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White Sox at Royals Pick MLB – August 21st + Bonus Pick

The Reds v Diamondbacks UNDER cashed a winning ticket, but I count myself as thankful considering the Reds lost their starter Tony Cingrani in the fourth inning with an injury.  Anytime a starter with a .191 opponent batting average leaves early with an injury and the bullpen is counted on to hold the rope for nearly six innings, an UNDER wager gets a little nerve-wracking.  Things were smooth and easy heading into the 8th when a Paul Goldschmidt grand slam (his THIRD of the season) pushed the score to 5-2.

Alas, all’s well that ends well, so let’s build on yesterday’s close win with a hopefully more comfortable viewing experience tonight…

Today’s Free Pick:

Chicago White Sox +157 at Kansas City Royals -167 (Total: 8.5)

Andre Reinzo (0-0, 3.70 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (12-9, 4.15 ERA)

This isn’t the most glamorous match-up on the Wednesday docket, but it does offer an opportunity for a possible run total play.  Neither team is throwing a dominant starter and neither pitcher enters on a particular streak either good or bad; in fact, their last starts have been mirror images – both have ERA’s in the high three and WHIP of 1.32 and  1.33 respectively.  But what makes the UNDER play of interest to me is the relative struggles of both team’s offenses.

It is pretty common knowledge the White Sox have trouble with the strikeout, and that will usually wreck havoc on the team batting average.  Coming into tonight, the White Sox are batting just .247 and striking out nearly three times more than they have walked.  The average under four runs a game against right handed pitchers at just 3.68.

The Royals, despite their nice run up the wildcard standings and into borderline relevance haven’t hit a whole lot better.  They are batting .255 as a team and are also averaging under four runs a game against right handed pitching.

In the last eight games between these two teams, only twice has the run total exceeded six runs, and it has been six or under in seven of their last ten games.  That bodes well for a low-scoring affair and a nice pitching performance from the talented by occasionally underwhelming Jeremy Guthrie.

I like this one to stay UNDER the eight and a half run total tonight.

Free Pick:  Run TOTAL UNDER 8.5

BONUS PICK:

St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers (Total: 9)

Jake Westbrook vs. Tom Gorzelanny

This is a quick pick, as the game starts in just a few hours, but Westbrook has been lousy lately, and the OVER has cashed in 13 of his last 17 starts.  Milwaukee may not be a good team, but they CAN hit and score runs.  I like some fireworks on this getaway day matinee.

Free Pick:  Run TOTAL OVER 9