Tuesday MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction: Twins vs. White Sox Betting Preview (May 11)
Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images. Pictured: Kenta Maeda
- Kenta Maeda finished second in AL Cy Young voting a year ago. This year, he has been terrible.
- Dylan Cease has been one of the toughest pitchers to figure all season long.
- How will their meeting go on Tuesday night? Kenny Ducey breaks it down.
Twins vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-124|
|Over/Under||7.5 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday morning and via FanDuel.|
Two offenses struggling to find their way over the past couple of weeks will give it another go on Tuesday in a matchup between one pitcher who’s struggled after some solid seasons, and one pitcher who’s in the midst of a breakout season after struggling for the past two years.
Is there a point in trying to find some value in a side, or should we target the total? Let’s dig into the matchup to find out.
Kyle Hendricks appears to be the leader in the clubhouse for the “Matt Kemp Award for Suddenly Falling off a Cliff,” but boy, Kenta Maeda isn’t too far behind. A dominant force for the Twins in 2020, Maeda has posted a disastrous 5.02 ERA in six starts, with his solid strikeout numbers taking a huge hit. The whiff rate on Maeda’s splitter has dropped 25% and his strikeout rate is down 11.1%.
The righty is getting way too much of the zone with his split-finger and his slider, and it’s tanked his once-imposing arsenal. He was a master at limiting hard contact last year, pitching to just a 24.7% hard-hit rate, but that number has jumped 20% so far this year. He needs to do a better job of getting his pitches down, and generating more swings and misses. A matchup with the White Sox, who rank fifth in swinging strike rate over the past 14 days, could do just the trick.
It’s sad to talk about the struggles of Maeda, because there is not much good going on with the offense. The Twins have been solid all season long with the bats, but backing up and looking at just the past week, they’ve scored 17 runs to sit in the bottom four of the league. Minnesota needs a jolt, and it needs one now.
Chicago White Sox
When Drake said, “Point the biggest skeptic out, I’ll make him a believer,” I felt that. I am the biggest skeptic. I’ve tried and tried, but I still can’t get excited about Dylan Cease, even though everything points to him being legitimately good.
Cease, the owner of a lifetime 4.57 ERA, gets the ball for the White Sox today in the midst of a tremendous season. Through six starts, he’s had an elite 32.9% strikeout rate, and has kept quality contact to a relative minimum. His biggest enemy has been the walk; he’s once again issuing free passes at more than a 10% rate for a third straight season.
Cease’s latest outing, however, had me on the way to being a believer. He struck out 11 Cincinnati Reds in a six shutout innings, allowing just a hit and three walks to look rather dominant. He’s gotten into trouble when he’s allowed contact, and hard contact at that, because he has the tendency to get some traffic going on the bases with walks, but when his strikeout stuff is playing up like this he can be pretty tough to beat.
Speaking of contact, the White Sox haven’t been making much of it over the past two weeks. They rank all the way down in 26th, getting the bat on the ball with just 72.6% of their swings, and as a result sit 15th with a 99 wRC+. A once-vaunted offense has been ravaged by injuries to Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert, combining with slumping bats to make a giant mess.
Twins-White Sox Pick
I’m not sure, but I think this total just reflects how bad these offenses have been; I sure hope it doesn’t represent what the oddsmakers are thinking will be a pitchers’ duel. I’m inclined to believe the Twins will pick it up here against a pitcher in Cease due for some regression with an expected ERA almost a full run higher than his dazzling ERA.
I’m not saying the Twins, who can’t hit right now, will score five off of him, but all we need is two or three runs. Maeda, meanwhile, has been so awful that I think even a team struggling with swings and misses as much as the White Sox should be able to get some runs on the board. I’d make this total a full run higher, so getting plus money on the over 7.5 is pretty nice.
Pick: Over 7.5 (+100)