We picked up another win yesterday when we backed the Chicago Cubs at home, as small favorites. I felt that the Cubs were being significantly undervalued, despite being favored. I based that assumption on Royals starter Danny Duffy having a lot of name recognition with the betting public, and the fact that Cubs starter Alec Mills had basically pitched in anonymity the last two seasons, having only pitched just over fifty innings total.
This was one of those plays where you fade the public’s collective ignorance and take advantage of a bad number. I felt strongly that even though Duffy was the bigger name, that it was actually Mills who was the better starter, and that the Cubs were the far superior team. After seeing Mills dominate for seven shutout innings last night, that assumption was proved true.
Alec Mills leads #Cubs to shutout, 4th straight win.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 4, 2020
Mills scattered just three hits on the night and picked up the win for his efforts. He is now 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA on the season and is quickly emerging as a reliable starter for Chicago. Duffy will pick up the hard-luck loss, as he was actually quite good as well, tossing six innings of one-run ball.
The starting pitching matchup is something that must be evaluated when making any baseball bet, but don’t let a name you recognize, distract you from backing the better team in a game. The public did that yesterday, and it cost them. For today’s betting pick, we will head to Milwaukee for game two of a four-game series between the Brewers and the White Sox.
Chicago White Sox (6-4) at Milwaukee Brewers (3-4)
The Chicago White Sox will look to make it two straight wins over Milwaukee tonight on the road, in game two of a four-game home and home series, with the Brewers. The White Sox took game one last night in come from behind fashion and have won five straight games overall. After tonight’s game, the series will shift to Chicago for games three and four.
For Milwaukee, the Brewers bullpen issues reared its ugly head again last night, as they allowed runs to be scored in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, to blow an early lead. Milwaukee fell back to below .500 on the season with the loss and are hoping to get back to even tonight in game two, as they are seeing the other Chicago team, the Cubs, run away with the National League Central Division. The Brewers trail Chicago by 3.5 games for first place entering play tonight.
Starting tonight for the White Sox is Lucas Giolito (0-1 6.52 ERA), and for the Brewers, it is Brandon Woodruff (1-1 1.59 ERA). The Brewers are home field favorites at -139. The game total over/under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 PM PST from Miller Park in Milwaukee.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White have found their groove after a slow start to the season, as they have now won five straight games. The Sox have exploded at the plate here in August, as they have scored 26 runs on 47 hits in their last three games. That run has boosted them to near the top of most major offensive statistics, and they are hitting a sizzling .286 as a team, the highest in the Major Leagues.
There was a reason that Luis Robert got a bunch of hype in the offseason. This kid is really, really good. Robert has quickly moved up to the leadoff spot in the White Sox lineup and is doing it all for Chicago. He is hitting .350 with a .409 on-base percentage, all the while hitting for power, stealing bases, and showing off his slick glove in center field. If you want to know what the future of White Sox baseball looks like, look no further than Luis Robert, as he is absolutely living up to the hype.
Lucas Giolito (0-1 6.52 ERA)
Another guy that Chicago is banking on being a star for the next decade, is tonight’s starter, Lucas Giolito. After pitching in the Major League since he was 21-year’s old, and having limited success, Giolito finally figured things out last season, when he exploded onto the scene with 228 strikeouts and a 3.41 ERA. He made his first All-Star team and finished 6th in the American League Cy Young Award voting.
Giolito took his rightful place atop the White Sox rotation this year, and on Opening Day, he got hammered by the Minnesota Twins. But we have seen Giolito not let bad performances hold him down for long in his career that has been full of ups and downs, and he got back on track in his second start of the year when he threw six shutout innings against the Cleveland Indians.
You can expect big things out of the young man tonight against a Brewers team that has very little power at the plate. Milwaukee comes into this game with just 5 home runs on the season, that is good for dead last in the majors for teams that have played a full schedule.
The Brewers have prided themselves on their bullpen in the last several seasons. But this year, their bullpen has been a liability. The bullpen blew last night’s lead, and as a staff, they have been getting pounded late in games. Milwaukee has been experimenting with using their starters for very short starts, and they have had limited success.
In four of their seven games, the Brewers have pulled their starter before the end of the fourth inning, and they have seen just one starter pitching into the sixth inning. They were able to get away with this unconventional pitching staff use in year’s past when they had one of the best bullpens in the game, but as their relief crew struggles to start the season, you have to wonder how long Milwaukee will continue to overuse them.
Brandon Woodruff (1-1 1.59 ERA)
I mentioned above that only one Brewers starter has pitched into the sixth inning so far this season, and that guy is tonight’s starter, Brandon Woodruff. Woodruff has been excellent in two starts this season, and his ERA of 1.59 is one of the lowest in the National League for a starting pitcher.
The biggest concern for Woodruff in 2020 has been the lack of run support. The Brewers have scored him just three total runs of support in two starts. Even if you are great on the mound, it is tough to win games when your lineup won’t score you any runs.
Who Do I Like?
In a vacuum, I would give the slight edge to Brandon Woodruff on the mound, over Lucas Giolito. He is more consistent and has been on point this season. But after getting several games canceled, the Brewers game last night was their first in nearly a week. While they were suiting on ice waiting to play, the White Sox were gelling on the field and winning all of their games.
Throw in the fact that I just can’t trust the Brewers bullpen, and their bats are laughable weak, and I like the White Sox in this game. Something special is happening in Chicago right now, and this lineup just clicks with Luis Robert hitting leadoff. We talked about the White Sox offensive explosion in their last three games, and I don’t think it is at all a coincidence, that this streak started when Chicago moved Robert to the top of the lineup.
I am taking the underdog in his game. The early action has all come in on Milwaukee and moved this line towards the Brewers. I will look to position myself on the opposite of the betting public, a place that I love to be, and take the White Sox with a bunch of extra juice. Give me the Chicago White Sox tonight on the road as they win their sixth consecutive game!