If you’re following these picks, just know that I’m as frustrated as you, but probably a lot more. I take great pride in dealing out these picks and the research has not changed since my red-hot first 80% of of the season. While last night was a 1-2 night, it was another losing night and we’re now in negative territory for the season.
I hit my Braves moneyline pick with ease. I figured the Braves would light up Marlins starter Jose Urena and a bad Marlins bullpen, and that was indeed the case in an 11-1 blowout Braves victory.
That said, the day started off on the wrong note to begin with. Aaron Nola wasn’t at his best against the Nationals, but two Washington errors proved costly while Austin Voth – despite nothing pointing towards success – pitched the best game of his big-league career to this point and the Nationals upset the Phillies 5-1 and my Phillies -1.5 pick was not even close despite some early run-scoring opportunities.
I also dropped my Rays vs. Mets pick where I had the Rays on the moneyline. The Rays’ offense just couldn’t break through while the Mets got to reliever John Curtiss, who I noted in yesterday’s write up was having an excellent season. The 5-2 Mets final ensured us a losing night.
Nothing we can do but look forward to the next hot streak, so let’s get that started on a jam-packed 15-game schedule today!
Season Record: 23-21-1
Let’s start the turnaround with this free MLB pick featuring the White Sox vs. Indians from Progressive Field in Cleveland!
White Sox vs. Indians Betting Odds
- White Sox (+142)
- Indians (-152)
- White Sox +1.5 (-160)
- Indians -1.5 (+140)
- Over 7 (+107)
- Under 7 (-127)
White Sox vs. Indians MLB Pick Breakdown
It’s an elite pitching matchup on tap tonight in Cleveland as the White Sox send their ace Lucas Giolito to the mound for his 12th start of the season.
He’s been excellent across his first three, pitching to a 3.53 ERA/3.18 fIP to go along with a stout 11.67 K/9 across his 66.1 innings of work. Of course, that includes throwing the 19th no-hitter in White Sox history in a start against the Pirates on August 25.
Giolito hasn’t been as good since, however. While he hasn’t been blown up, he’s allowed three earned runs in each of his last three starts and owns a 4.71 ERA during that time. Aside from facing the Twins, the competition hasn’t exactly been stiff as he’s also faced the lowly Tigers and Royals during that span.
He has dealt in his two starts versus the division-rival Indians this season, however. In 13 innings against the Tribe this season, Giolito has allowed just two earned runs, good for a 1.38 ERA to go along with 15 punchouts in that time which equates to a 10.38 K/9.
Current Indians hitters have combined to hit just .221 with a minuscule .091 ISO, .614 OPS and .279 wOBA against Giolito. He’s posted a 2.56 ERA in six career starts against the Indians while he’s worked to a 2.33 ERA in three career starts at Progressive Field.
It’s ace vs. ace in this one tonight as the Indians send right-hander Shane Bieber to the bump for this one as he looks to bolster his Cy Young candidacy against the division-rival White Sox.
It’s pretty difficult to argue against Bieber being the best pitcher in the majors this season. He’s authored a 1.74 ERA/2.13 FIP/2.06 xFIP to go along with a 13.94 K/9 clip and a 2.9 fWAR. Corbin Burns’ 1.78 FIP leads all qualified pitchers, but Bieber leads all of baseball in every other stat presented this season.
His numbers are home are actually comical as it appears he’s actually endured bad luck on his way to a 1.59 ERA at Progressive Field this season. That’s because he also owns a 0.24 FIP, 0.69 xFIP, an 18.00 K/9 and has yet to allow a homer in his 17 innings of work at home this season. He’s pitched far more on the road where he’s thrown 55.1 innings on the season, but aren’t those numbers hilarious?
I suppose you could consider his last couple outings poor by his standards. He’s allowed six earned runs in 14.2 innings in that span, good for a 3.80 ERA. He’s also punched out 18 in that time, good for an 11.41 K/9.
He also allowed three earned runs in six innings in his lone start of the season against the White Sox back on August 9. White Sox hitters have actually combined to hit .292 with a .250 ISO, .872 OPS and .374 wOBA against Bieber, but much of that damage comes from previous seasons.
