Here are our experts’ top bets for tonight MLB action.
Chicago White Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays (First Five Innings Over/Under 5)
The White Sox, who’s now dropped 10 of their last 12 outings, have been an abysmal offense due to injuries and underwhelming production. Mike Clevinger might be Chicago’s best hope of ending its losing run. He’s held the opposition scoreless in two of his four starts and, aside from Whit Merrifield, the Toronto hitters haven’t seen a lot of him.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays’ Jose Berrios threw seven strong innings in Houston last week and stifled a potent Astros line-up, giving up two runs on three hits while issuing just a single walk. That came after a 6-strikeout effort to beat the Rays. Chicago only managed three hits against Chris Bassitt last night.
We like the First Five Inning Under 5.
St. Louis Cardinals (-110, 9) vs San Francisco Giants
The Giants will use an opener in John Brebbia, who started 11 times last season and allowed one run on 10 hits with a 7/1 K/BB ratio against 43 batters faced. The expectation is that the Giants will turn the game over to Jakob Junis after that.
The Cardinals crush lefties and have for the last few seasons, so it makes sense to try and throw as many righties as possible. Junis is throwing a slider 61.3% of the time, following up on an arsenal change we saw last season. the Cardinals are ninth in wOBA against right-handed sliders at .294 and third in batting average at .255, so we’ll see if they can take advantage against the slider-heavy Junis.
The Giants have to be ecstatic to see a righty and a pretty lackluster one in Jake Woodford. Woodford has allowed 13 runs on 27 hits in 19.1 innings, so he’d be up the proverbial creek without a paddle if not for an 82.7% LOB%. Woodford has allowed an alarming rate of hard contact at 60.3% and a Barrel% of 13.2%. There are a few other things to like about the Giants today Woodford has a career 15.6% K% at the MLB level and he’s at 13.6% this season. The biggest offensive issue for the Giants has been the strikeout and that shouldn’t be a big factor today.
The Giants bullpen has some big positive regression indicators with a 5.29 ERA, 4.38 FIP, and 3.84 xFIP. They’re being hurt by a 61.5% LOB%, which is the second-lowest in baseball. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have a top-10 bullpen by fWAR and strong numbers overall.
Our experts’ like the Giants First Five Innings (-115)