Your Friday Five (7/2/21)


Blog Record: 140-101-6

Happy July 4th Weekend, everybody! Hopefully you all can relax during a long weekend, get some sun, and have a few adult beverages while watching some wins increase our bankroll at the sportsbook. The Sixers are out, the Phillies are floundering, and I personally don’t have a ton of hope for this Eagles team this year… so it’s important to enjoy these holiday weekends, because our Philly teams likely aren’t providing a ton of outside enjoyment anytime soon. Grab a hot dog and a beer to kick off the weekend early as we dive into our Friday Five!

MLB: Padres vs. Phillies – 6:05 P.M. ET, NBCSP

Just a heads up – you’re going to notice a theme in today’s post. Zack Wheeler for the Phillies is the best bright spot for the team. He is pitching at an elite level consistently, and if Jacob deGrom ceased to exist, Wheeler might have a chance at a Cy Young. We know the Phillies have been mediocre at best, and the Padres have won 11 of their last 13 games, but there is still a lot of value on the Philly side tonight. I already spoke about Wheeler, and Chris Paddack for San Diego hasn’t been anything special this year.

The Phillies are a -121 on the ML, and that is great value when you have a guy like Wheeler on the hill (here’s the theme!)

Take Phillies -121 ML.

Check out the latest odds here.

MLB: Dodgers vs. Nationals – 7:05 P.M. ET

I will raise my hand here and admit I was wrong… I thought the wheels on Mad Max Scherzer would have fallen off right after that 2019 World Series run, but I was wrong. At now 36 years old, he is able to pull off a 2.14 ERA and we are halfway through the season. He is still elite in every sense of the word.

Yes, the Dodgers are one of the best teams in baseball, and Julio Urias has developed into a very good young pitcher for L.A., but I’m just struggling not to think this is disrespectful for Washington and Scherzer for them to be underdogs tonight.

As I mentioned, we have a them tonight, and I feel very good about taking Max and Washington at +110 ML at home.

Take Washington +110 ML.

Check out the latest odds here.

MLB: Mets vs. Yankees – 7:05 P.M. ET

As much as it hurts me, this section needs to be dedicated to how good a signing Taijuan Walker has been for the Mets. The guy was signed to be a recovery project that maybe could be used as a fourth or fifth starter, and now he should be an All-Star.  Walker currently has a 2.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, in case you needed anything more than just my word.

In the Subwayn Series, both teams come in with 41 wins… however, the Yankees have been faltering lately to get to that number. They are currently fourth in the AL East, and trail the leading Red Sox by nine games. Jordan Montgomery is on the mound for the Bombers, and he simply isn’t the same caliber pitcher that Walker has been this season.

Sticking with our theme, Walker and the Mets come into this matchup as semi-big dogs (+128 ML), and I’m taking that value.

Take the Mets +128 ML.

Check out the latest odds here.

NHL: Lightning vs. Canadiens – 8:00 P.M. ET, NBC

If you’ve followed me, you know I’m no hockey expert, but this is a pure gut pick. Price has arguably been the best goalie in the last decade, and he has been lights out in the playoffs as a whole… I think he carries the Canadiens to a win tonight (probably their only one of the series).

Take Canadiens ML +115.

Check out the latest odds here.

MLB: Rangers vs. Mariners – 10:10 P.M. ET

Closing out our theme, we are going to one of my personal favorites this season… Mr. Kyle Gibson. Gibson has been nothing short of spectacular for the Rangers this year, who have very little going for them otherwise. Gibson has an ERA of exactly 2.00, and as everyone keeps expecting the journeyman to regress, he continues to pitch at an elite level.

The Mariners have been a solid team this year, much better than some would have expected, but their young arm Logan Gilbert is still figuring out the Major League level, and I’m not expecting those growing pains to stop just yet.

I’m getting Gibson at near even money against a Mariners team that doesn’t strike fear into me, and to close out our theme/post, I’m definitely taking that.

Take Texas -105 ML.

Check out the latest odds here.

Like I said to start the post, make sure you enjoy these holiday weekends!

Good luck to everyone!

Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

You can follow Tim O’Keefe on Twitter (@TKO_Picks) and e-mail him at

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