By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)
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Money Line: MIN +116 | CWS -124
Run Line: MIN +1.5 (-176) | CWS -1.5 (+148)
Total: 7.5 (-105, U -112)
First Pitch: 1:10 CDT | Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago, IL
Pitching Matchup: Michael Pineda (2-1, 2.43 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (3-1, 1.52 ERA)
The White Sox go for the sweep this afternoon as they send Lance Lynn to the bump. The Twins will counter with Michael Pineda as they look to get back in the win column for the first time in four games. Let’s get into this matinee thriller that sees the Southsiders as slight favorites with a total of 7.5.
Minnesota Twins (12-22)
I wasn’t high on the Twins entering this season (2021 A.L. Central Preview & Futures Bets) and so far I’ve been correct about that. While I think they’re better than their current record reflects, it’s just been a bad run to start the season. Oh, and they’re running into the best team in baseball right now so it’s been an uphill battle. Rocco Baldelli and his club will look to salvage a win as they send Pineda to the hill. The big righty is coming off of an outing in which he limited the Rangers to two earned runs over 6.0 innings and punched out five. Overall, he’s had a nice start to the year and has only allowed more than two runs on one occasion over six starts. Pineda’s a three pitch hurler who relies on a 4-seamer (51.2%), slider (34.6%), and changeup (14.2%).
The Twinkies are still a top ten offense in the league, and actually, their offense hasn’t really been the issue at all. They’re sixth in batting average (.246), 10th in OBP (.315), fourth in slugging (.425), and have blasted the 10th most homeruns with 46. There’s a pretty minimal sample size of head to head stats against Lance Lynn, but one man who has found moderate success against the Sox starter is Andrelton Simmons. Simmons is 7-21 with two doubles and four RBI’s.
Chicago White Sox (21-13)
The White Sox are currently the best team in the majors in a couple of key categories: win percentage and run differential. As of this morning, they’ve won 61.8% of their games which tops the league and they’re at +64 in the differential column. That’s 20 more runs than the next closest team (Houston, +44). Things are going really well on the south side and it’s not a fluky run at all. Run differential is probably one of the best basic stats that you can look at to see a team’s success. The pitching has been spectacular and the sticks are really heating up, despite not having Eloy Jimenez and losing Luis Robert for about 10 weeks.
They’ll look for the sweep this afternoon behind the big righty, Lance Lynn. Lynn’s made two starts since returning from the injured list and he’s surrendered three earned runs over 10.0 IP. He held the Royals to zero runs in his last outing but saw a big uptick in walks with four. He’s now walked just eight batters over five starts in 2021.
Final Analysis & Best Bet
I have to assume that this is the heaviest pitching matchup in all of baseball history (a combined 560 pounds between the big righties). And you know what they say, “mass = gas.” If anyone wants to dig into the archives and confirm this hunch, please let me know.
Anyways, from a betting standpoint, we’ve hit three straight winners and continue to inch closer to the profitability mark in 2021. For this game, I’m surprised we see a total at 7.5 considering these teams have combined for 33 runs through the first two games. Both pitchers have found great success through the early going of the new campaign, but on the flip side, each squad is in the top 10 in slugging percentage.
I’m taking the over for the White Sox team total at 3.5 (-135) for 1.5 units. This team is mashing right now. They’re put up 40 runs over their last four games and they’re doing it in all different types of ways. They’ve been hitting the ball out of the park and spreading it around the yard. They continue to work counts and take walks also. Chicago’s fifth in the majors with a 10.1% BB%. The Sox slash .351/.387/.552 against Pineda with Tim Anderson leading the way at 7-12 with two homers and two doubles. And finally, Pineda hasn’t been running up a huge pitch count this season. His high is 90 through the six starts and with this bottom of the barrel bullpen, the Sox will have plenty of opportunities to score runs today. Good luck and let’s get some runs today!
Trent’s MLB Betting Record
2021 MLB Season: 18-16 (-1.34 units). A $100 bettor is down $134.16 this MLB szn.