Just when you think baseball is on the back burner it suddenly roars back into the forefront.
Late Tuesday night, the Red Sox and Dodgers swung a blockbuster trade with Boston sending star outfielder Mookie Betts and starting pitcher David Price to Los Angeles in exchange for top outfield prospect Alex Verdugo. The Minnesota Twins were also involved in the three-way deal, acquiring starting pitcher Kenda Maeda from the Dodgers and sending top-100 pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to the Sox.
Los Angeles then traded outfielder Joc Pederson to the Angels for Luis Rengifo in a separate deal.
With the acquisition of Betts, the rich get richer in Hollywood. The Dodgers went 106-56 last year. As you'd expect, their odds to win their first World Series in 32 years have shortened by adding Betts and Price. At the Westgate SuperBook, the Dodgers moved from + 450 to + 350 to win the World Series. Their odds to win the National League pennant jumped from + 175 to + 150. At Caesars, the Dodgers are now -1200 to win the NL West and their win total is 99.5. The Red Sox remained at 30/1 to win the World Series. The Yankees remain the World Series favorite at + 300.
Why did the Red Sox trade Betts, their best overall player? Because the former AL MVP was set to become a free agent after this season and Boston didn't want to hand out a massive Mike Trout-like contract. So instead of paying him big bucks or losing him for nothing, Boston elected to deal the 4-time Gold Glover for a pair of young, inexpensive pieces for the future.
But make no mistake. This deal was all about saving money. The Sox were able to shed Betts' $27 million for this year and much of the $96 million remaining on Price's hefty contract, which allows them to get under the luxury tax. Big whoop, say Sox fans. I live in Boston and I can tell you they (and we) are absolutely furious. Right when the trade went down my 67-year-old father, with whom I watched the Sox break the curse in 2004 when I was 17, texted me this: "My most disappointing moment as a Sox fan. Worse than Bucker. Worse than Bucky f****** Dent. Worse than Aaron Boone off Wake."
Here is a possible Dodgers starting lineup via RotoChamp
1. Mookie Betts OF
2. Max Muncy 1B
3. Justin Turner 3B
4. Cody Bellinger OF
5. Corey Seager SS
6. A.J. Pollock OF
7. Will Smith C
8. Gavin Lux 2B
And starting rotation
1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Walker Buehler
3. David Price
4. Alex Wood
5. Julio Urias
As Larry David would say, "Pretty, pretty, pretty good."
Wednesday's action features 9 NBA games, 2 NHL games and 47 college basketball games. Be sure to listen to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum a comprehensive betting breakdown. The podcast will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Now let's shift gears and discuss a few Wednesday college hoops games receiving early sharp action.
7 p.m. ET: Creighton (17-5, ranked 21st) at Providence (12-10)
One look at each team's record and that's all the public needs to know. Creighton all day. However, sharps have identified a great buy-low situational spot to back Providence at home. This Big East showdown opened with Creighton listed as a short 1-point road favorite. Right off the bat, why is this line so low considering Creighton is the far superior team on paper. Sharps smell a rat. The public is all over the Bluejays but the line has flipped to Providence -1 or even -1.5 at some shops behind smart money backing the Friars, who have great value as a top contrarian conference play in a lopsided, heavily bet game. There is also a revenge factor at play as Creighton beat Providence at home 78-74 two weeks ago but failed to cover at 6.5-point favorites.
7 p.m. ET: Iowa (16-6, ranked 17th) at Purdue (12-10)
Pros and Joes seem to largely be in agreement when it comes to this Big Ten matchup. Iowa enters this game with the far-better record and ranking. The Hawkeyes also lead their conference in scoring, averaging just under 80 points-per-game. This line opened with Purdue listed as a short 3.5-point home favorite. Sharp and recreational money both think the line is a bit high and have come down on road dog Iowa, dropping the number down to 3 at most shops. One note of caution for Hawkeyes backers: Big Ten home teams have dominated this season, going 29-23 ATS (56%) and 46-10 (86%) straight up.
8:30 p.m. ET: Seton Hall (16-5, ranked 12th) at Georgetown (13-9)
This Big East showdown has seen the biggest line movement of any Wednesday game thus far. Seton Hall saw their 10-game winning streak snapped their last time out, losing to Xavier 74-62. Georgetown is just 1-3 in their last four games. This line opened with Seton Hall listed as a short 1.5-point road favorite. Pros have pounced on Seton, pushing the line up to -3 or even -3.5 at some shops. Injuries could have something to do with it. Georgetown's top scorer Mac McClung (16.4 PPG) is doubtful with a foot injury.
More overnight sharp action
Clemson-Virginia Over 106 to 107
Vanderbilt + 12.5 to + 12 vs LSU
Duquesne + 5 to + 4.5 at Saint Louis
Drake -1 to -2 vs Bradley
Indiana State + 2 to + 1.5 vs Loyola Chicago
Omaha + 3.5 to + 3 vs North Dakota State
Evansville + 3.5 to + 3 vs Southern Illinois
Mercer + 12 to + 11.5 at Furman
Long Beach State + 2 to + 1.5 at Cal Poly SLO
East Tennessee State -5 to -6 at Tennessee Chattanooga