Rob Senior previews the Cleveland Guardians vs. Chicago White Sox, Thursday, July 27. He provides his expert prediction as well as best bets.
Date & Time: Thursday, July 27, 8:10 P.M. Eastern
Moneyline: Cleveland Guardians (+100) vs. Chicago White Sox (-110)
Runline: Guardians +1.5 (-185)/White Sox -1.5 (+165)
Total: Over 8.5 (-110)/Under 8.5 (-110)
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL
Weather: 82 degrees, almost no chance of rain
Guardians vs. White Sox: Preview and Picks
Someone has to win the American League Central division in 2023, and the Cleveland Guardians (51-51) have as good a chance as anyone.
They’re three games behind the Minnesota Twins right now, but with a more favorable schedule down the stretch, which includes a four-game set this weekend in Chicago with the woeful White Sox (41-61).
Cleveland Guardians Preview
One of Major League Baseball’s pleasant surprises from 2022 has turned into a mild disappointment this season.
The Guardians are playing .500 ball, but their offensive profile appears even more lackluster. A mere 76 home runs rank them dead last in MLB by a comfortable margin, and a .699 OPS, good for 24th in the league, suggests they’re not manufacturing much offense either.
Who’s doing the (lack of) damage? 3B Jose Ramirez’s 16 home runs lead the team in that category. Including a pair of long balls in yesterday’s win over Kansas City, while 1B Josh Naylor has 76 runs batted in, placing him among league leaders.
But get past those two and perhaps DH Josh Bell, and the run production starts to dry up.
It’s placed quite a burden on a pitching staff that includes 24-year-old Tanner Bibee, who takes the hill Thursday with a 6-2 record and a 3.04 ERA. Bibee averages just about a strikeout per inning with only seven home runs permitted over 83 innings.
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Chicago White Sox Preview
They’re more powerful than Cleveland (literally, every team is) but that’s about it for the positives for this offense.
Two different White Sox (CF Luis Robert Jr. and 3B Jake Burger) have combined for almost 50 home runs – nearly half the team’s total – yet have only 104 runs batted in between them. That can mean two things: the hitters are all-or-nothing strikeout artists (this wouldn’t be inaccurate; they’ve gone down on strikes a combined 223 times) or no one’s getting on base in front of them.
That’s the main issue on the South Side of Chicago. A lack of table setters has the team’s OBP at .295, second-worst in the majors.
Thursday’s most interesting subplot might be the fate of Dylan Cease, the White Sox’ starting pitcher whose name has appeared in plenty of trade rumors. Cease is a power arm averaging almost 11 strikeouts per nine innings pitched with his 4-3 record and 4.04 ERA.
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Cleveland Guardians vs. Chicago White Sox Prediction
A light, four-game MLB slate leaves us with a pick that’s probably obvious if you read the reports above.
Two starting pitchers with a penchant for the strikeout – one potentially auditioning for a contender – against a pair of wobbly offenses on a hot night points us directly to a tight, low-scoring in Chicago.
Be sure to check the lineups and pitchers before wagering. Any rumored or completed deal could jeopardize Cease’s status for the White Sox.
Prediction: Cleveland Guardians/Chicago White Sox Under 8.5 runs (-110)