MLB Odds & Picks for Cubs vs. White Sox: How to Bet Saturday’s Interleague Rivalry Game
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images. Pictured: Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Keegan Thompson.
- It's a battle of Chicago as the White Sox and Cubs go head-to-head.
- Johnny Cueto gets the ball for the White Sox, but can he sustain his current level of success?
- Charlie DiSturco breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Cubs vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-140|
|Over/Under||8 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||7:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Chicago Cubs make the short trek across the city to Guaranteed Rate Field for a two-game series with the White Sox.
The White Sox send 36-year-old Johnny Cueto to the mound on Saturday night fresh off a six-inning shutout of the Yankees. The veteran has yet to give up a run in 2022. The Cubs will give the ball to Keegan Thompson, who will make his third start of the season and has a 1.54 ERA over 10 appearances.
Can Cueto keep up his strong start to the year, or will the Cubs’ bats get to the right-hander?
Chicago Cubs: Thompson Has Thrived in 2022
Thompson doesn’t normally pitch deep into ballgames, but he’s been one of the most effective arms on Chicago’s pitching staff this season.
The right-hander has made 10 appearances — two starts — primarily as a long reliever and typically goes three-plus innings. He has given up more than one run just once and has a sparkling 1.54 ERA.
Thompson has cut down on his walk rate and ranks in the top 13% in hard-hit rate, xSLG and xBA.
Thompson did face the White Sox earlier this season and threw 3 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
While his 1.54 ERA is unsustainable, his advanced metrics still grade out pretty well. His xERA is 2.78 and his FIP 3.31. If he’s able to limit walks — control was a big issue for him in 2021 — and continues to limit hard contact, Thompson has the ability to be in the mid-to-high twos with his ERA.
The Cubs bullpen grades out around league average. Thompson won’t go deep into the game, likely forcing David Ross’ hand if he gets into early trouble. Chicago has to play 11 games over the next nine days.
The bullpen ranks 18th in ERA (3.75) and its biggest issue is home runs (24), where it ranks third-worst.
Chicago White Sox: Can Cueto Keep it up?
Johnny Cueto made his season debut two weeks ago and in a pair of starts since he has yet to give up a run.
The 36-year-old has held opponents to a .210 xBA — including the daunted New York Yankees offense — and has seen a slight bump in his strikeout rate. His velocity has actually increased from 2021 and his arsenal has slightly changed.
Rather than relying on his four-seam and changeup, Cueto is relying more on his slider and sinker.
While Cueto has been lights out thus far, it’s been a small sample size. The veteran righty is coming off his second-worst season as far as xERA (4.90), xBA (.278) and xSLG (.452) and I’m not sure this success will continue.
His track record over the past few seasons would suggest that Cueto will fall off and revert to his aging self.
As for the offense, the White Sox struggled at the plate. They rank 21st in wRC+ and 26th in wOBA. They remain lefty killers, but they draw a right-hander in the series opener.
It’s also important to note that Luis Robert is on the COVID injured list and will likely miss the series. He has been one of the few reliable bats in a struggling offense.
Cubs-White Sox Pick
This is the perfect spot to back the road underdog on Saturday night.
Cueto has been great in his two starts with the White Sox, but he had a 4.90 xERA and .278 xBA last season. His track record would suggest regression and at his current price, he’s too heavy a favorite to back.
Tack on the White Sox offense struggling versus righties and Robert being out and I think Thompson will turn in another great performance. His control hasn’t been an issue this season and he’s limiting hard contact. Thompson is worthy of a bet at the current price.
The Cubs’ bullpen has also statistically been more efficient than the White Sox, yet another edge in favor of the underdog.
Back the Cubs in this cross-town rivalry.
Pick: Cubs ML (to +120)
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