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WHAT’S ON TAP IN SPORTS FOR WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2019:
There’s plenty of excitement in major sports tonight. The Nationals take on the Astros in Game 2 of the 2019 World Series, while the conference semifinals begin in the MLS Cup. The NBA season continues with 11 games, while there are also two matchups in the National Hockey League:
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World Series Game 2:
Nationals at Astros
Red Wins +110 at Senators -130
Penguins +155 at Lightning -195
Bulls at Hornets (+3.0)
Cavaliers at Magic (-8.0)
Pistons at Pacers (-6.5)
Celtics at 76ers (-5.0)
Grizzlies at Heat (-7.5)
Timberwolves at Nets (-4.0)
Knicks at Spurs (-10.0)
Wizards at Mavericks (-8.5)
Thunder at Jazz (-9.0)
Nuggets at Trail Blazers (-1.0)
Kings at Suns (+1.5)
Toronto +275 at New York City -105
Real Salt Lake +400 at Seattle -182
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- Washington Nationals vs. Houston Astros
The bookies haven’t announced the odds yet, but we know who will start Game 2 of the 2019 World Series. Stephen Strasburg will toe the slab for the Nationals, while the Astros will counter with Justin Verlander.
Strasburg is playing at the highest level this postseason, going 3-0 in four starts with a 1.64 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. Likewise, he’s recorded 33 strikeouts and only one walk. Strasburg went 18-6 in the regular season, while he’s 1-0 in three starts against the Astros in his career.
On the other side, Justin Verlander is pitching in a shaky form after a terrific regular season. He’s 1-2 in four starts in the playoffs, tallying a 3.70 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. Verlander went 21-6 in the regular season with a 2.58 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP, while he’s 2-0 in two starts against the Nats in his career.
Considering Strasburg’s current form, the Astros will have a difficult task in Game 2. Still, everything is possible in the World Series, and I would go with the under on the totals, expecting to see a strong performance by both starting pitchers.
- Under on the totals
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- Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
The Penguins will take on the Lightning for the first time this season, still missing Evgeni Malkin and Alex Galchenyuk due to injuries. Pittsburgh will play back-to-back here after a clash with the Panthers at Florida.
On the other side, the Lightning are coming off a 6-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche this past Saturday. They are 1-1 at home this season, and with four days to rest and prepare for the clash with the Penguins, I expect the Lightning to grab a win.
Tampa Bay is 4-2 in its last six meetings with Pittsburgh and 3-0 in the previous three encounters in Florida. Likewise, Tampa Bay is 13-5 in the last 18 outings at home and 11-3 in the previous 14 home encounters with the Metropolitan Division.
- Tampa Bay Lightning -195 over Pittsburgh Penguins
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- Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz
The Thunder entered the rebuilding process. They traded both Russell Westbrook and Paul George this summer for a bunch of first-round picks. They got Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari, too, but these two guys will probably finish the season elsewhere in exchange for more first-round picks.
On the other side, the Utah Jazz acquired Mike Conley, and the experienced PG should be a great fit. The Jazz enters the season as a top contender to win the Northwest Division, and with the sheer talent on their roster, the Jazz could easily finish among the best two teams in the West.
Hereof, I think the Jazz will open the season with a victory in front of the home fans. I expect to see a dominant performance, but just in case, take the alternative line.
- Utah Jazz -6.5 at -140
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- Toronto vs. New York City
While New York City was on a bye in the first round, Toronto needed overtime to thrash off D.C. United 5-1. During the regular season, Toronto smashed New York City 4-0 in Canada, while the clash in New York was finished in a 1-1 stalemate.
Interestingly, that tie in September put an end to a streak of six games that produced at least three goals in the total. Likewise, five of seven encounters between these two teams in New York had at least three goals in total.
New York City won seven of its last eight games at home along with that 1-1 draw with Toronto. The Pigeons kept their net intact only once during that eight-game span.
On the other side, Toronto recorded five ties along with a win and a loss in the previous seven outings on the road. The Reds scored in all but one game in that stretch.
Therefore, I expect to see both teams finding the net in the conference semifinals. Still, the odds are not tempting at -200, so I would combine it with the over 2.5 goals in the total.
- Both Teams to Score YES & Over 2.5 Goals at -120