This MLB season keeps getting better by way of my Free MLB Picks as I continued my white-hot season with another winner last night between the Blue Jays and Orioles.
That said, it certainly wasn’t top prospect Nate Pearson we should be thanking. Pearson was once again touched up, allowing five earned runs on four hits and three walks in just four innings before leaving the game and eventually being placed on the IL.
That said, it was quite clear that Wade LeBlanc would be touched up, and he was. LeBlanc allowed five earned runs himself on five hits and two walks in his four innings of work.
From there, both bullpens were solid, but the Jays scored a run in the top of the 10th and that was enough to net them an 8-7 win on the night, grabbing a one-unit profit for us.
It’s been a great season so far, and let’s keep it going on another busy night in Major League Baseball!
Season Record: 15-6
Now let’s check out this free MLB pick featuring the Tigers vs. White Sox from Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago!
Tigers vs. White Sox Betting Odds
- Tigers (+141)
- White Sox (-153)
- Tigers +1.5 (-145)
- White Sox -1.5 (+125)
- Over 9 (-118)
- Under 9 (-102)
Tigers vs. White Sox MLB Pick Breakdown
Pitching Matchup: DET – Mize (N/A) vs. CWS – Dunning (N/A)
You might have notched the unavailable pitching stats for the 2020 season on both starters in this one due to the fact that both are making their big-league debuts tonight.
That said, Mize’s is the more anticipated debut as Detroit made him the top pick in the 2018 MLB draft before he dominated in his brief minor-league career.
All Mize did last season was post a 0.88 ERA/1.94 FIP while not allowing a homer in his 30.2 innings of work at the High-A level before turning in a 3.20 ERA/2.98 FIP with a 0.57 HR/9 in 78.2 Double-A frames afterwards.
In fact, his first start at Double-A was of the no-hit variety and while he struggled some after an IL stint, Mize thoroughly dominated minor-league competition last season and very much earned his promotion to the big leagues here in 2020.
His greatest assets are his command and poise while his split-fingered fastball is widely regarded as the best pitching in all of minor league baseball. He may not be a strikeout artist, but Mize is a top-10 MLB prospect for a reason.
Right-hander Dane Dunning also makes his big-league debut in this one after he cruised through minor-league competition last season as well.
That said, this is actually his first competitive action since the 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery that cost him all of the 2019 season, but Dunning sparkled in that 2018 season.
Like Mize, he split the season between High-A and Double-A, turning in a 2.59 ERA/2.49 FIP with a 11.47 K/9 in 24.1 High-A frames before posting a similar 2.70 ERA/2.40 FIP with a 10.02 K/9 across 62 Double-A innings.
Dunning has a history of big strikeout numbers in the minors which should serve him well against a strikeout-happy Tigers offense while he has generally posted big ground-ball numbers as well, maxing going 49.1% or above (and as high as 64.8%) across his five minor-league stops.
While the Tigers’ offense has surprised a little but, much of that surprise has come against left-handed pitching where they rank as one of the best in baseball, but they’ve struggled against righties.
The Tigers enter this one ranked 28th with a .283 wOBA versus righties while their 28.8% K-rate against them is the worst mark in the majors.
Losing their cleanup hitter in C.J. Cron for the season with a knee injury isn’t helping matters as they have averaged just 3.7 runs per game during their current seven-game losing streak, four of which have come against these White Sox.
The team also called up their top hitting prospect in Isaac Parades along with Mize and last night’s starter Tarik Skubal, but the Tigers are now resembling the offense that ranked among the worst in baseball last season after a solid opening stretch to the season.
The White Sox lineup is now fairly loaded on paper and they’ve hit Tigers pitching well this season in averaging eight runs per game over their last four versus Detroit, but they generally haven’t been anything special against right-handed pitching this season.
The White Sox are tied for 17th with a .311 wOBA on the season versus right-handed pitchers and their .169 ISO checks in at 16th, one spot behind the Tigers and their .170 mark.
Like the Tigers, the White Sox fare much better against lefties as they rank fourth with a .379 wOBA against them this season, again one spot behind the Tigers and their .382 mark. They have beat up on left-handed starter Matt Boyd twice in the last week and got to Skubal early and often last night as well.
Whether they can do to another youngster in Mize tonight remains to be seen, but like Detroit, the White Sox are an inferior offense against right-handed pitchers.
Probably the most surprising aspect to the Tigers’ 2020 season has been the performance they’ve received from their bullpen.
After ranking among the worst bullpens in baseball last season, the Tigers – armed with a cast of unrecognizable relief arms – rank 16th with a 4.30 ERA on the season, but also lead the league with an excellent 2.56 BB/9.
That said, they’ve largely struggled over the last week, posting a 4.99 ERA/5.52 FIP in that time while their walk rate has elevated to 3.82 BB/9 over the last seven days. Additionally, they haven’t been missing many bats on the whole with a 29th-ranked 7.32 K/9 on the season and are missing their setup man Buck Farmer who has been good with a 2.84 ERA in his seven appearances on the season.
The White Sox sit just ahead of the Tigers at 12th with a 4.06 bullpen ERA on the season, but their peripheral numbers are superior.
They also own an eighth-ranked 3.65 FIP, fourth-ranked 3.88 xFIP and have also displayed quality command in the form of a 2.98 BB/9 clip. They also own a far superior strikeout clip of 9.75 K/9 and have received a 1.3 fWAR from that group, good for a share of 10th alongside the New York Yankees.
Closer Alex Colome has been dominant as he’s yet to allow an earned run in his eight innings of work to go along with five saves with Matt Foster, Evan Marshall, Ross Detwiler, Aaron Bummer and Cody Heuer all owning ERAs of 3.00 or lower while all pitching at least 6.2 innings on the season.
Tigers vs. White Sox MLB Pick
The White Sox are a superior team as they begin to see the fruits of their rebuild come through while they made a handful of win-now additions in the offseason.
The Tigers are very much in the midst of their rebuild, but a new era has begun with the promotions of three of their top prospects while a couple other highly regarded prospects await at the alternate training site.
All that said, I’m going to take a calculated risk on the road underdogs in this one.
Mize is arguably the most polished pitching prospect in the game, and while young pitchers often struggle early in their careers, that same rule applies to Dunning who is not nearly as highly regarded as Mize.
Neither offense hits right-handers very well, so I’m not overly concerned with a White Sox offense that has hit Tigers pitching very well this season so far.
While Chicago has the superior bullpen as well, this pick is based on Mize giving the Tigers four of five innings of quality work and giving them a chance in this one.
The White Sox have won four of five contests against Detroit this season, but I like the price we’re getting with arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball in this one tonight.