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Field of Dreams Game will likely be a high-scoring affair again, plus other best bets for Thursday

Last year’s Field of Dreams Game saw 17 runs scored and eight home runs hit

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Previously a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady has departed for other NFL teams.

Have faith; he will return. It could be seen as a second retirement, albeit a short one. The 45-year-old quarterback will not return to Tampa Bay until after the team’s second preseason game on August 20. After today’s practice, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said that the decision to bench Brady was made before camp even started so that he can “deal with some personal things.”

I wouldn’t worry too much if I were a Bucs fan. It’s Tom Brady. It wouldn’t hurt for Tampa’s backups to get more practice time in case they need to fill in during the regular season, and there isn’t much he can learn about playing football in the next 10 days. Actually, I think we should all take the next week off. To put it simply, it’s sweet. I discussed it with your superior and they agree. They, too, would benefit from a break.

Let’s go wager in a field of corn.

Times and odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook; all times are Eastern.

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At 7:15 p.m. on Fox, don’t miss the hottest ticket in town: the Cubs’ game against the Reds.

Recent Odds: +9 Bet It Now

Important Pattern: There were 17 runs scored and 8 home runs hit in last year’s Field of Dreams Game. At the Field of Dreams Game from the previous year, there were eight home runs and seventeen total runs scored. Take the total to be greater than 9! (-115)

It’s the game that inspired the name “Field of Dreams,” and it’s going down in a cornfield in Dyersville, Iowa. In a fantastic game last year, the New York Yankees defeated the Chicago White Sox. The night was made by Tim Anderson’s walk-off home run, and the crowd was electric. Both of these teams advanced to the postseason. Fortunately, that won’t be the case this year.

Even though the Cubs and the Reds are terrible, I’ll be tuning in because it’s being played in a pleasant stadium and there’s nothing else on TV. My selection is based more on gut feelings than the average play in this newsletter. After going 1-5 with my mathematical MLB picks this week, I’m hoping that going with my gut will yield better results.

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Though we’ve only seen a single game played here, last year’s events are impossible to overlook. There were 17 runs scored and 8 home runs hit between the White Sox and Yankees. The ball was bouncing around all night; perhaps that will continue tonight. Drew Smyly, the Cubs’ starting pitcher, has a below-average strikeout rate (18.5%) and gives up more fly balls than is typical. This season, he has also given up a high number of home runs. Nick Lodolo of Cincinnati has a great strikeout rate (29 percent), a terrible walk rate (10 percent), and he allows a lot of home runs.

It’s likely that if we put them in the middle of a cornfield, we’ll lose a lot of baseballs.

Take a look at what SportsLine has to say about the matchup: While my team’s vibes are solid, we could benefit from some hard numbers in this matchup. The SportsLine Projection Model comes in handy, thank goodness.

Top Choices

Matchup: Orioles vs. Red Sox (MLB), 7:10 p.m., MLB.TV

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Recent Odds: +10 to Win a Bet

To Bet On: A Number Greater Than 10 (-105) — The odds are usually against me when the total is this high, but I’m taking a chance on the over tonight. The longball has been a key to recent offensive success for both the Red Sox and Orioles, and tonight’s weather and ballpark configurations at Fenway Park should help long balls travel further. We benefit as well from the pitchers’ matchup.

Dean Kremer, of Baltimore, has a 3.42 ERA, but his 17.8% strikeout rate is quite low. In addition to allowing more flyball contact than the typical starter, Kremer also has a high success rate against hitters who try to elevate against him. Josh Winckowski of the Boston Red Sox is much better at keeping the ball on the ground, but he strikes out even fewer batters (14.5%) and nearly everything hit against him in the air goes for extra bases.

Main Tendency: Lasting 16 games, the over is 11-5 for Boston at home and 4-1 on the road for Baltimore.

Titans at Ravens, NFL preseason, 7:30 p.m., NFL Game Pass

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Current Probability: Bet Now: Ravens -170

Favorite Team: Ravens (-170) — Preseason games in the NFL are usually nothing more than scrimmages played in NFL stadiums rather than on practice fields. Rather than focusing on winning games, teams are using this season to evaluate potential roster additions. The Ravens, however, complicate things. While they are still assessing their team in the preseason, they are doing so with the same goal in mind as the rest of the league: to improve for the regular season.

This is why the Baltimore Ravens have won 20 straight preseason games. True, that’s what I meant to say. Twenty straight preseason games are won by the Ravens. The things that can happen in the preseason when the score actually matters are incredible. Of course the Ravens will suffer a defeat at some point, but until then, you shouldn’t put your money on the other team.

There is a clear pattern here, as the Ravens have won 20 consecutive preseason games.

SportsLine’s Daily Selection: The Giants and the Patriots play in another preseason game tonight, and SportsLine’s R.J. White has all the betting information you’ll need.

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Ding Dongers

So long as we know home runs will be hit into the corn tonight, we might as well wager on who will hit them.