It’s Wednesday and Major League Baseball has another loaded slate as we wind down toward the postseason. With a full 15 games spread throughout the day, our analysts are focused on a pair of games featuring teams from the Windy City.
We have one play on Marlins vs. Cubs, plus two different betting recommendations on Guardians vs. White Sox.
Here are our three best bets from tonight’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Cubs First Five Innings
Jules Posner: Marcus Stroman seems to only pitch well on the road this season and that is the same deal for Jesus Luzardo. Of course, only one of these pitchers tonight is on the road and that pitcher is Stroman. Therefore, the advantage lies with the visiting Chicago Cubs.
The Marlins’ offense has been one of the worst in the league at home against RHP since August. In fact, they are the second worst team in MLB in that department over that period of time.
Furthermore, Stroman has fared well in his last three road starts, only surrendering one earned run over 16 2/3 innings. This includes seven scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis and five innings of one run ball in Toronto against the Blue Jays.
On the other side, Luzardo has given up fewer than three runs only twice in his six home starts this season. While the Cubs haven’t been mashing LHP on the road over the past month, that is mainly due to their inability to slug over that period. They have a .081 ISO as a team in that span, but they have been generating a lot of traffic on the base paths.
Considering the messy bullpen situations, it’s best to factor them out and since the Cubs’ first five moneyline sits at +100 in some books that should be the play today. Play to -115.
White Sox First Five Innings
Charlie DiSturco: The Chicago White Sox may be a walking corpse after Tuesday night’s implosion against the Cleveland Guardians, but I expect a bounce-back performance from interim manager Miguel Cairo’s squad.
Lance Lynn takes the mound for Chicago and he’s been fantastic since the All-Star break. The right-hander has a 2.13 ERA across 11 starts and has seen both his strikeout rate increase and walk rate decrease in that span.
Expected indicators remain a half-run lower for Lynn, who remains undervalued in the betting market. The last two times he’s faced Cleveland, he’s combined for 12 innings of three-run ball.
I’m going back to the Lynn well for a second-straight time against the Guardians, who send out Triston McKenzie. While the 25-year-old has a 3.08 ERA and has really taken a step forward in his third year with Cleveland, there are some concerns.
His expected indicators sit nearly a run higher than his actual ERA in the high 3s and McKenzie ranks in the bottom 10 percent of all pitchers in barrel rate. He’s getting hit hard but has managed to mitigate damage.
McKenzie has an elite 80 percent left on base rate, sandwiched between Shane McClanahan and Gerrit Cole in the top 20 (min. 100 IP). McKenzie is the obvious man out in that trio and has been fortunate not to have struggled more.
There’s no way I trust this White Sox team over the full game considering what happened Tuesday night, but I think there’s a large enough edge here in starting pitching where the White Sox are worth a play on their first five moneyline.
Lynn has been red-hot since the All-Star break while McKenzie’s high barrel rate could come back to bite on Wednesday night.
Guardians-White Sox Total
DJ James: The Chicago White Sox are holding on to one last hope against the Cleveland Guardians in a home series this week. Even with the Sox doing well under interim manager Miguel Cairo, they only have a 104 wRC+ off of righties in the last month. The Guardians are even worse at 93 wRC+.
Both Lance Lynn and Triston McKenzie have done well against the opposing sides. Lynn has settled into only allowing three earned runs in 18 innings over his last three starts against the Guardians.
McKenzie has gone 17 innings against the White Sox, only giving up four earned runs.
Both bullpens have their core that will be able to lock down both lineups. Cleveland’s bullpen xFIP is 3.50 in the last month, while the White Sox bullpen’s xFIP is 3.54.
The Guardians rank dead last in hard hit rate and the White Sox seemingly only crush left-handers. Taking the under from 7.5 (+110), and playing it to 7 (-120). Even if these teams have shown a spark later in games, they still struggle with righties.
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