By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)
Odds via PointsBet. Click Here or use code LYNQSPORTS to receive a deposit match up to $250 on your first deposit!
Money Line: STL +127 | CWS -139
Run Line: STL +1.5 (-174) | CWS -1.5 (+154)
Total: 8 (O +100, U -112)
First Pitch: 7:10 CDT | Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago, IL
Pitching Matchup: Jack Flaherty (8-0, 2.53 ERA) vs. Lucas Giolito (3-4, 4.35 ERA)
A battle of Harvard Westlake alums on the bump tonight as the Cardinals look to get back in the win column for the first time since their 2-1 win over the Cubs on Saturday. And since everyone has surely heard of Harvard Westlake, I need to plug a couple of my homies that have relations to the school. One of my best friends, Cole, who’s a math teacher at HW. Best math teacher in southern California some would say. And secondly, my boy Connor who’s out of San Diego and played against HW back in high school. He faced Lucas Giolito and got K’d up in four pitches. But he always brags about how he fouled one off of Cylito.
St. Louis Cardinals (26-21)
I know all about Jack Flaherty as he was my second round draft pick in fantasy baseball this season. The “Chicago Ricos” took a slide after last week’s beatdown at the hands of our A’s and college basketball writer, Jack O’Keefe. We’re 8.5 games back in the division now but Flaherty will get us moving in the right direction. This preview is already off the rails but we’re having a good time. Hang in here and I promise we’ll get to the winning bets. Flaherty’s been a beast this season and he relies on a five pitch arsenal. He leads with his 4-seamer that sits 93.7 mph just over 50% of the time. He mixes in a slider at a 29.5% clip and goes with the curve 12.4% of the time.
This offense isn’t very good. I feel like St. Louis acquiring Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado is going to deprive us of those guys putting up video game numbers like they could’ve elsewhere in the league. It has to be Busch Stadium that’s responsible. That place is massive. But regardless, the offense of the Cards is very mediocre. They’re 20th in team batting average (.232), 21st in OBP (.306), and 16th in slugging (.390).
Chicago White Sox (27-19)
It was Andrew Vaughn getting the party started for the Sox last night. It took until the bottom of the 6th but Vaughn hit a 374 foot shot that scored himself and the Yerminator. They tacked on another pair of runs in the inning thanks to a Tim Anderson double and there was no looking back from there. The Sox offense ranks fourth in team batting average (.254) and second in OBP (.341) but just 25th in homeruns with 45. Coming into the season we expected this team to slug their way to the playoffs but being able to win by getting guys on and taking walks has been fun to watch.
And on the bump tonight for the Southsiders will be Lucas Giolito. It’s been an up and down season for the ace but he mowed down the Twins last time out and looked like the guy that we know and want to see on a nightly basis. He went 8.0 IP against the Twins and allowed just one earned run while punching out a season high 11. Lucas made a start against the Red Birds in the truncated season of 2020 and made it through 5.0 innings but allowed four earned in a losing effort (5-1).
Final Analysis & Best Bet
My initial thoughts are that I’m surprised to see the Cardinals as underdogs considering how dominant Flaherty has been this season. His WHIP is 0.99 and he’s punched out 55 batters already (34th). But, obviously, Lucas Giolito is no slouch and the Sox offense has a clear advantage here.
There’s a prop wager that I found on PointsBet (click here to sign up and receive up to a $250 deposit match so you can bet along with me) and I’m going to roll with that tonight. I’m taking the under on White Sox runs through the first three innings at 1 (-110) for two units. Flaherty’s given up just five runs over 25.0 innings this month. I think you all get how good this guy is. He hasn’t faced too many of the big guns for the Sox but Adam Eaton is 0-3, Yasmani Grandal is 2-15 (with two homers), Billy Hamilton is 1-3, and Jake Lamb is 1-6. So as long as he can keep Grandal inside the yard the first time through the order, we should be fine. I think Flaherty will be hyped and locked in facing his former teammate and he’s going to ball out. I expect the Sox batters, who’ve been struggling recently, to take at least one time through to try and figure out Jack.
I’m also going to take a shot on the Cardinals ML (+127) for two units tonight. Getting Flaherty as an underdog of this magnitude is worth a shot. They have the offensive capability and maybe since they’re out of Busch Stadium they’ll be able to put some stuff together. Having a DH in the lineup (probably Matt Carpenter) should help push the offense along in some capacity. Lucas Giolito has been too inconsistent this season for me to back. And last year when he faced the Cardinals they got after him quick. The team as a whole slashed .444/.500.796 over 24 at-bats including 3-3 from Arenado with a longball.
And finally, I’m taking the under on eight runs (-112) for two units. Even though Lucas has been a wild card this season, I expect him to shove since he wants bragging rights over his buddy. Expect him, Yasmani Grandal, and Ethan Katz to come into tonight with a dialed-in gameplan. It’s hard to ignore the track record that St. Louis has against Lucas so I’ll say 4-3 is the final tonight in favor of the Birds.
Trent’s MLB Betting Record
2021 MLB Season: 23-23-1 (-5.54 units). A $100 bettor is down $553.57 this MLB szn.