Saturday’s MLB Over/Under: Will Hot Bats or Stud Pitchers Win Out in Chicago?

Saturday’s MLB Over/Under: Will Hot Bats or Stud Pitchers Win Out in Chicago? article feature image

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Nice win yesterday in last night’s Padres-Astros Under 8.5, as Luis Perdomo shockingly led the way en route to beating the reigning world champions. Let’s try to keep the good times rolling, as we prepare to enter another Saturday with another total involving Lucas Giolito.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 6-1-1, +4.8 units
Yesterday’s Result: Perdomo vs. McCullers Under 8.5 (WIN)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Detroit Tigers @ Chicago White Sox

2:10 p.m. ET

Probable Pitchers: Michael Fulmer  vs. Lucas Giolito

Would you believe that these two AL Central clubs are in the top 10 right now in runs scored per game? It’s actually true, as the White Sox rank fifth (6.0), while the rival Tigers rank ninth (5.17).

That’s quite a jump for two teams that were both middle of the pack in hitting last year, while making no major additions to their lineups over the offseason. Clearly, they’re overachieving, so there has to be some regression at some point sooner than later. Why not lean on that to surface today with this strong pitching matchup in cold weather on tap for Game 2 of this three-game set?

When it comes to Fulmer (pictured above), this is the best time of year to invest in his notable talents. In general, he’s been far better before the All-Star break (2.70 ERA) than after it (4.45 ERA), and that’s especially true in the season’s first month. The 25-year-old sports a 2.86 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and .198 BAA in seven career April starts.

He certainly lived up to that trend in his 2018 debut last week, limiting the Pirates to just one run on four hits over eight terrific innings. And remember, that team is currently tied for baseball’s best record.

Fulmer also may get a boost by the fact that this second outing will be in an afternoon setting. During the daytime for his career, he’s 9-5 with a 2.62 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and .225 BAA, much more consistent compared to his overall showing in the evening (12-15 with a 3.94 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and .257 BAA).

Giolito, a fellow youngster, also apparently enjoys pitching during the day, as evident in his 2.27 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and .191 BAA, albeit in a much smaller sample size of six starts. But that’s not the main reason we want to rely on the former No. 16 overall draft pick in an under for the second consecutive Saturday.

As I detailed last week, this is someone who is one of the American League’s main emerging starting pitchers for this year. He showed why this is so in his season-opening assignment, bouncing back after a sluggish first inning that saw him load the bases with nobody out, to ultimately get in his rhythm and record a quality start. I think Giolito continues that momentum into his first start of the season at Guaranteed Rate Field, where he’s 3-2 in five career starts with a 2.51 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and .174 BAA.

Furthermore, he shined in his lone previous start versus this opponent. Last August, the third-year righty shut out Detroit over seven sharp innings, as Miguel Cabrera, Nicholas Castellanos and Jose Iglesias went a combined 0-for-9 in the contest.

Perhaps just as important as anything, the weather conditions will be in a position to factor into this under wager. The temperature is supposed to be in the mid-30s, which should only make things more difficult facing Fulmer’s 95-96 mph heat.

Play: UNDER 8 (-105)