Saturday’s MLB Over/Under: Will ‘Bauer Outage’ Strike the South Side Tonight?
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Trevor Bauer
Betting odds: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Trevor Bauer (11-6, 2.25 ERA) vs. James Shields (4-13, 4.50 ERA)
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 76-49-3, +21.7 units
Yesterday’s Result: Mets-Marlins Under 7.5, Wheeler vs. Urena (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
A real shame to drop our Mets-Marlins Under 7.5 bet last night by a half-run after it was 1-0 in the sixth inning. Zack Wheeler looked as sharp as he’s been all season, but those losses will happen over the course of a season. Let’s move on to Saturday night.
With 14 quality starts in his last 16 tries, no pitcher in baseball has been hotter than Cleveland’s continually-ascending Trevor Bauer. The former UCLA product has emerged as a legitimate dark horse in the American League Cy Young picture.
That’s the credit you get when you’re third in the AL in ERA (2.25), fourth in K/9 (11.61) and sixth in batting average against (.209), while also manufacturing an MLB-best 0.4 HR/9. The Cleveland righty has surrendered just seven homers in 159.2 innings. He also needs just two K’s tonight to take over the AL lead.
Bauer has had plenty of past success against Chicago, compiling a 7-3 record in 14 career starts with a 3.28 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, while logging 109 punch-outs to just 31 walks. Add in the fact that the White Sox have struck out more times per game (9.66) than any other team, and this looks like a juicy spot for the former No. 3 overall draft pick.
Bauer tangled with the Chi Sox twice this year in back-to-back June starts — and yielded only three runs across 14.2 innings with a whopping 20 strikeouts. Another ‘Bauer Outage’ of the White Sox offense seems imminent.
We’ll hope for a similar outcome with the opposing hurler, James Shields, who has actually registered some fine recent work versus Cleveland. Since the start of the 2017 season, the 36-year-old has posted a 2.89 ERA and 0.85 WHIP in three starts against the Tribe. That includes a dandy seven-inning, one-run performance in a win earlier this season.
Shields is certainly hittable at this stage of his career, but he’ll at least pitch at home tonight, where he’s typically been steadier — especially this season. Shields owns a 3.64 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 14 starts at Guaranteed Rate Field, easily besting his 5.75 ERA and 1.43 WHIP on the road.
Additionally, Shields won’t have Edwin Encarnacion to worry about after he exited last night’s game with an injury. His absence from the lineup should hopefully provide an extra boost for the veteran right-hander.
Play: UNDER 9 (-120)
Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.