Guardians vs. White Sox Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet This AL Central Duel
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Dylan Cease (White Sox)
- The Guardians and White Sox are set to open a three-game AL Central set from Chicago on Tuesday evening.
- Dylan Cease is in the running to win the AL Cy Young Award, and he will take the mound to face off against Aaron Civale tonight.
- Mike Ianniello dives into this matchup and offers up his best bet.
Guardians vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-162|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
The AL Central has ended up being the worst division in all of baseball, but the Cleveland Guardians find themselves in the driver’s seat for the division crown. At 80-67, they have the worst record of any division leader by seven games.
Four games behind them is the team that was expected to run away with this division.
I don’t know if any team has underperformed expectations more than the White Sox this season. Depending on where you looked, Chicago had between the third-to-sixth best odds to win the World Series before the season started, and now they are very likely going to miss the playoffs.
The good news, at least, is the White Sox haven’t quit on the season. They are 12-5 since the start of September.
However, Cleveland is also 12-7 this month, winning 12 of its last 15.
With a three-game set coming up, the Guardians can all but seal this division with a series win in Chicago.
Can Guardians' Civale Right the Ship?
It's been a rough season for Aaron Civale, who has found himself on the injured list for three separate issues. He has been on the IL since August 28, and is set to be activated from a rehab assignment in Columbus ahead of Tuesday's start.
When he has been healthy, Civale is just 2-6 with a 5.40 ERA in 16 starts. His 4.30 xERA indicates that he hasn’t been that bad, but he still hasn’t been great.
Using a mix of a cutter, curveball and sinker, Civale isn’t going to blow it by anybody, and ranks in the bottom 25% of the league in Average Exit Velocity Allowed.
Cleveland has been one of the teams with the wider splits in the league. It ranks 20th in wRC+ and 23rd in wOBA this season. However, against right-handed pitchers, the Guardians sit 12th in both categories. They are batting .257 against righties, the fourth best in the MLB.
Is White Sox's Offense Turning Around?
Sure to finish in the top two of the Cy Young voting, Dylan Cease has been excellent for Chicago all season.
He has improved his ERA in each of his first four seasons in the league, sitting with a 2.16 ERA. He ranks second in the league with a 2.56 xERA.
Tuesday will be Cease’s 30th start of the season, tying him for the most in the league. In his first 29 starts, he has allowed more than two runs just six times.
On the other hand, he has allowed zero runs 12 times. Cease has an 11.53 K/9 rate, which is the fourth-best mark in the league.
Chicago has dealt with injuries up-and-down its lineup all season, and it has resulted in a below-average offense.
Since the start of September, though, this team ranks fifth in the league in wRC+.
Guardians-White Sox Pick
A lot can be said about Tony La Russa and the job he has done as the White Sox's manager.
Not many of them are positive.
Chicago’s recent stretch might be the most damming proof of that. La Russa has been away from the team with a medical issue since August 30. Since bench coach Miguel Cairo has taken over, the White Sox have looked like a different team, and have gone 13-6 over that stretch.
Since Cairo took over, Eloy Jimenez, Elvis Andrus, Yoan Moncada, Andrew Vaughn and Jose Abreu all have a wRC+ over 130.
In his last two starts against Cleveland, Cease has thrown a total of 11 2/3 innings and has allowed zero runs while striking out 13. He only has a few more chances to cement his Cy Young resume.
The strength of the Guardians, as it always seems to be, is their bullpen. The Cleveland relievers rank second in baseball in xFIP on the season.
Chicago's bullpen has been hit-or-miss, so I'll avoid the backends all together.
Back a hot White Sox team to get off to a lead with their ace on the mound.
Pick: White Sox First Five -0.5 (-120)