Guardians vs White Sox Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Thursday, July 27
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Dylan Cease
Guardians vs. White Sox Odds
-104 / -118
|White Sox Odds|
-104 / -118
The Cleveland Guardians are very much in the hunt for October and will look to win a fourth straight series when they open up a four-game set in Chicago on Thursday. Can Tanner Bibee continue his brilliant run of form and out-duel a man who was once a favorite to win the AL Cy Young Award?
Let's break down Guardians vs. White Sox in our preview and prediction.
Bibee surely doesn't want July to end. The young right-hander now owns a 1.14 ERA this month with 27 strikeouts in just 23 2/3 innings. His walk rate is also on the way down, going from 10.3% in June to 8.6% this month, and his expected batting averaged has cratered all the way to .174 after spending pretty much the entire season above .210.
One reason for this could be Bibee's improving ground ball rate. After beginning with a mark of just 28.6% in April, he has shot up over 42% in each of the last two months. When you consider he hardly ever gives up barrels and has a decent enough 37.7% hard-hit rate, you can see why this guy is very hard to score runs off of. Even his strikeout rate, which had been dropping, is back up to 29% in July.
Something that could be tricky here is the fact that Bibee has actually been worse against righties than lefties, with the former posting a .687 OPS against the youngster and the latter a .572 OPS. Chicago has a wealth of right-handed power bats, which could be problematic here.
I hesitate to cite Cleveland's offensive stats now that Amed Rosario has been traded away, but I suppose it's also worth noting that the Guardians have the ninth-best wRC+ in baseball over the past two weeks.
It's been more of the same at the plate for the White Sox, who are pretty loaded with talent yet have continued to lose ball games and put together uninspired at-bats. They sit 27th in wRC+ in the last two weeks of play, striking out in 24.5% of plate appearances and walking in just 5%. That's a downright sad number, as is their .128 ISO, considering the home run threats present up and down the order.
Dylan Cease has had some downright sad numbers in his own right. Entering the season with hopes of winning the Cy Young Award, Cease has put together a 4.04 ERA in 113 2/3 innings. He seemed to be coming out of his funk in June, but in his last four outings he's posted a 4.03 ERA with eight walks and 28 punchouts in 22 1/3 innings.
Walks have always been a huge issue for Cease, who has issued a free pass to over 10% of the batters he's faced at the major-league level. He's at least coupled those numbers with elite strikeout rates, but aside from the month of June the right-hander hasn't been very dominant in that area.
Still, the last two months have been better than the first two, and aside from one bad outing against the Cardinals this has been a decently trustworthy pitcher since the start of June.
Guardians vs. White Sox Betting Pick
Considering Bibee and Cease have each had their fair share of issues in the walk department, I think this is a spectacular matchup. Cleveland has never been a team to take many pitches, considering its identity as a high-contact team, and the White Sox have had a putrid showing in that category over the last two weeks. Without many operational power bats on either side, I think runs should be at a minimum.
I'll play this under down to eight runs, and the fact that one of Cleveland's core position players was traded away yesterday makes me like this all the more.
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