Tuesday MLB Odds & Picks: Chicago White Sox vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (September 8)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images. Pictured: Tim Anderson
White Sox vs. Pirates Odds
|White Sox Odds||-128 [Bet Now]|
|Pirates Odds||+112 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||9.5 (-118/-104) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||7:05 p.m. ET|
The Chicago White Sox look to wrap up their nine-game road trip in style with two games in Pittsburgh. The Pale Hose had a day off yesterday and that might’ve been the only way to keep them out of the win column.
Chicago is 5-2 on its road trip and fresh off a four-game sweep over the Kansas City Royals. This series will wrap up a nine-game homestand for Pittsburgh with the Pirates also enjoying a day off yesterday.
Earlier this season, Pittsburgh was swept by Chicago on the road and outscored 14-3 in the two-game series. The Pirates will need to return the favor to finish with a winning record on their current homestand.
Joe Musgrove will be tasked with trying to secure a victory but he is still winless on the season. Musgrove is 0-4 with a 6.62 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.
His most recent start was six days ago after spending almost a month on the IL due to inflammation in his right triceps. He only threw 46 pitches in that outing and I suspect he was put on a pitch count. He lasted three innings and allowed two runs as the Pirates ended up losing 8-2 to the Cubs.
Today, I think he’ll remain on a pitch count but more than likely it’ll be upped to around 60 pitches. The run support just hasn’t been there for Musgrove as the Pirates have been outscored 23-9 in all four of his outings.
Musgrove carries a 5.75 FIP, which is lower than his ERA, but doesn’t inspire much confidence. The numbers suggest that he’s been a bit unlucky but much of that has to do with how he’s fared on balls put in play. Batters are hitting .61 points higher after contact (.326) than their BAA (.265).
But there’s an even more worrying sign for me. Musgrove has really struggled with his command this season. He has a 5.6 BB/9 ratio and he hasn’t done well with traffic on the basepaths.
With runners on, his BAA jumps to .348 compared to .227 when the bases are empty. He’ll have his hands full tonight trying to navigate a White Sox lineup that’s in the top-10 for OBP in all of baseball.
Chicago White Sox
Musgrove will be opposed by Dylan Cease of the White Sox. The young right-hander is making strides in just his second year in the big leagues. With a 5-2 record, Cease has only needed eight starts to surpass the win total of his rookie year (4-7). His 3.29 ERA is a vast improvement from last year (5.79) and his 1.34 WHIP is also .21 points lower than the previous season.
Like Musgrove, command has been an issue for Cease. He has a 4.39 BB/9 ratio and that has led to a 6.32 FIP that is more than three runs higher than his ERA.
But you must look at all numbers. Batters are hitting .229 against him and that number is on par with their .224 BABIP. This means that the numbers are fairly accurate for Cease both before and after contact. Or in other words, there isn’t an unfair representation of luck incurred for the pitcher or the hitter.
There’s a lot to like about the White Sox coming in to this game. They’re on a four-game winning streak, winners of seven of their last 10, and they have the edge on the mound today as well as in the batter’s box. They’ll also have the element of surprise in their favor as this will be Cease’s first time facing the Pirates. The White Sox lineup has 47 at-bats against Musgrove and is hitting .383 against him with a .483 wOBA and outrageous .787 SLG.
There seems to be two-way action on this game with the sharps being split on both sides. I think that’s to our advantage because I can only look to the favorite in this spot.
FanDuel is trading the White Sox at -126 and frankly I can’t believe it’s that low. Lay the short price with the White Sox as this game could get out of hand before you know it.
The Bet: White Sox ML -126 (bet up to -135)