By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)
Matinee baseball, there’s nothing better. The Sox host the Royals for one more game to decide the series this afternoon in a matchup that features a couple of rookie hurlers. For the gamblers reading, it’s an inflated money line and rightfully so as we’ll dive into that below. It’s a beautiful day for baseball on the southside of Chicago so let’s get into it!
Money Line: CWS -187, KC +172
Run Line: CWS -1.5 (-113), KC +1.5 (-107)
Total: 10 (O -110, U -110)
First Pitch: 1:10 CST, Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL
Kansas City Royals
Mike Matheney will send the rookie, Kris Bubic to the bump for the rubber match. Bubic made his debut back on 7/31/20 against the White Sox. His final line for the game was 4.0 IP, giving up two earned runs on three hits. Adam Engel hit a three-run bomb in the second inning and that’s actually all the White Sox were able to muster up against the rookie lefty. He hasn’t really progressed in that time, although he’s been tasked with some tall tasks. He’s faced the Sox, Cubs, Reds, and Twins (x2) over his five starts and is 0-4 with a 5.96 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. Bubic’s FIP is 5.35, which means he may have gotten “unlucky” and his ERA reflects that, but a 5.35 FIP is still very high.
As for Kansas City’s hitters, they used the longball to their advantage yesterday, hitting four big flies in the 9-6 win over the Southsiders. It’s a solid roster and I think they’re better than their 13-20 record reflects. They’re scrappy, grind games out, and usually keep it close. They have the 15th highest batting average (.248), 26th highest OBP (.312), and are 24th in runs scored as a team (137).
Chicago White Sox
Rick Renteria will also opt for a rookie for the rubber match. He’ll go with the 25-year-old righty, Dane Dunning who is coming off his MLB debut. In the game against Detroit he threw 4.1 innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out seven and looked really sharp early on. His ERA is currently 6.23 but Fangraphs says his FIP is 3.60, so that’s a discrepancy that favors Dunning. In his debut, the #8 prospect in the Sox system used the fastball 41.1%, slider 28.8% and sinker 15.1%. He also has a curve and changeup in his arsenal.
Final Analysis & Best Bet
Plain and simple, we’re going to ride the trend we’ve been cashing tickets on all season. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The White Sox are 9-0 against left-handed starting pitching and they’ll make it 10-0 today. Give me the White Sox money line (-187) for two units. This is going to be an interesting matchup, that I also lean towards the over but I don’t think I’ll pull the trigger on. Two rookie pitches still figuring it out which means you’ll likely see quite a bit of bullpen usage in this matinee rubber match. The thing is, both bullpens have shined the majority of the time this season so they may shut it down when they enter. I think the safest bet here is to ride the White Sox. They’re still the hottest team in baseball and despite a somewhat heavy price on the money line, we’re going to hammer it. Not to sound like a broken record, but Chicago makes their living off LHP. A 9-0 record, .417 wOBA, and .337 BABIP against lefties is phenomenal. BABIP is batting average on ballis in play and last time out, Bubic didn’t strike out one Twins batter so expect the Sox to put the ball in play often. Let’s get it and end the weekend up a few units!
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