White Sox vs. Guardians Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back Shane Bieber & Co. in AL Central Affair (April 19)
Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images. Pictured: Shane Bieber (Guardians)
Editor’s Note: Tuesday’s game between the White Sox and Guardians has been postponed because of inclement weather. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader Wednesday.
White Sox vs. Guardians Odds
|White Sox Odds||+115|
|Time||6:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
After getting rained out on Monday, the Cleveland Guardians will host the Chicago White Sox in the series opener on Tuesday.
Shane Bieber will go up against Dallas Keuchel. The two former Cy Young Award winners have had much different success levels against their division rivals.
Bieber owns a career 2.55 ERA against Chicago in 74 innings pitched. Keuchel has a 3.53 ERA in 74 innings.
However, these are two far different teams over the last few years.
Even still, Bieber has been able to hold the current White Sox roster in check over the last couple of seasons, which depicts a more accurate reflection of how this game may go, at least early.
The spread for Cleveland in the first five innings is the way to go here because the White Sox may get to the bullpen late.
White Sox’s Offense Trending Up?
The White Sox have not been the luckiest ball club early this season, even though they are in first place in the AL Central with a 6-3 record.
Nonetheless, they own a .276 team OBP, but rank first in xwOBA at .383, first in Hard Hit Percentage at 48.9% and first in Average Exit Velocity at 92.1 MPH.
This should stabilize, and the White Sox offense should take off at any moment. That said, it will not occur with Bieber on the hill.
For one, the White Sox offense struggles with chase rates. They rank sixth in the MLB at a touch over 30%, which is quite awful. Bieber ranked in the 83rd percentile at 31.5% last season. Expect similar results here against the Sox.
Going back to the beginning of the 2021 season, Chicago has five hitters over a .335 xwOBA on right-handed curveballs. Bieber utilizes this pitch over 31% of the time.
One of these five hitters mentioned above is Reese McGuire, the backup catcher. In addition, only the top of the order will have success on this pitch: Tim Anderson, Yasmani Grandal, José Abreu and Luis Robert. After that, the numbers start to dwindle.
This will put a damper on the Sox stringing together multiple runs.
Guardians to Have Advantage on Keuchel
Now, Cleveland did put up a .203/.299/.441 slash line on Keuchel last season. This does not tell the whole story, though.
Cleveland has shown success with similarly-profiled pitchers.
Keuchel likes using his sinker (37.9% in 2021) and his cutter (24.4% in 2021). On these pitches — with a similar speed to his (86 MPH to 91 MPH) — Cleveland has five hitters over a .350 xwOBA. Owen Miller, Austin Hedges and José Ramírez, in particular, love these pitches.
If these players are stacked at the top of the order, Keuchel may struggle with them.
Finally, and this is one of the reasons to target the first five innings, Cleveland’s bullpen has not been very reliable. The Guardians rank 26th in fWAR and 25th in WPA.
Bieber should be able to manage at least five-ish innings for the Guardians, but handing it off to the relief corps could cause issues in the latter innings.
In contrast, the White Sox bullpen has been better, ranking 11th in fWAR and 18th in WPA.
White Sox-Guardians Pick
In this game, Bieber is the reason Cleveland should hold a lead after five innings. He has a track record of mowing down the White Sox lately, and it should not stop here.
Keuchel may be showing more encouraging signs of a bounce-back season this year, but the Guardians accrue numbers when facing similar, soft-throwing southpaws like him.
Pick: Cleveland Guardians -0.5 f5 (+105) | Play to -0.5 f5 (-120)
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