We’ll have a trio of wagers as the boys gear up for the first Sunday Night Baseball of the season with the White Sox looking to try and even the series at two against the Angels. Joe Maddon and the Halos mounted their second late game comeback of the year last night with a hit parade off of Evan Marshall. Marshall entered the 8th inning with a clean slate and K’d Mike Trout to start the frame. But Anthony Rendon laced a single into left and Jared Walsh followed that up with a one out triple down the right field line to tie the game at three a piece. Up next was Justin Upton and the vet roped a two-run bomb into the bullpen and gave the Angels a 5-3 lead. Junior Guerra finished the top of the 8th by punching out Billy Hamilton and got the final three outs in the 9th for the win. Let’s dive into our analysis and picks for tonight as Shohei Ohtani faces off against Dylan Cease. And it’s worth noting that Ohtani will also bat for himself which is pretty neat.
Money Line: CHI +110 | LAA -120
Run Line: CHI +1.5 (-180) | LAA -1.5 (+160)
Total: 9 (O -125, U +105)
First Pitch: 7:37pm CST | Angel Stadium of Anaheim | Los Angeles, CA
Trent’s Analysis & Best Bet
Last night wasn’t a very fun game for White Sox fans. Aside from Yermin Mercedes continuing to earn the hearts of White Sox faithful, there wasn’t much to ride home on. The fielding has been atrocious this series. It bit the Southsiders again last night with Luis Robert pulling a Jose Conseco and having a ball hit off of his head which led to a run for the Angels. Whatever, it’s a new day. I’m definitely not salty about it still.
As for tonight, Ohtani and Cease are both RHP and making their first starts of the year. Cease is coming off of a season that saw him make 12 starts and post a 4.01 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, give up 7.7 HR/9, and walk 5.2 batters per nine innings. On the flip side, Ohtani didn’t make any starts last season since he had Tommy John and was only available as a DH.
I’m going to ride the over 9 (-125) for a unit. This is Sunday Night Baseball so I have a good feeling that the boys are going to bring the sticks. Putting my optimism about Dylan Cease aside for a moment, he lacks control and he’s been prone to the long ball throughout his young career. If he can control his stuff then you can live with the solo shots here and there. But when you’re handing out free passes and give up 2 or 3-run bombs, that’s when it becomes detrimental. He had a good spring but this is the real deal tonight. The stars tend to rise on national t.v. and I think we’ll see both teams, which are very capable of stringing together hits, really show out tonight. Additionally, the hurler out of Oshu, Japan went 0-3 in spring training with a 12.19 ERA and 2.42 WHIP. I don’t buy into spring training stats too much but when you have a guy who hasn’t thrown in a pro game since early 2019 (and got shelled), you can’t feel confident backing him. Give me the over here.
-Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)
Hector’s Analysis & Best Bet
I want Dylan Cease to be a good pitcher but as mentioned above, he has struggled with command and has issued his fair share of walks so it’s been a rough go thus far for him. The Angels offense is a team you do not want to issue free passes to because they will make you pay (similar to the bad defense the Sox have displayed thus far). Like Trent said, I also don’t put too much stock into Spring Training numbers just because there’s so many variables. In 2020, however, Cease gave up 34 walks in just 58.1 innings while posting an ERA of 4.01. If he shows no command, it may be a short night for the 25 year old.
Ohtani will take the ball for the first time since 2018 and he has looked decent in the Cactus League as he had reached 102mph on his fastball. Like Trent also mentioned, it will be awesome to see him get to himself as well instead of using a DH spot. Ohtani posted a ridiculous K/9 of 10.97 which is incredible. Coupled with the Sox striking out 10 times in the game last night, I think we see Ohtani rack up a good amount of strikeouts.
For my best bet, I will be taking the Angels to score first (+115) for one unit. I can see the halos getting on Cease early in the game especially if he issues a walk or two along with some hard contact. For the Sox, this will be their first time seeing Ohtani pitch and with his arsenal of pitches that he has, it may be a tough go for the hitters to get a good look at him in their first at-bat so I would not expect this offense to do much until the middle innings. This should be a good game and as always, the stars come out for SNB.
-Hector Duran (@hector_duran22)
Austin’s Analysis & Best Bet
The first Sunday Night Baseball game is upon us and to go off of what Trent and Hector said, this one should be a high scoring contest. Ohtani and Cease have historically been pitchers prone to allowing plenty of base runners as both have career WHIPs over 1.3. With how both teams have been hitting pretty well, plus the weak defensive play, no doubt that this will be a barn burner. Another factor that could lead to a high scoring game is the amount of usage both bullpens have had in this series. Chicago’s starter Dylan Cease had a good spring training, but he still had an elevated WHIP and with how bad the Sox defense has been, this could mean trouble for the young righty.
The Angels lineup has been carried mostly by Mike Trout so far, but with the skilled bats of Upton and Rendon, we could see one of the two or both have big days. Cease allowed the second most walks in the majors last season so there is no doubt in my mind that the Halos will be able to put baserunners on. Cease also has a past history of allowing the long ball as his HR/9 is near two. These factors combined could mean that we see a few multi run homers by LA. That’s why my best bet is Los Angeles over 4.5 runs (-121). That being said, I still think that the White Sox could win due to Ohtani’s past struggles and this being his first start post Tommy John surgery. Even if the Angles allow a lot of runs, I am still very confident that they will hit the five run mark. Chicago could even get a quality start from Cease and the over might still hit because the Sox’s defense has been terrible and they also relied on their bullpen during the entire series which could mean some ineffective arms from the relievers. For the first SNB game of 2021, my best bet is the LA Angels over 4.5 runs.
-Austin Moehn (@austin_moehn22)