Cubs vs White Sox Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Tuesday, July 25
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images. Pictured: Seiya Suzuki #27 of the Chicago Cubs
Cubs vs. White Sox Odds
-110 / -110
|White Sox Odds|
-110 / -110
The first edition of the 2023 Crosstown Series will begin Tuesday as the Cubs head to Progressive Field for a date with the lowly White Sox.
The Sox, who own a record of just 5-12 in July, have played to a mark of 21-25 at home. They will send 27-year-old righty Michael Kopech (4.29 ERA, 92 and 1/3 IP) to the mound in Game One.
The Cubs are 10-9 in the month of July and 21-25 overall on the road. They will send veteran righty Kyle Hendricks (3.38 ERA, 64 IP) to the mound.
Tuesday's matchup features an interesting contrast in terms of starting pitching. Kyle Hendricks has posted some of the lowest average velocities of any starter this season, with excellent command and sharp sequencing, while Michael Kopech has struggled despite an electric fastball.
Hendricks' Stuff+ rating of 59 is alarmingly low. However, his changeup is likely not rated fairly at 37, which is tanking his numbers. Batters own an xBA of just .188 versus his changeup, and he throws it 36.5% of the time.
Opponents own a hard-hit rate of just 20% on non-fastballs against him this season, which is third best among starters to have thrown over 39 innings.
His Location+ of 108 is excellent and has been the key to hiding such middling stuff.
Hendricks owns an xERA of 3.86 on the season and an xFIP of 4.63. It seems reasonable to believe his 3.38 actual ERA will rise from here on out, but his unorthodox process should still allow for league average results.
The Cubs have hit to a 14th ranked wRC+ of 103 over the last 30 days, and they've hit to a wRC+ of 100 versus righties.
Dansby Swanson returned to the lineup Saturday versus St. Louis and has looked sharp since. While the key to his value is defensive play, he has put up four hits in eight ABs since returning.
Michael Kopech seems to be a clear fade candidate for the time being. After a dominant June which featured an ERA of 2.96 in 24 and 1/3 innings despite a 1.64 WHIP, he has struggled badly in July with an ERA of 7.11.
It seems Kopech is likely to continue being a well below average starter like we have seen in July moving forward, as opposed to the kind of pitcher we saw last month. His dominant fastball has averaged 1-2 mph lower in each start compared to early on in the season, and his xwOBA has climbed in July.
Kopech xERA now sits at 5.42 this season, and his xFIP comes in at 5.22. What was seemingly a legitimately good stretch of the season seems to be over, as both of those lowly marks have begun rising again of late.
The White Sox bullpen has been middling over the last 30 days as well. Their ERA of 4.60 ranks 11th worst in the league over that span, and their strikeout rate of 9.31 is in the middle of the pack.
For the second season in a row, the White Sox offense has hit to notably different results in splits between left-handed pitching and right-handed pitching. Versus right-handed pitching the White Sox have been the fourth-worst team in the league, with a wRC+ of 84. They have struck out 23.6% of the time against righties.
Cubs vs. White Sox Betting Pick
Kopech's velocity has dipped considerably of late, and that has been reflected with more hard contact. We should see the Cubs do some damage in this matchup against him in the early innings before getting into a middling White Sox bullpen.
Kyle Hendricks should be pretty shaky the rest of the season as well, but he is also getting a soft matchup against a White Sox lineup which has struggled badly versus right-handed pitching.
Maybe this is a good matchup for the White Sox to play for something in a completely lost season, but it is hard for me to see how the Cubs do not deserve to be a bigger favorite in this matchup. Backing them at anything better than -120 holds value.
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