White Sox vs. Royals Betting Pick: Does Giolito Get Win No. 9?

White Sox vs. Royals Betting Pick: Does Giolito Get Win No. 9? article feature image
Credit:

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Lucas Giolito

  • The Royals win percentage is a measly .317, but they did win the first game of their current series with the White Sox.
  • History suggests that the betting market's reaction to that victory is indicative of value on today's matchup.

Through 2+ months of baseball, the AL Central does not look quite as it was expected to entering the season. The Twins have built up a double-digit game lead, while the Indians a barely keeping their heads above the .500-mark.

Not quite as head-turning has been the pleasant surprise of the White Sox — at least before their current three-game losing streak. Still, Chicago is 29-33 and on pace to eclipse its preseason win total of 73.5.

As for the remaining two, well, they’ve been even worse than advertised. Neither the Tigers nor Royals are above .400, and neither is on pace to reach their respective preseason totals.

The Royals, in fact, are currently on pace to be about 18 games short. If their current pace holds up, they’ll finish the season with just 51 wins …

Kansas City will host the White Sox for the second game of their three-game set this afternoon and believe it or not, it’s the Royals who are coming off a win in last night’s series opener.

Thanks in large part to last night’s victory — Lucas Giolito’s 2.54 ERA doesn’t hurt either — the Royals are getting almost no support this afternoon in the betting market. The chances a .317 team wins two straight games is very low, so 81% of bettors are fading KC today.

Of course, that’s not right way to think about consecutive wins, because the first one has already happened. A die landing on six doesn’t make it any less likely that it will land on six again the following roll.

It does, however, create a historically profitable spot for bettors willing to wager on the second consecutive win — especially with some of the other angles pointing toward Kansas City today.

When a team is still at .400 or lower by game 45 of the regular season, and is coming off a win, that team has gone 973-1081 since 2005. That’s not a winning record, but since almost all of these teams are underdogs, the losing record has still won 159.0 units for a 7.7% return on investment.

As for those other angles I mentioned, look no further than the betting market percentages. The Royals’ 19% of bets have generated 28% of actual money being wagered today. That discrepancy means bigger bettors — who are more likely to be sharps — are on Kansas City’s side.

The 28% of money also ensures that sportsbooks will be rooting for the Royals today, too. In a battle of sharps and sportsbooks vs. the public, I’m going to trust the former.

History would agree.

Restricting the above system to only teams seeing 30% of bets or less brings the record to 468-567, winning 131.8 units for an improved 12.5% ROI.

If the team is seeing more money than bets by at least three percentage points, that record actually jumps over the .500 mark to 76-70 since 2016 (our money percentage data doesn’t go back as far as the rest of the Bet Labs database). That’s won 46.2 units for an impressive 31.7% ROI.

Throw in one final restriction to keep the money percentage under 40% and we’re now looking at a 52-45 system — on mostly underdogs — winning 33.7 units for a 34.8% ROI over the past 3+ years.

The pick: Royals +120