want to play their just trying to get to the break. That is what we are seeing out of the Cubs right now in all phases of the game. Sorry to say Cubs fans, but if they come out of the break and things don’t go well in the beginning it could be a long second half as well. Take the Phillies with Nola pitching on the ML.

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