- Lucas Giolito will face Kyle Hendricks in the series finale between the White Sox and Cubs.
- Giolito’s numbers may not look good on the surface, but the young hurler could be turning a corner.
- The winds at Wrigley Field will be blowing in, which should aide Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks this afternoon.
Not sure what to say after the second game of yesterday’s Rays-Orioles doubleheader didn’t stay under for our bet, as we were on pace before a rain delay interrupted the proceedings. Let’s just focus on today and ending the week right with a W.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 26-14-2, +10.5 units
Yesterday’s Result: Rays-Orioles Under 9.5, Andriese vs. Cobb (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Chicago White Sox @ Chicago Cubs | O/U: 8.5
2:20 p.m. ET (MLB Network)
Probable Pitchers: Lucas Giolito (1-4, 7.25 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (3-2, 3.02 ERA)
The North Siders and South Siders will put a bow on their first series of the season this afternoon, with the host Cubs looking to complete a three-game sweep of their crosstown interleague rival.
Of course, the first thing that jumps out to me about this Windy City series finale is the involvement of up-and-coming youngster Lucas Giolito. I’ve posted a 3-1 record in four Giolito plays — all unders — this year and I’ll be looking for another today.
Obviously, Giolito’s numbers don’t look pretty at the moment but he’s been better than that and it looks like he’s starting to get better command of his plus pitches. He’ll run into issues with his pitch count but that’s something you improve on as you go deeper into your first full season in the big leagues. The walks have definitely been worrisome but something that might help us is the fact that the Cubs have drawn the third-fewest walks in the National League. They may especially be looking to swing the bats today, seeing as how they’ve scored eight or more runs in four games during their current five-game winning streak.
Another critical element in this contest is that it’s under NL rules, which is something that could greatly benefit a guy like Giolito who might run up his pitch count and need that pitcher’s spot in the batting order to get out of a jam. The former first-round draft selection excelled in an NL park just a couple of weeks ago, narrowly dropping a 3-2 decision in St. Louis. He came away from that contest with a quality start, though, and struck out a season-high seven.
He’ll be opposed by Kyle Hendricks, who appears to be spinning his best work right now. He’s gone seven innings or more in each of his last three starts — something he hadn’t done yet this year previously — and in the process he’s surrendered just five runs combined, spanning 22.2 innings.
He looks like a good bet to continue his recent success since he’ll be toeing the rubber from the Friendly Confines. For his career, Hendricks is a full run better at Wrigley Field (2.46 ERA) compared to on the road (3.47 ERA). That trend has certainly held up this year, with the 28-year-old being 2-2 with a 2.20 ERA and .188 batting average against in his home starts thus far, easily dwarfing the 4.50 ERA and .277 BAA he’s posted in his away assignments.
The right-hander otherwise known as the Professor isn’t racking up high strikeout totals, but that’s never been his style while putting together a very solid major league career up to this point. If he’s exhibited one weakness this season, it’s that he’s been prone to the long ball, having served up eight taters already. Of note, Hendricks has never given up more than 17 home runs over a full season, but fortunately for today’s outing, he’ll be getting a little help from the Wrigley winds — which are projected to be blowing in.
Play: UNDER 8.5 (-110)