Monday was supposed to be a "sports equinox" with all four of the major sports in action on the same day. Unfortunately, the weather and baseball didn't cooperate and we had to wait for Game 3 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies.
After rain in Philadelphia forced the postponement of Game 3, the whole World Series schedule was pushed back a day, Game 3 will be played on Tuesday night. Game 4 gets moved to Wednesday and Game 5 will be played on Thursday. If necessary, the teams will get a travel day on Friday before the baseball season wraps up with Games 6 and 7 in Houston on Saturday and Sunday.
As usual with a rain out, one team stands to benefit slightly more from the fallout. After pitching in relief in Game 1, the Phillies were originally holding Ranger Suarez back for Game 4. However, the rain moved everything back a day and Suarez will now start Game 3 for the Phillies on Tuesday night instead.
Suarez is a sizable upgrade from the originally scheduled Game 3 starter, Noah Syndergaard. On the season, Suarez pitched to a 3.65 ERA. In these playoffs, he's allowed just two earned runs over 9.2 innings. He'll get the ball on Tuesday in a pivotal Game 3.
Despite the positive development for the Phillies on the pitching front, the Astros are still slight road favorites to win Game 3. Houston is -125 to win the game. Philadelphia is a short +105 home underdog on the moneyline. The total for the game is set at 8 runs.
In the first two games of the series, Houston jumped out to a 5-0 lead. However, they had very different outcomes. In Game 1, the Phillies rallied back against Justin Verlander to tie the game at 5, which set up a game-winning home run from J.T. Realmuto in the 10th inning off Luis Garcia. In Game 2, Houston jumped out to that same 5-0 lead, but managed to hold off the Phillies' comeback attempt, winning the game by a score of 5-2.
In both the NLDS and the NLCS, the Phillies split the first two games of the series on the road. They then came home and wrapped both series up, never having to take a flight back to the higher seed's home. The Phillies are a perfect 5-0 at home in these playoffs as the atmosphere in Philadelphia has been tremendous. That makes them an appealing bet at plus-money on Tuesday night.
Updated series odds and props
Despite the Phillies stealing a game on the road and taking home-field advantage from the Astros, Philadelphia is still a sizable underdog to win the World Series. Houston is -175 to win it all, while the Phillies are a +150 underdog to capture the championship.
The World Series MVP odds have shifted since before Game 1. After a two-home run performance in the series opener, Kyle Tucker is now the betting favorite to win World Series MVP at +650. His teammates, Alex Bregman and Framber Valdez, are right behind him at +700. Bregman hit a big home run in Game 2, while Valdez pitched into the seventh inning of Game 2, allowing just one run.
The two betting favorites before the World Series were Yordan Alvarez and Bryce Harper. Both are now at +850 after relatively quiet starts to the series. J.T. Realmuto, the Game 1 extra innings hero, is also +850 to win World Series MVP.
Speaking of Harper, he's an intriguing prop bet on Tuesday night. At home in these playoffs, Harper is 9-for-21 with three doubles and three home runs. He has nine RBIs in just five home playoff games. Harper is +450 to hit a home run on Tuesday night. He's -210 to record a hit and +165 to record an RBI. You can also get Harper to go over 1.5 total bases at +140.
The Mid-American Conference flies under the radar for the first few months of the college football season. It's a fun little conference, but it's not nearly as good as the Power 5 conferences or even some of the more competitive Group of 5 conferences. However, all college football fans learn to appreciate the conference at the start of November when mid-week MACtion returns.
You can never get enough football, and the MAC is smart enough to realize that and capitalize. The NFL has Monday, Thursday and Sunday. College football has Saturday and a few games on Thursday and Friday each week. That leaves Tuesday and Wednesday of each week particularly bare. That's where the MAC saves the day.
Beginning this week, the conference is front and center each Tuesday and Wednesday. It might not be the highest quality of football, but it's college football, there's a betting line posted, and usually, there isn't much in the way of competition. Also, these games get wild at an alarming frequency.
While the World Series will be front and center this week, sports fans who need more football can turn to the MAC. On Tuesday, Kent State is a 7-point home favorite against Ball State. A little later on, Buffalo is a 3-point road favorite against Ohio.
Welcome back, MACtion.
Large hockey slate, small basketball slate
If baseball or football doesn't interest you or isn't enough for you on Tuesday night, both the NHL and NBA seasons are well underway. There's a massive 12-game slate in the NHL while the NBA has a smaller, more manageable four games on the docket.
On the ice, the best game is probably Pittsburgh hosting the Boston Bruins. The Bruins are 8-1 and have won five straight games, despite many forecasting a potential slow start to the season due to injuries. However, Brad Marchand is back earlier than many expected and the Bruins are rolling. They're a slight road underdog against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who return home after a brutal west coast trip that saw them lose four straight in Seattle, Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton. Pittsburgh is -115 on their home ice.
It's a night of some sizable favorites. The New York Rangers are -250 home favorites against the Philadelphia Flyers, who are playing much better hockey than even their most optimistic fans could have expected. Tampa Bay is -200 on the moneyline at home against Ottawa. Minnesota is -250 at home against Montreal. Calgary is -225 on its home ice against the Seattle Kraken. Florida is a -275 favorite at Mullett Arena against the Coyotes, while the Islanders are -185 favorites in Chicago.
On the hardwood, there are some intriguing matchups. The Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors are both under .500 in the early going of the season. Miami is a 1.5-point home favorite against the Warriors on Tuesday. In the night cap, the Phoenix Suns are 3.5-point home favorites against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Suns are expected to be without DeAndre Ayton for at least a week due to an ankle injury.
First look at Week 9 lines
Week 8 of the NFL season wrapped up on Monday night with the Cleveland Browns dominating the Cincinnati Bengals, winning outright as a 3.5-point home underdog. The defense was swarming, the ground game was efficient and Jacoby Brissett made plenty of plays with his arm.
We're already on to Week 9. Six teams are on bye this week, which means we have a 13-game slate on deck. Here are the early betting lines at BetMGM:
Carolina Panthers @ Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5)