It’s been a frustrating last week or so with my free MLB picks as I’m a cool 0-7 over my last seven picks and it’s nearly wiped out an entire season’s worth of profits.
Said season has just one week left at the point – at least, the regular season – so let’s get back on the right track and finish strong!
Season Record: 20-16-1
Now let’s check out this free MLB pick featuring the White Sox and Indians from Progressive Field in Cleveland!
White Sox vs. Indians Betting Odds
- White Sox (+102)
- Indians (-112)
- White Sox +1.5 (-197)
- Indians -1.5 (+172)
- Over 8 (-110)
- Under 8 (-110)
White Sox vs. Indians MLB Pick Breakdown
The White Sox will send rookie right-hander Dane Dunning to the bump for this AL Central matchup as he makes his sixth start of the season after posting excellent numbers through his first five MLB outings.
The 25-year-old enters this one sporting a 2.33 ERA on the season to along with a 3.18 FIP, 3.86 xFIP and a 4.08 SIERA. He’s shown some quality strikeout stuff with a 9.33 K/9 on the season while limiting home runs to a 0.67 HR/9 through his 27 innings of work to this point.
Dunning has been a bit fortunate while yielding a .206 BABIP so far, but he’s allowing just 20% hard contact, meaning he’s allowing soft or medium contact 80% of the time to this point – a rather massive number to be honest.
His big-league work to this point has been impressive, but it’s not a huge surprise. The fact he’s doing so after missing all of 2019 due to Tommy John surgery is mighty impressive, but he also pitched to a 2.76 ERA/2.40 FIP at Double-A in 2018 and a 2.59 ERA/2.49 FIP at High-A in 2018 as well.
He sporting elite minor-league run prevention numbers and peripherals while piling up the punchouts and displaying elite command throughout his minor-league career as well.
The Indians are no stranger to elite starting pitching and while Aaron Civale might not quite have that status yet, he’s certainly been real good here in 2020.
Civale made 10 starts for the Tribe in 2019 and worked to a tidy 2.34 ERA/3.40 FIP in his 57.2 innings. He’s more or less continued that strong work through another 10 starts this season, posting a 3.80 ERA/3.51 FIP in his 64 innings of work.
Civale is striking out the opposition at a solid 8.30 K/9, but also displaying excellent command in the form of a 1.83 BB/9, continuing a long-standing minor-league trend of fantastic walk rates.
He hasn’t been at his best of late, allowing six earned runs over his last 12 innings and two starts while he’s worked to a 4.87 ERA over his last four starts.
In four starts and 21.1 career innings against the White Sox, Civale has worked to a nice 3.38 ERA and a healthy 9.30 K/9 in that time.
As was expected after a busy offseason focused on improving the offense, the White Sox are raking here in 2020.
Their numbers against left-handed pitching are superior to their figures against righties, but it’s not as if they have struggled versus righties, either.
The Sox rank 11th with a .328 wOBA on the season versus right-handed pitching while also flexing plenty of muscle in the form of a .183 ISO, good for 11th as well.
The White Sox offense was quieted some over the weekend, scoring just nine runs across three games against the Reds. They’ll also have their hands full against an excellent Indians pitching staff in this one.
Whether they will have Tim Anderson atop their lineup tonight is questionable. The 2019 batting champ and potential repeat winner this season left yesterday’s game with a hamstring cramp, but it appears he’s avoided anything serious but remains questionable for this one as a result.
It’s a good thing the Indians sport one of the best pitching staffs in baseball as their offense hasn’t been able to deliver consistently this season.
The Indians rank 22nd with a .304 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching, but have struggled to hit for power in the form of a 27th-ranked .138 ISO versus righties. Names such as Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana have struggled to hit right-handed pitching for as much power as we’ve seen in the past from that trio.
Their OPS and wOBA figures are propped up by a walk rate that sits tied for third at 11.3% versus righties on the season, but the team has otherwise scuffled to hit the ball into the gaps and over the fence versus righties here in 2020.
They are coming off a seven-run output from yesterday against the Tigers, however that came off left-hander Matthew Boyd as they scored just three times over their previous two games against right-handed starters in Michael Fulmer and Spencer Turnbull.
One of the most well-rounded clubs in the game, the White Sox have also received quality work from their bullpen this season.
The Sox bullpen has worked to a sixth-ranked 3.59 ERA on the season while the peripherals support that work. Their 3.74 FIP ranks fifth and their 4.02 xFIP checks in at third behind only the Brewers and Dodgers.
Add it up and the White Sox bullpen is tied for sixth with a 2.6 fWAR on the season.
The White Sox have six relievers that have pitched at least 14.2 innings this season and sport an ERA of 3.20 or better. They also have four relievers that have pitched at least 20 innings and sport an ERA of 2.49 or better, including closer Alex Colome who has been lights out in the form of a 0.89 ERA and 12 saves across 19 appearances and 20.1 frames of work.
If that wasn’t enough, they recently promoted 2020 first-round pick Garrett Crochet to their bullpen, and the fireballing left-hander has worked two scoreless innings while hitting 101 mph on the radar gun.
Garrett Crochet, 100/101mph ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/GdVF57VabZ
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 19, 2020
At this point, it’s an embarrassment of riches in that White Sox ‘pen.
Not to be outdone, the Tribe also sport one of baseball’s best bullpen again here in 2020.
The Indians enter this one ranked seventh with a 3.78 ERA on the season and their peripherals largely support that work as well. The club’s bullpen also sits third with a 3.62 FIP and 10th with a 4.36 xFIP. All in, they sit eighth with a 2.4 bullpen fWAR, just slightly behind the White Sox in that department.
That said, the Indians have been the best bullpen in baseball from a batted-ball perspective with a league-best 30.9% hard hit rate allowed, as per Statcast, and their 86.7 mph average exit velocity against sits second only the Brewers’ 86.4 mark.
They have four arms who have posted an ERA of 3.05 or better while throwing at least 15.2 innings while closer Brad Hand has once again been spectacular with a 2.55 ERA/1.59 ERA in his 17.2 innings of work, earning 13 saves in that time.
White Sox vs. Indians MLB Pick
I’d really like to know if Anderson was playing in this game. I mean, it’s actually a notable blow to the offense if he doesn’t as he’s hitting a whopping .360 with a .395 OBP on the year. He doesn’t walk much, but he remains one of the best pure hitters in the game and one of the best leadoff hitters in all of baseball. If Anderson plays, all the better, but even if he doesn’t this offense is certainly well-equipped to rake in his absence.
The AL-Central leading White Sox have clinched a playoff spot but are still battling the Yankees and A’s for the top seed in the AL. While they could proceed with caution with Anderson, there’s still a lot to play for in this one, including holding off the second-place Twins who sit just two games back in the division.
Nonetheless, I am feeling two picks on this game in what is a rare happening for these free MLB picks.
I am liking two things almost equally here: the White Sox on the moneyline and the under 8.
Both pitchers have been excellent this season and both bullpens have as well. The pitching for these two clubs has been excellent all season long and I don’t see runs coming in spades here.
That said, the White Sox offense remains a scary one for me. Even without Anderson, the Sox have an MVP candidate in Jose Abreu as well as the likes of Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada and Yasmani Grandal, all of which sport big-time power against both lefties and righties.
I’d hate for another White Sox home run binge ruin the under, but I can also see Civale and this stellar Indians ‘pen having a good night as well.
So, I’ll take the White Sox at solid moneyline value but also look for the under right runs in this one tonight.