With the Twins slipping up against Kansas City this weekend, there is an opportunity for the Cleveland Guardians to jump into the top spot in the AL Central, but they’re squandering it. Yesterday the Chicago White Sox took a 7-2 win at home over Cleveland to get to 43-63 and keep the Guardians 1.5 games behind Minnesota at 52-53. Chicago has taken two of the first three in this four-game series.
For the finale this afternoon in Chicago the Guardians will hand the ball to Aaron Civale and the White Sox will counter with Michael Kopech. Civale is 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 12 starts this season and Kopech is 4-9 in his 19 starts with a 4.44 ERA.
After dropping the last two the Guardians are favorites in the finale. Let’s check out the odds.
Guardians vs. White Sox odds, run line and total
Guardians vs. White Sox prediction and pick
Neither of these teams have particularly great lineups, especially after Cleveland traded away Amed Rosario to the Dodgers. In the last 30 days, the White Sox are 26th in team OPS and Luis Robert Jr. has cooled off a bit after a great start to the month of July and is struggling to carry the offense. The Guardians are a bit better, about average in OPS for the month, but have only managed two runs over the past two games against the White Sox.
Today, that’s going to change for both teams because of the starting pitchers on the mound. Fielding independent pitching is a much better indicator of future performance than ERA is and that’s bad news for both Civale and Kopech. Civale has been pretty stellar in his return from injury with a 2.54 ERA in 12 starts, but he only has 54 strikeouts to 20 walks in 71 innings. With that his FIP is sitting at 3.61 and anytime you see a discrepancy of a run or more, you can expect regression to come quickly thereafter for the pitcher.
Michael Kopech has been fending off that disastrous start that the numbers say is coming, but it almost happened last time out. He allowed three home runs last time out, but only four earned runs, so his ERA didn’t take a big hit, but his FIP is now 6.09. Kopech has given up 22 homers this season and five in three starts in July. He has 58 walks in 97.1 innings, so it won’t be long before he gives up a three-run homer or two instead of a solo shot and his ERA will jump up to where it belongs based on how poorly he’s performed this year.
I’m fading both of these pitchers and anytime you do that it means you love the over. That’ll be my play in this one.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change
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