Friday MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Chicago White Sox vs. Cincinnati Reds (Sept. 18)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images. Pictured: Shogo Akiyama (4).
- The White Sox and Reds face off in interleague play on Friday night, just one day removed from Chicago's postseason-clinching win over the Twins on Thursday.
- The Twins send TeJay Antone to the mound to duel against White Sox starting pitcher Jonathan Stiever.
- Read on for BJ Cunningham's full game breakdown with odds, projections and his pick, including why he believes tonight's game could feature ample scoring in a bid for the over.
White Sox vs. Reds Odds
|White Sox Odds||+115 [Bet Now]|
|Reds Odds||-136 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||9 (-122/+102) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||7:10 p.m. ET|
After clinching their first playoff berth in 12 years, the White Sox will now take aim at clinching an AL Central title. They’ll face a resurgent Cincinnati Reds team that has won five straight to put themselves in a playoff position.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox offense has been outstanding this season, accumulating a .344 wOBA and 119 wRC+. They’ve been the best team against left-handed pitching this year, but they’ve been no slouch against righties either. Chicago has a .330 wOBA and 110 wRC+ against righties, which ranks seventh in MLB. Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu have led Chicago offensively, as they both have a wOBA above .400.
The key to Chicago’s offensive success has been its versatility against nearly every pitch type. They rank inside the top-five of major league baseball against sinkers, sliders, and curveballs, which happen to be Antone’s three main pitches.
White Sox Probable Starter
Jonathan Stiever, RHP
Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)
Stiever has a 92-96 mph fastball, topping out at 98 with decent run and sink. He has an above-average curveball, which he controls extremely well. He throws from a three-quarter arm slot, so he can turn his curve into a slider whenever he wants. He’s very good at repeating his delivery well, which provides consistent strikes.
Stiever was dominant in high-A ball last year, posting a 2.15 ERA and 2.49 xFIP, but transitioning from high-A to the majors is a big jump — especially against one of the hottest offenses in baseball right now.
Cincinnati has been below-average offensively this season, accumulating a .311 wOBA and 90 wRC+. Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos have led the Reds offensively this season, as they are the only players with a wOBA above .350.
The Reds have been successful versus only fastballs and changeups, which are two of Stiever’s main pitches. So, Cincinnati should have a good chance to get back on track on Friday.
Reds Probable Starter
TeJay Antone, RHP
Antone has had a positive start to his MLB career, but he’s also been a bit fortunate. He has 2.76 ERA through 29.1 innings, but his xFIP is all the way up at 4.18.
Antone usually sits around the 91-93 mph range with his fastball. It has good sinking motion and tails down in the zone, which produces a lot of ground-ball outs. However its been tagged by opposing hitters so far to the tune of a .351 wOBA.
He has a good slider and changeup that have been successful secondary pitches in his arsenal. However, he’s going to face one of the best lineups in baseball that has been drilling his three main pitches, so he could be in store for a long night.
Both bullpens have been solid this season, ranking inside the top-10 in MLB in terms of xFIP. However, they could be called on earlier than expected Friday night in a weak starting pitcher matchup.
Projections and Pick
Check out our new MLB PRO Report, where we highlight factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.
With two below-average pitchers on the mound, I think we could be in store for a high-scoring affair with these two offenses. I have 10.82 runs projected for this game, so I think there is some value in backing over 9 runs at -115. I also would play it up to -123.
Pick: Over 9 (-115). Play up to -123.