In seven career starts against the White Sox, Bieber owns a 3.27 ERA and 10.80 K/9, so he’s certainly enjoyed success in this matchup in the past.
It’s no secret that these White Sox can rake. As I’ve noted in previous piece with this club, they have been the best offense in baseball against lefties while remaining an above-average offense versus righties as well.
Chicago enters this one ranked 11th with a .328 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching while they also sit 11th with a .182 ISO on the season off righties. They do have their strikeout issues as they’ve punched out at an elevated 25.7% against righties while they actually slip top dead last with a 7.1% walk rate against right-handers as well.
The offense also hasn’t been explosive of late as they limp to the regular-season finish line with a postseason spot in their back pocket.
The White Sox have lost four of five entering this one and have managed just 3.2 runs per game during that stretch.
It appears Bieber’s matchup improves against a mostly scuffling group at the moment despite a ton of thump up and down the lineup.
The Indians have managed to score some runs of late but their offense has largely scuffled this season, especially against right-handed pitching.
Entering this one, the club ranks 23rd with a .305 wOBA on the season off of righties and their power has lacked all season as their .142 ISO off righties is tied with the Rangers for 26th league wide.
They were quiet last night before an epic three-run, extra-inning, walk-off homer from Jose Ramirez that clinched a postseason spot with a 5-3 win. With the five-run output, they’ve scored at least that many in three straight and have scored seven runs in each of their two previous games, giving them 6.33 runs per game over their last three.
The playoff-clinching homer with Ramirez keeps him white-hot at the plate as he’s now homered eight times over his last 11 games, so the White Sox will certainly need to focus on how to get him out, or simply pitch carefully to him in this one.
You could make an argument that the White Sox are the most well-rounded teams in the American League. I’m sure the Yankees, A’s and Twins would have something to say about that, but they can hit, they have received excellent starting pitching and their bullpen is both deep and dominant.
The White Sox are tied for sixth with a 3.69 bullpen ERA on the season, with, guess who? Indeed, the Indians and Sox sport an identical bullpen ERA on the season, and both own nice peripherals.
For the Sox, it’s a 3.83 FIP and 4.06 xFIP, the latter of which checks in at fourth in the bigs while their 2.6 fWAR sits seventh.
Closer Alex Colome owns a 0.84 ERA with 12 saves in 20 appearances, but the White Sox also have four relievers – including Colome – sporting ERAs of 2.91 or better while throwing at least 21.2 innings. They also added power lefty and 2020 draft pick Garrett Crochet to the mix and he’s hurled three scoreless innings to this point in his very brief big-league tenure so far.
Up and down, this White Sox bullpen is built to last.
As noted, this Indians bullpen has been excellent this season as well and has the advantage by a whisker at the moment.
I mean, the ERAs are identical, and while the White Sox have the superior xFIP, the Indians own a third-ranked 3.55 FIP as well. Their 2.8 fWAR sits one spot ahead of the White Sox for sixth-best in the bigs.
Of course, with those numbers comes a wealth of relievers enjoying dominant seasons. James Karinchak leads the group with 25 innings pitched and he’s worked to a stout 2.52 ERA/1.78 FIP with a monster 17.28 K/9 in that time. Closer Brad Hand has worked to a 2.41 ERA/1.46 FIP with 14 saves in his 18.2 frames while southpaw Oliver Perez is once again dominating to the tune of a 1.62 ERA/2.88 FIP in 16.2 frames of work.
The Indians boast five pitchers with at least 7.2 innings pitched and ERAs of 2.78 or under. Four of those arms have hurled at least 16.2 innings with an ERA of 2.78 or under.
It’s probably best not to split hairs while comparing the two bullpens as both have been dominant this season.
White Sox vs. Indians MLB Pick
This one is all about the pitching.
Two elite right-handed aces followed up by two dominant bullpens. Both starters have enjoyed success against the opposing club while the Indians struggle against righties while the White Sox offense is both cold and far better against lefties, albeit still certainly capable against righties.
Nonetheless, I can see the low total and the -127 attached odds, but I’m still going to put my faith into the elite pitching staffs on both sides of this matchup and look for a very low-scoring affair tonight from Cleveland.