MLB Odds, Picks Today: Guardians vs. White Sox Preview (Wednesday, September 21)
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Lance Lynn
- The White Sox are short home favorites in tonight's home game against the Guardians.
- Lance Lynn takes the mound for Chicago, while Cleveland will hand the ball to Triston McKenzie.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Guardians vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-140|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The race for the AL Central is on, and the Guardians are looking to put an end to it fast. Tuesday night, the Cleveland Guardians made a statement with their 10-7 victory in game one of this series. The victory pushed their lead to five games over the White Sox. While Tuesday night's game was a shootout, tonight's matchup may look very different.
Triston McKenzie will get the ball for the Guardians, and he has been nothing short of magnificent since June. He'll enter this start with a 3.08 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. It will be interesting to see if he can replicate his dominant performance from the last start he made against the White Sox.
Opposing McKenzie for Chicago will be the veteran right-hander Lance Lynn. Lynn has turned his season around over the last two months, and he's been lights out in September. Can he keep up his torrid pace tonight? Or will the Guardians light up the scoreboard once again?
Let's take a closer look to find out.
Guardians Look to Finish Off Pale Hose
The Guardians have gotten hot at the right time. They enter tonight as winners of eight of their last 10, allowing them to extend their division lead with only 14 games remaining. However, they should have saved some runs for today as they will need to scrap out everything they can against Lynn.
Through his first nine starts of the year, Lynn had a 6.42 ERA. It took him a while to figure things out after missing the first two months of the season to injury. Then, he flipped a switch in August as he had a 2.45 ERA in six starts that month.
That success has carried over into September as well. Through three starts this month, Lynn has a 0.93 ERA as he's allowed just two earned runs, five hits, and struck out 22 batters in 19 innings.
While the Guardians' lineup has been hot of late, Lynn has already proven that he can shut them down. In his last three starts against them, Lynn has thrown 18 innings, allowed three earned runs, and struck out 18 batters.
In addition to that, he's also due for some positive regression against their lineup. The current Guardians lineup has accrued 146 at-bats against Lynn. Combined, they are hitting .253, slugging .452 and have a wOBA of .332. However, given the quality of their contact, the team's xBA is .231, their xSLG is .371, and their xwOBA is .296. So expect Lynn to keep rolling tonight.
White Sox Offense Remains Hot
If we're talking about red-hot lineups, look no further than the White Sox. Over the last two weeks, Chicago ranks fourth in team batting average, seventh in wRC+, and ninth in wOBA. While the matchup may not seem too appealing, there are underlying metrics that point to the White Sox success continuing this evening.
McKenzie has been tremendous over his last 14 starts, but his metrics show he's been very fortunate on top of his excellent stuff. He ranks in the bottom ten percent of the majors in average exit velocity and barrel rate. In turn, he also ranks in the bottom 30 percent of all qualified pitchers in hard-hit rate and xSLG. Those numbers are why his xERA is 3.79, and his FIP is 3.82.
McKenzie has dominated the White Sox in three separate outings this season, but his last time out may have been his peak. He struck out 14 batters over seven innings while allowing two runs.
But, of course, with a performance like that, it's likely all downhill from there, and his metrics are certainly pointing in that direction.
Guardians-White Sox Pick
The Guardians may have lit up the scoreboard Tuesday night, but their chances of duplicating even half of that output are slim. Lynn has returned to form and looks to be at his best right now. He should deliver another excellent performance tonight.
On the other side, McKenzie may be fun to watch, but he's running into a red-hot lineup poised to make him pay for all the loud contact he's been allowing. However, I still don't fully trust this White Sox bullpen, so I will back Lynn as he should have the lead halfway through this one.
Pick: White Sox F5 ML -139