Sunday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Indians vs. White Sox: How to Find Betting Value in AL Central Showdown (August 1)

Sunday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Indians vs. White Sox: How to Find Betting Value in AL Central Showdown (August 1) article feature image
Credit:

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images. Pictured: Cleveland’s Owen Miller and Yu Chang.

  • The Cleveland Indians take on the Chicago White Sox in Sunday's Major League Baseball action.
  • Cleveland picked up a thrilling 12-11 victory over Chicago on Saturday, giving it some momentum entering this affair.
  • Michael Arinze breaks down the matchup below and unveils his top selection.

Editor’s Note: The Chicago White Sox announced late Sunday morning that Jimmy Lambert would start in place of Dylan Cease in today’s game against Cleveland.

Indians vs. White Sox Odds

Indians Odds +145
White Sox Odds -165
Over/Under 9
Time 2:10 p.m. ET
TV TBS
Odds as of Sunday morning via DraftKings.

The Cleveland Indians are not ready to wave the white flag just yet, as they put forth an offensive display Saturday to defeat the Chicago White Sox in a 12-11 thriller. Cleveland trails Chicago by eight games in the AL Central, yet they have a 7-6 edge in the head-to-head series.

In fact, Cleveland is at its best inside the division as it’s 27-15 vs. 24-33 in non-divisional games. It’ll look to clinch the series Sunday with Cal Quantrill getting the start on the mound.

Major League Baseball has yet to name an official starter for the White Sox, but the DraftKings betting board has Dylan Cease penciled in.

This preview will be contingent on Cease getting the nod, so you can treat it as no action if Chicago goes in a different direction.

Cleveland Turning to Quantrill in Crucial Meeting

Quantrill comes into this game with a 2-2 record, 3.66 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He actually began the season in the bullpen, but out of necessity, he’s been thrust into the Indians’ rotation. Being a starter is something he’s quite familiar with after making 18 starts in 2019 with the Padres. He’ll make his 12th start of the season and 30th appearance.

Quantrill’s advanced numbers point to some regression when you consider his 5.21 xERA and 4.30 FIP. However, I’m not quite sure they tell the entire story because of the adjustment he’s had to make transitioning from a reliever to starter.

A closer look at some of his other stats shows the following ratios: a 2.97 BB/9 and 0.92 HR/9. His BB/9 is actually the highest of his career, so, again, I’m more likely to attribute that to his transition into the starting role. To his credit, he recorded a quality start in three of his last four outings. He also hasn’t allowed more than one run in his last three games.

Quantrill can be a bit of a quandary in that he only strikes out 6.29 batters per nine innings. While those numbers might lead you to believe that he’s a soft thrower, you would be wrong in that assessment. He actually has a plus fastball that averages 94.8 miles per hour.

Instead of fixating his strikeout rate, I contend that you should focus on his hard percentage rate, which has dropped from 41.5% in his rookie season to 28.8% this year.

Quantrill has six appearances against the White Sox and made two starts. While he’s yet to factor in a decision, the Indians won both of his starts and he has a 1.26 ERA against Chicago for his career.

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Cease Looking for Pitching Consistency with Chicago

It’s been an up and down season for Cease, who carries a 7-6 record with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. He’s the kind of pitcher that tantalizes you with a 96-plus mph fastball, but a lack of command has often plagued him in his young career. However, he has reduced his walks from 5.25 per nine innings last year to 3.64, though even that’s probably too high for a pitcher of his ilk.

I’m less concerned with Cease’s overall body of work, because I think this handicap is all about how he matches up with the Indians.

Sometimes certain teams have a pitcher’s number, and for Cease, that happens to be the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland has already shown they can hang with the White Sox in their head-to-head matchup this season and Saturday’s barrage of runs was a great example of that.

On Sunday, the current Indians lineup could be poised for a similar performance against Cease. In 34 at-bats, it has registered a .404/.458/.694 line, with two home runs and four drawn walks.

Chicago hasn’t won consecutive starts by Cease since June 30, and after a win in his last appearance, this could be the right time to target him for a fade.

Indians-White Sox Pick

I’ve been impressed with Cleveland’s resilience against Chicago, and I think it has a favorable matchup against Cease in this spot. We already know Quantrill has flummoxed the White Sox in his six appearances against them. As a result, I think it makes sense to isolate Cease by fading him in the game’s first five innings.

Cease is 0-5 against the first five run line in his last five starts. And despite Chicago winning two of his four starts against Cleveland, he failed to cover the first five spread in either outing.

That plays well with our analysis of how the Indians have had success against Cease. The first five run line has yet to be posted as sportsbooks can be a bit slow to post these derivatives.

However, we could see this line being anywhere from (+0.5) -125 to -135. That’s around the range of prices I’d be shopping for when the line gets added closer to start time.

Pick: Indians F5 RL +0.5 (Play up to -135)

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