MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox Preview (Friday, Sept. 25)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Yu Darvish
Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox Betting Odds
|Cubs Odds||-175 [Bet Now]|
|White Sox Odds||+145 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||8.5 [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||8 p.m. ET|
It’s always difficult to judge a team during the final week of the MLB season. Some teams are already looking forward to extra tee times on the golf course, while those that are postseason-bound are looking to set up their rotations for the first round.
As for the Cubs and White Sox, each team has already clinched a postseason berth. They’ll finish out the regular season facing one another with bragging rights at stake in the Crosstown Classic.
Both teams come into this matchup reeling as the Cubs lost their last three games to the lowly Pirates while the White Sox are currently mired in a five-game losing streak. The Pale Hose will look to second-year starter, Dylan Cease, to snap their skid while the visiting Cubs will counter with Yu Darvish.
Both pitchers have had good campaigns in the pandemic-shortened season. And given the recent struggles at the plate for both teams, runs could be hard to come by in this matchup.
White Sox Offensive Woes
During their five-game losing streak, the Chicago White Sox have averaged just 3.2 runs per game. Their advanced stats actually point to some struggles over a 14-day period as evidenced by a below average 93 wRC+ rating. In that time period, the White Sox are only hitting .235 with a .304 wOBA.
White Sox pitchers haven’t gotten nearly the run support lately that they received for much of the season. Dylan Cease has often been on the receiving end of that run support so long as he’s not facing an above .500 team.
In Cease’s five games this season against teams with a winning record, the White Sox have only managed to score 12 runs or 2.4 runs per game.
Tonight’s matchup is actually a rematch of one of those games as Cease battled Darvish for six innings in a 2-1 loss to the Cubs. That outing should provide a solid foundation for him to take into tonight’s start.
While Cease has struggled to go deep in some of his recent starts, he’s backed up by a capable White Sox bullpen that’s ranked fourth in the MLB with a 4.10 xFIP and seventh with a 3.82 ERA.
Darvish is Dealing
Despite two losses in his last three starts, Yu Darvish has still had one heck of a season. He’s 7-3 with a 2.22 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Unlike Cease, one thing you can count on is Darvish pitching deep into a ballgame. Of his 11 starts this season, only once did he fail to pitch at least six innings. In fact, nine of those outings qualified as quality starts.
Darvish has been every bit as good as advertised and his advanced numbers support that. His 2.23 FIP which is almost dead even with his ERA points to little or no regression for the Japanese right-hander.
In 78 at-bats against Darvish, this White Sox lineup is only hitting .231 AVG with a .307 OBP. Figure this: since August, opposing teams haven’t scored more than four runs in any of Darvish’s starts. Those four runs occurred in his last start and tonight sets up as a good bounce back spot for Darvish against a team that has had their struggles with him on the mound.
If there was ever time to play an under it would be tonight. Both teams coming are really struggling to swing the bats. I mean the Cubs could only manage three runs in their last three games against the worst team in baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Really?
Both pitchers have good numbers against the opposing lineups and will be helped by 8-9 MPH winds blowing in from right field. This matchup should have a playoff feel to it given the rivalry between these two teams.
Historically when these two teams have gotten together, the total is 49-35 to the under with five pushes. And when Darvish is facing a total of 8.5 or less, he’s 78-47 to the under with six pushes. That’s resulted in +25.8 units over his career.
DraftKings is still hanging an 8.5 for tonight’s game. I’ll risk a half-unit on the under at that number because I wouldn’t be surprised to see it even lower by first pitch tonight.
The Bet: Under 8.5 (play down to 8)