MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: White Sox vs. Pirates Betting Preview (June 23)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Dylan Cease.
- The White Sox look to end their five-game skid on Wednesday afternoon against the Pirates.
- Chicago hopes to get the good, under-control version of Dylan Cease, who starts opposite Chase De Jong.
- Mike Ianniello breaks down White Sox vs. Pirates and delivers his best bet below.
White Sox vs. Pirates Odds
|White Sox Odds||-165|
|Time||Wednesday, 12:35 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday and via PointsBet|
The White Sox enter Wednesday’s series finale vs. the Pirates as one of the best teams in the majors with the sixth-best record at 43-30. However, they have now lost five games in a row after dropping the first matchup against the lowly Pirates.
Pittsburgh won the first game of this series 6-3 with a four-run seventh inning by playing small ball and tallying five singles in the inning. Pittsburgh will look to complete the mini-series sweep with a win on Wednesday afternoon.
Chicago White Sox
Dylan Cease might not have made the impact that White Sox fans hoped he would, but he has slowly progressed in each of his three seasons so far. After posting a 5.79 ERA in 2019, he improved to a 4.01 ERA in 2020.
Through 14 starts this season, Cease has a 3.99 ERA and 5-3 record. He shows flashes of brilliance but is wildly inconsistent. In his last seven starts alone, he has allowed one run or fewer three times. But he has also allowed more than five runs three times.
It’s easy to see that Cease has elite stuff. He has a 96 mph fastball, as well as a terrific curveball and changeup. The question on any given night is which version of him will you get.
The real strength of Cease, though, is obviously his elite ability as a hitter. In his only other start in a National League ballpark this season, he went 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored against Cincinnati on May 4.
The White Sox offense has gone cold over the last couple weeks. They rank just 22nd in batting average, 23rd in wRC+ and 26th in OPS over the last two weeks.
Chicago is dealing with injuries to Luis Robert, Eloy Jiménez, Nick Madrigal, Adam Eaton, Billy Hamilton and Adam Engel. On top of that, Yoán Moncada and José Abreu are really slumping and they lose Yermín Mercedes out of the lineup without a DH.
Although, as I mentioned, Cease is batting 1.000 this season.
The Pirates called up Chase De Jong on May 30, and he said he feels like each big-league start is a tryout. At 27-year old, the right-hander is already on his fourth big league team in five seasons. He has been part of six organizations in his young career, spending time as part of the Blue Jays, Dodgers, Mariners, Twins and Astros before Pittsburgh.
He has made just 14 major-league starts in his career and is 1-6 with a 6.38 career ERA. De Jong has made four starts this season and despite earning his first loss of the year in his last start, he allowed just one run. He only lasted four innings but was solid in that outing.
De Jong’s control has been an issue this season, but he has allowed two runs or less in three of his four starts. He likely won’t last long in this game, though, as he has yet to pitch more than five innings.
The Pirates lineup is very top heavy. The Buccos top three hitters of Adam Frazier, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds all have a wOBA over .350 and wRC+ over 130 this season. Frazier ranks second in the league with 89 hits this season.
The rest of the lineup drops off a cliff though. Pittsburgh ranks last in the league by averaging just 3.50 runs per game. The Buccos are worst in the league in both wOBA and wRC+ and have hit the fewest home runs of any team this season, with more than 15 less than the next closest team.
White Sox-Pirates Pick
Over the last two weeks, these teams rank 24th and 27th in wOBA and 23rd and 26th in wRC+. The White Sox bats have gone ice cold, and they haven’t been as good against right-handers all year.
The Pirates have some solid pieces at the top of their lineup but still remain one of the worst offenses in the league.
Despite Cease’s inconsistencies, his stuff is good enough to handle this Pittsburgh team if he just throws strikes and doesn’t allow walks.
This pick is more about fading the way these offenses have been playing than it is about backing the pitching, but I think the best bet in this matinee matchup is the under 8.5.
Let’s hope the only runs we see at PNC Park on Wednesday are in the Great Pierogi Race.
Pick: Under 8.5 (-115 or better)
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