Marco Gonzalez is showing everyone why he is the ace of the present and the future, for the Seattle Mariners. Gonzalez has been pitching at a very high level in the last five weeks for Seattle, and he has carried this Mariners squad on his back as they look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2001. So, when I saw that I could get him, at home, as a major underdog, against a Houston Astros team that has been awful on the road this year, I jumped all over it.
Marco Gonzalez did not disappaoint as he again stepped up for the Mariners and delivered another stellar performance on the mound. Marco worked eight shutout innings, scattering seven hits and one walk. The Mariners needed every bit of that performance though, as this game was tied up at 0-0 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning.
Just a Bulldog being a Bulldog. pic.twitter.com/09canP5bWZ
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 22, 2020
The M’s were able to post a four-spot in the bottom of the frame, with the big hit being a three-run bomb from rookie Evan White. Seattle played add-on late and picked up the win 6-1. With the win, the Mariners are now just three games back of Houston for second place in the AL West, with the teams scheduled to play two more games this week in the regular season’s final stretch.
The win was our fourth this week, where we backed a big underdog and managed to cash a ticket. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will go searching for more underdog value, as we head to Cleveland, where the Indians host the Chicago White Sox.
Chicago White Sox (34-20) at Cleveland Indians (30-24)
The Cleveland Indians will look to make it two straight wins over the Chicago White Sox tonight in game two of a four-game series between American League Central Division rivals. The Indians took game one last night, in the opener 7-4, to take the series lead. Cleveland got home runs from Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana and pulled to within four games of Chicago for first place in the division.
For Chicago, the White Sox are now just a game and a half ahead of the Minnesota Twins and would love to win this series and lock down the division title before their last series of the season this weekend. The White Sox had the division title all but locked up after beating Minnesota in three out of four games last week, but then dropped two of three to the streaking Cincinnati Reds, and need a solid finish to hang onto the divisional crown.
Starting for the White Sox is Reynaldo Lopez (1-2 5.40 ERA), and for the Indians, it is Cal Quantrill (2-0 2.52 ERA). The game total over/under is set at nine runs. The Indians are -150 home field favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 3:10 PM PST from Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Chicago White Sox
After reeling off ten wins in eleven games, it looked like the Chicago White Sox were going to run away with the AL Central Division championship. But since that hot streak, the White Sox have now lost four out of their last six games. Chicago has been one of the hardest-hitting teams in the game this year, but during this recent skid, they had average fewer than three runs a game.
One guy that Chicago needs to get going, is Yoan Moncada. Moncada had a career year last season when he hit .315 and clubbed 25 home runs. This year, he has not been able to stay consistent enough at the plate to come close to matching his 2019 production. He has just one hit in his last eight games. He is 1-25 during that span, and Chicago needs him to figure things out and quickly, if they want to get back to being one of the most feared lineups in the game.
Reynaldo Lopez (1-2 5.40 ERA)
Reynaldo Lopez is still just 26 years old, so he has plenty of time left to get his act together and live up to his ample hype when he was a prospect. He impressed in 2018 when he posted a 3.1 WAR with an ERA of under four runs. But last year he regressed, and this year, he hasn’t been much better.
But at times, Lopez reminds people why he is such an intriguing player. Two starts ago, he pitched five shutout innings against the Detroit Tigers. And despite not always being overly sharp, he has done enough to give his team a chance to win baseball games, and they have won four out of his last five starts.
It would take a miracle for the Cleveland Indians to catch the White Sox for first place in the division, but if they could somehow sweep Chicago this week, in this four-game series, they would be just one game back of Chicago. The Indian’s next series is against the worst team in baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and you would expect that they can win that series as well. They would need some help from Chicago to complete the comeback, but I guess anything could happen, so I would expect the Indians to stay engaged until the regular season is officially over.
Cal Quantrill (2-0 2.52 ERA)
When the Cleveland Indians traded away starting pitcher Mike Clevinger at the trade deadline late last month, one of the big pieces they got in return was pitcher Cal Quantrill. Quantrill was a first-round draft pick in 2016, and made his debut for San Diego last year, splitting time between the starting rotation and the bullpen for the Padres. He had a lot of typical rookie struggles last year, and this year, he was working almost exclusively out of the bullpen and looked much better
In ten appearances for the Padres, Quantrill posted a 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA. In his short stint with Cleveland, Quantrill has made six appearances, all in relief, and has a 2.35 ERA. He will make his first-ever start for the Indians tonight, and Cleveland is hoping he can fill the big hole in their rotation that was left when Clevinger got moved.
Who Do I Like?
I am a bit surprised to see the Indians favored in this game. Cal Quantrill has yet to make even a single start for Cleveland, and in his lone start for the Padres this season, he lasted just 3.2 innings. That’s not to say that this guy can’t go deeper into games; he has been used as a starter in the past, but the longest outing he has had this season has been 4.1 innings, and in that game, he got smashed.
Reynaldo Lopez is certainly a bit shaky as well, but the White Sox seem to win just about every time he pitches. If you are looking at this starting pitching matchup as one that is clearly in favor of the Indians, you need to get your head checked, as this one is dead even.
So, if the starting pitching is even, then why are the third-place Indians favored over the first place White Sox? Chicago has been better than Cleveland basically wire to wire this year, so I think it is safe to say that they are the better overall team in this game. In terms of run differential, the White Sox are much better at an American League-leading +72 than Cleveland is, at +40.
I think the White Sox take care of business tonight on the road. They have to be feeling the heat of the Twins breathing down their neck, and I think that they will do whatever it takes to win this game. Minnesota plays at home against a Tigers team that is really struggling right now, and Chicago knows they need to keep winning to hang on to first place.
I can’t imagine that Cal Quantrill is going to be in this game very long, and it wouldn’t shock me if he just pitched three or four innings. Reynaldo Lopez probably won’t be great either, but he did own the Indians in three starts last season. Last year against Cleveland, Lopez pitched a combined 22.2 innings and had a 2-0 record and a 1.99 ERA and 19 Ks. That includes a complete game one hitter in his last start against the tribe.
I am taking another shot on a big dog today and backing the White Sox. I don’t have an overly strong opinion on how it will play out exactly, but I just can’t pass up on backing a team as good as the White Sox, getting this kind of dog money. Give me the Chicago White sox at +130 tonight on the road in game two.