White Sox vs. Orioles MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Birds Flying Behind a Surprise Starter (Tuesday, August 23)
Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and pitcher Austin Voth
- The White Sox and Orioles open a three-game series in Baltimore.
- Orioles starter Austin Voth has revived his season with a move to the starting rotation.
- Mike Ianniello breaks down the matchup and explains why he's backing the red-hot home team.
White Sox vs. Orioles Odds
|White Sox Odds
|7.5 (+100 / -120)
|7:05 p.m. ET
Since July 1, only one team in the American League has a better record than the Baltimore Orioles. The worst team in the entire league last season has turned things around quicker than anybody expected and is suddenly fighting for a playoff spot.
The Orioles sit 2.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot as the first team out. Four games back of the final Wild Card spot are the Chicago White Sox. A heavy favorite in the AL Central, the White Sox have largely been disappointing this year. However, they have been better lately after a horrible start, going 27-20 since the start of July.
When these two teams met in June, the O’s took three out of four to win the series, and that was in Chicago. Now the White Sox will head to Baltimore, where the Orioles are 35-23 on the year.
White Sox Starter Dylan Cease Is Elite
Chicago will have the advantage of Cy Young contender Dylan Cease (RHP) on the hill. His 2.09 ERA is the second best in the league, and his 11.99 K/9 rate trails only that Ohtani guy. Teams have just a .185 xBA against Cease this season.
Cease masterfully pairs a 97 mph with an 87 mph slider. His slider has been the single best pitch in baseball this year by a wide margin. Hitters have a .177 wOBA against it with a 42.3 K%.
The high-powered White Sox lineup has dealt with injuries to just about every player in their lineup at points throughout the season, and it has taken its toll. Chicago ranks just 20th in wRC+ on the year but since the start of August has climbed up to 10th.
Baltimore Orioles Return Austin Voth to Rotation
Veteran Austin Voth (RHP) was designated for assignment by the Nationals and claimed off waivers by Baltimore in early June. He posted a ridiculous 10.13 ERA in 19 relief appearances for Washington but has really turned things around since joining the Orioles. He has a 2.81 ERA in 14 appearances with the Birds.
The trick has been moving him back to the rotation. In 10 starts for Baltimore, he has a 2.76 ERA. Teams have a .409 wOBA against him out of the bullpen, yet just a .268 wOBA when he gets the ball first. He started against the White Sox earlier in the year and went three innings but allowed only one run.
Baltimore’s offense has absolutely taken off. It ranks fourth in the entire league with a 121 wRC+ over the month of August. No. 1 prospect Adley Rutschman has certainly arrived. The star catcher has a .425 wOBA and 185 wRC+ this month.
White Sox-Orioles Pick
I think it is hard to wrap our heads around the fact that the Orioles are just a better baseball team than the White Sox. Baltimore has the second-best record in all of baseball over the last two months and is right in the thick of the playoff race.
Cease has been nearly unhittable this year, but Voth has been terrific since moving to the starting rotation. He likely won't pitch more than half the game, and then the O's will turn it over to a bullpen that ranks fourth in the league in reliever ERA this year.
While I expect Cease to pitch well, it is worth noting that Baltimore sits fifth in the league against sliders this season, which could help neutralize the Cy Young contender's best pitch.
Baltimore dominated a series earlier in the year in Chicago, and I think this line should be closer to a coin flip at Camden Yards, where the Orioles have been terrific this year.
Play the O's at +124, and I would play them down to +115.
Pick: Baltimore Orioles ML +124