Sunday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for White Sox vs. Brewers: Can Chicago Avoid Sweep on Sunday Night Baseball?
John Fisher/Getty Images.
- The Chicago White Sox close out their series with the Milwaukee Brewers in a Sunday Night Baseball showdown.
- Sean Zerillo takes a look at this affair between these Midwest foes, which could be a World Series matchup.
- Check out below why he likes the White Sox as live underdogs in this contest.
White Sox vs. Brewers Odds
|White Sox Odds||+140|
|Over/Under||7.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||7:08 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday afternoon and via DraftKings.|
The Chicago White Sox (58-40) will hope to avoid a road sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers (58-41) on Sunday Night baseball, in what amounts to a potential World Series matchup between two fantastic starting staffs.
Freddy Peralta defeated Lucas Giolito 7-1 on Friday, while Corbin Burnes upended AL Cy Young candidate Carlos Rodón 6-1 on Saturday. Lance Lynn (9-3, 1.94 ERA) will hope to play stopper against Brandon Woodruff (7-4, 2.04 ERA) in Sunday’s featured matchup.
Who has the edge on Sunday Night Baseball, and how should you consider betting this exciting pitching duel?
White Sox’s Lynn Still Cruising
The White Sox rank second in the AL and fourth in MLB with a +113 run differential, good for a 61-37 expected record, three wins better than their actual record.
Their starting pitchers carry a 3.79 xFIP (5th), a 3.78 SIERA (3rd), and a 19.4% K-BB% (2nd), while their bullpen ranks fourth, second, and second by those same metrics (3.93 xFIP, 3.53 SIERA, 18.5% K-BB%).
Chicago has played most of their season without key outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. Recent injuries to Nick Madrigal and Yasmani Grandal have provided an additional blow to their overall quality.
Grandal, particularly, is one of the best defensive catchers and pitch framers in all of baseball — and the downgrade to Zack Collins (-13 DRS, 35th amongst MLB catchers) is as dramatic as it gets behind the dish.
The change seemingly hasn’t affected Lynn (2.77 xERA, 3.97 xFIP, 3.82 SIERA) or the other White Sox pitchers negatively, but it hasn’t helped either.
Lynn seems overdue for regression, carrying a .239 BABIP (.298 career) and an 87.4% strand rate (76.1% career) but his hard-hit rate (26.3%) is a career-best mark and ranks 11th amongst qualified pitchers — which is indicated in his lower expected ERA as opposed to his xFIP or SIERA.
Lynn has dialed back his four-seam fastball usage (down 6.5% year over year) and ramped up his cutter usage (+10.1% year over year) since joining the White Sox, and those are his two offerings that have returned a positive pitch value this season:
Despite his effectiveness, I still make Lynn the second-best pitcher in this matchup (3.23 Model Weighted ERA vs. 2.95 for Woodruff). I give Chicago a slight advantage in the bullpen (3.73 Model Weighted ERA vs. 3.85 for Milwaukee).
Offensively, the White Sox own the far superior splits against right-handed pitching (110 wRC+, 4th, vs. 88 wRC+ for Milwaukee, 22nd). Still, my model prefers the current Brewers lineup by 0.14 runs per game due to Chicago’s injuries.
Brewers Still Have the Better Pitcher in This Matchup
The Brewers own a +67 run differential on the season and have compiled a record that is only one win better than their 57-42 expected mark.
Milwaukee ranks 20th offensively (.308 xwOBA) and second in pitching (.292 xwOBA. They are sixth in baseball in Defensive Runs Saved (+32) and have upgraded on that end in-season with their trade for Willy Adames (+8, 4th in MLB).
Their starting pitchers carry a 3.53 xFIP (2nd), a 3.78 SIERA (3rd), and an 18.4% K-BB% (4th), while their bullpen ranks sixth, sixth, and fourth by those same metrics (4.04, 3.71, 17%).
2020 NL Rookie of the Year Devin Williams (3.63 xERA, 3.30 xFIP, 3.39 SIERA) recently hit the IL with elbow discomfort — and an injury of that caliber would typically be enough to take the sting out of any bullpen. Moreover, the Brewers dealt a couple of key relievers to the Rays (J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen) in the Adames deal, but this organization is as good as any at churning out effective, high-leverage arms.
Take Jake Cousins, for example, who has posted a 1.85 xERA through his first 12 MLB innings (20 K, 5 BB). His sinker/slider combination is potentially elite, with the slider carrying a 63% whiff rate.
Over the last month, the best Stuff+ in baseball (minimum 150 pitches) belongs to…. Jake Cousins, who owns this nasty sinker. The Brewers can turn out relievers, man. @rwdunnett pic.twitter.com/ghiOoFrcIN
— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) July 21, 2021
Adames has made some strides as a hitter, but the Brewers have really been bolstered by improvements from Luis Urias (career 89 wRC+, up to 104 in 2021).
Urias is swinging more often at pitches inside of the zone (up 9% year over year) and getting more lift in his swing (launch angle increased from 2.3 to 13.4 compared to last season), which has driven a 10% increase in his hard-hit rate and a 116 point increase in his expected slugging percentage.
Urias is also a much better fit at third base (+2 DRS) than shortstop (-4), and the Adames deal has put him in a position to succeed.
Woodruff was my favorite longshot Cy Young candidate coming into the season, and he has impressed (2.70 xERA, 2.98 xFIP, 3.24 SIERA) while replicating his short-season metrics from 2020.
The righty ranks fifth amongst qualified pitchers in xERA, eighth in K-BB% (23.7%) and third in hard-hit rate allowed (25.3%) while generating groundballs at a decent clip (46.4%) and allowing the strong defensive infielders behind him to do their jobs.
Woodruff throws his four-seam and sinkers more than 60% of the time, and no pitcher has generated a higher total pitch value with their heaters (22.8) this season). Woodruff ranks second behind Rodon on a per-pitch basis.
An overlay of Brandon Woodruff's heaters pic.twitter.com/HIHkBNpxoa
— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) January 24, 2021
His curveball, slider, and changeup have also netted a positive pitch value this season, and those offerings rank third, 23rd, and 17th on a per-pitch basis.
Woodruff has all of the weapons to put hitters away, the question is how to properly optimize his offerings.
White Sox vs. Brewers Pick
I don’t show any value on either side of the F5 moneyline for this game, and I only show slight value on Chicago’s full game moneyline. However, I would need +144 or better to play the White Sox.
With the juice on the F5 Over 3.5 set at -120, I don’t see any actionable value on the F5 total. And while I was able to bet the full game Over at 7 when the total opened, I no longer show value with the number listed at 7.5 since that aligns with my projection:
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For now, I would wait for Chicago’s moneyline to tick up a bit further before moving in on a play.
Pick: White Sox ML (wait for +144)