Pirates vs. White Sox Odds, Preview, Prediction: Red-Hot Bats Present Value on South Side (Tuesday, Aug. 31)
Ron Vesely/Getty Images. Pictured: Yasmani Grandal.
- The red-hot White Sox offense starts a series on Tuesday night against the lowly Pirates.
- The South Siders are raking right now with Yasmani Grandal back in the lineup and have Lucas Giolito on the mound for this one.
- Jeff Hicks breaks down the matchup and delivers his best bet for the game below.
Pirates vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-280|
|Time||Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday and via DraftKings|
The Chicago White Sox scored 30 runs in three games against the Chicago Cubs this weekend and were shut out in one of them. The series was also the first time the projected batting lineup was together this season.
After taking two of three from what’s left of the Cubs, the Pale Hose get to test run their healthy and powerful lineup when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This should be a beatdown only the Cubs can understand, but that does not mean the Pirates are not an actionable team themselves. Pittsburgh is 2-0-1 in their last three series and 6-4 over their last 10 games, while the Sox are 5-5.
So there’s that, right?
Pirates on the Wrong Side of the Numbers
It is difficult to win games when your batters and pitchers are on the wrong side of the numbers. The Pirates are the second-worst road offense using wRC+, bottom three in hard-hit rate, and top three in Soft Hit rate. The pitching staff allows the ninth-highest hard-hit percentage and fourth-lowest Soft Hit percentage.
The offense deserves credit for having one of the better strikeout rates (23%) and sitting in the middle with an 8.3% walk percentage on the road against right-handed pitching. The Pirates face Lucas Giolito Tuesday, so their season-long numbers may not matter.
Bryse Wilson is tasked with slowing down the White Sox hitters. Alec Mills of the Cubs did so August 28th and has a similar pitching profile as Wilson: contact first, strikeouts as they come. Both also use a trio of fastballs (four-seam, sinker and cutter) and will not make you double-take the radar gun.
So if the White Sox can struggle against softer-throwing pitchers, the Pirates have hope, right?
Feels Like the First Time for the White Sox Offense
Chicago has a 119 wRC+ at home and 121 wRC+ against righties at home. Those numbers are 122 and 117 in August, respectively. The August numbers only include three games with the offense at full strength, like I mentioned above.
The White Sox were already consistently above average before the returns of Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. Now with Yasmani Grandal healthy and raking (in a small sample), the White Sox are ready to compete against offenses like the Yankees in the American League.
Good luck, Bryse.
Giolito has been worse than he was in 2020, but he has a no-hitter against the Pirates. The 2021 Pittsburgh roster is slightly different but is easy to pick on — it has been shut out six times in August.
Giolito has been more susceptible at home, where he has allowed 16 home runs and a .457 slugging percentage over 74 innings.
The right-hander is also a reverse-split pitcher. Right-handed hitters are slugging .556 and account for 11 of Giolito’s 16 long balls allowed this season.
Giolito is still an excellent pitcher while willing to challenge hitters. Pittsburgh could possibly run into a few on Tuesday night.
Pirates-White Sox Pick
The Pirates moneyline was smashed early Monday after opening at +260. There is still value there, but betting the Pirates to win seems like a good way to burn money.
The White Sox entered their series against the Cubs splitting 14 games against some of the best teams in baseball. One thing the Sox do well is beat up bad teams — 47 of their 76 wins have come against sub-.500 teams. The offense can consistently hammer bad-to-OK pitching.
Chicago’s pitching staff has also slipped some in August, allowing a 4.32 ERA, up from their 3.58 season-long ERA.
It is warm and muggy in Chicago, and the ball is flying. The best bet for this game is on the run total.
Pick: Over 8.5 (-120, bet to -130) | Watch the White Sox Run Line. If it gets to even or plus-money, bet that as well.
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