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Tuesday Totals: Best Bets for October 18

Depending on who you believe, last night was either the biggest robbery of Cleveland or terrible strategy by New York. Personally, I lean toward the latter. The game in the Bronx was rained out, pushing Game 5 of the ALDS back a day. Meanwhile, NYCFC played on in Queens, raising plenty of questions as to if the Yankees could have played.

Cleveland fans pointed to the Yankees’ bullpen woes as proof that the fix was in for the Yanks to get to the ALCS and face Houston. Yankee fans countered that they were more scared of Shane Bieber than the Cleveland bullpen, a sentiment I agree with. Even though Terry Francona said Bieber will not pitch, I think Bieber finds his way into the game and the pushed-back series helps Cleveland more than it does New York. But I’ve been wrong before, so I might stay away until I know for sure.

Anyway, there’s mayhem and controversy, and that’s playoff baseball for you. Here are my best bets for October 18.


Here’s something you would never see in American sports: a team firing its coach and then getting another team’s coach to replace them during the season. And yet, that’s what Brighton is dealing with, as Chelsea fired its manager and pilfered Graham Potter away from the Seagulls, leaving them with an interim coach. So far, this hasn’t worked with Roberto De Zerbi in charge, as Brighton have been blanked two straight. They should get a win at home to Forest, but I doubt there’s a lot of goals here.


I’ll believe Aaron Civale’s going when I see it. If this is the pitching matchup, I probably won’t play it at all. But I think Terry Francona’s going to opt to go to Shane Bieber with the season on the line. Cleveland has the stronger bullpen, but the Guardians have to actually get the game to the pen first to let them win it. They need a bridge, and that should come in the form of Bieber. If he’s on the hill, don’t expect runs.


Don’t expect runs here either in this pitching matchup, at least not until Zack Wheeler exits. The Phillies and Padres both got the chance to set up their rotations, and in pitcher-friendly Petco Park, that should mean runs are at a premium. Yu Darvish should match Wheeler pretty well, and that should let me get in and out before the Philadelphia bullpen gets a chance to ruin anything.


Overs are always a worry when Ottawa is involved because the Senators give up way too many shots on goal. But the Bruins will likely have dead legs on the second night of a back-to-back after hosting Florida on Monday. The Senators have waited since Saturday to play and host their home opener, so the defense should play well here. The under has cashed in seven of Boston’s past nine trips to Ottawa and should hit again.


It’s hard to keep offenses in check when you face Edmonton and Washington. But even allowing for that, Vancouver’s penalty kills have been abysmal so far. The Canucks have given up six power play goals in three games, and now they travel to Columbus after giving up six goals to Washington. The Jackets have struggled with Tampa Bay, Carolina and St. Louis and should be ready to score against a team on their level. Expect goals in Ohio.

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