Saturday’s MLB Over/Under to Consider: Will Giolito Show Out vs. K.C.?
Sep 24, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito (27) pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Well, we couldn’t have drawn it up any better, as my first bet of the season, Red Sox-Rays Under 7.5, rolls to a 1-0 final, with both David Price and Blake Snell throwing up nothing but zeroes on the scoreboard. Now it’s time to move on to the first Saturday of the year.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 1-0, +1 unit
Yesterday’s Result: Price vs. Snell Under 7.5 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
7:15 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Lucas Giolito vs. Ian Kennedy
Out of all the emerging young pitchers to watch in the American League this year, Chicago’s Lucas Giolito (pictured above) probably deserves your attention more than most. After all, the former first-round draft pick appears primed for a big campaign in his first full season in the Majors, and that presumably begins this evening on the road at The K.
Acquired by the White Sox in December 2016, Giolito made his team debut in August of last season, ultimately notching an impressive 2.38 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in seven starts. Two of those assignments came opposite Kansas City, whom he held to just two runs in more than 13 combined innings. The club’s three best hitters — Mike Moustakas, Whit Merrifield and Alex Gordon — went a combined 1-for-16 (.063) versus Giolito in those outings. It’s also helpful for this under play that the Royals are without star backstop Salvador Perez.
Perhaps most important of all, Giolito, 23, is coming off a sparkling spring, one that saw him record a 2.04 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over 17.2 innings pitched, as opposing hitters managed just a .169 average off the right-hander. Giolito has an exceptionally high ceiling, and it appears he’s in a favorable spot to begin his first full slate with success.
His dance partner for this one, Ian Kennedy, is about to embark on his 13th year in the big leagues. Although he’s coming off a largely disappointing showing a season ago, he did perform nicely in spring training, posting a 2.50 ERA and leading all Royals pitchers with 23 strikeouts in 18 innings. If he can maintain last year’s 16.3 percent line-drive rate on batted balls — which was the second-lowest such mark of his career — the veteran right-hander should see better results.
The over/under in this game opened at 9 and was bet down to 8.5 early this morning. The under is still worth riding at that number.
Play: UNDER 8.5 (-115)
Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.
Top photo: White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito; credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports