Two Marlins-Rangers plays, Women’s World Cup spread pick: Best Bets for August 4

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Texas Rangers' Josh Jung rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Friday, Aug. 4:

TOP PLAY

The play: MLB, Jordan Montgomery UNDER 2.5 runs allowed vs. Marlins

The odds: -115

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 8:05 p.m. (MLB TV)

Our take: It’s been an amazing few days for notable arms who were traded to contenders during this week’s MLB Trade Deadline. Jack Flaherty and Max Scherzer — now of the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers respectively — both posted quality starts with 8+ strikeouts in their first outings with their new clubs.

The attention now turns to someone who used to play with the former and now plays with the latter, Jordan Montgomery. Montgomery takes the mound tonight for the first time as a member of the Texas Rangers against the Miami Marlins as he looks to replicate the success of his peers.

Montgomery has already faced this Marlins line-up once in the last month. He tossed a gem going six innings strong, giving up just one earned run and tallying five strikeouts. We’re backing “Gumby” to give up less than 2.5 runs tonight.

MARLINS-RANGERS SAME GAME PARLAY

The play: MLB, Rangers money line over Marlins and UNDER 8.5 total runs

The odds: +210

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Our take: We’ve already gone over how Montgomery fared against the Marlins the last time out, and while his opposite tonight has yet to face Texas this year, he has been serviceable as of late. Jesus Luzardo has given up just 10 combined runs in his last five starts.

The under for this game (eight total runs or less) has hit in over half of these two teams’ games since returning from the All-Star Break. The Rangers have seen under 8.5 total runs scored in 10 of their 18 games during that span; the Marlins have seen the same number scored in 11 of their 18 games.

At the end of the day, though, there is more firepower in Texas’ lineup. The Rangers are one of the best teams in baseball and the stats back this claim up. They lead the MLB in a plethora of batting categories, most notably batting average and runs scored. Texas needs a win to fend off Houston atop the American League West too.

SPAIN SLAYS SWITZERLAND IN THE ROUND OF 16

The play: Women’s World Cup, Spain -1.5 vs. Switzerland

The odds: +110

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 1 a.m. (Fox Sports 1)

Our take: Prior to Spain’s shocking 4-0 loss to Japan, La Roja had won eight matches in a row by at least two goals. The sight viewers saw on Monday was an anomaly, not the standard, for Spanish soccer.

While Switzerland has reached this point with its stubborn defense — La Nati topped Group A with zero goals conceded — it can’t go much further without scoring. The Swiss don’t have the best record against traditional European powerhouses either, as England and Germany blitzed them for a combined 11 goals last summer.

Spain has too much quality in front of goal to let another match slip through its fingers. Expect a statement showing from La Roja to kick off the knockout round.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Thursday’s best bets

MLB: Astros money line over Yankees (LOST)

MLB: Cardinals money line over Twins (LOST)

Thursday’s record: 0-2

Total for the week: 3-3, 2 pending

Total for August: 1-3, 2 pending

Total for 2023: 177-197, 2 pending

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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