By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
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* 2019 MLB Record: 45-32-3 (58.4%) *
[6:10 p.m. EST] Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians (-1.5, -130)
CHW: Ivan Nova – R (0-3, 8.33 ERA)
CLE: Trevor Bauer – R (4-1, 2.45 ERA)
It’s been a rough start to 2019 for Ivan Nova, to say the least, allowing 48 hits and 29 runs over 31 1/3 innings. Things won’t be getting any easier as he’ll face the Indians, who have absolutely destroyed Nova lifetime. In fact, the Tribe’s current roster owns a combined .379 batting average, .446 on-base percentage and 1.082 OPS against him in 73 career plate appearances.
Trevor Bauer has suddenly become somewhat of a generous pitcher, allowing 10 walks over his last 15 innings of work. Luckily, he has handled this White Sox with relative ease since 2016, going 5-2 with a 3.03 ERA in 10 outings. Not to mention, the current Pale Hose roster owns a combined .192 batting average, .242 on-base percentage and 32.6% K-rate in 175 career plate appearances against Bauer.
Because of the history with these two starting pitchers against their respective opponents, bettors will get much more value on the Indians with the 1.5 run-line at -130, as opposed to the -250 moneyline.
* Final Score Prediction: Cleveland Indians: 7 – Chicago White Sox: 3 *
[7:07 p.m. EST] Under 9 (-122) – Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays
MIN: Martin Perez – L (4-0, 3.41 ERA)
TOR: Marcus Stroman – R (1-4, 2.20 ERA)
Both of these starting pitchers have had great success this season, despite the traditional numbers not looking all that glamorous. Success, of course, meaning keeping opposing runs off the scoreboard.
In fact, Martin Perez has allowed one run or fewer in three of his last four outings, while Stroman has allowed three runs or fewer in six of his seven starts this season. Stroman’s only misnomer came in his last outing at Anaheim, but he’s a crafty veteran that rarely has two bad outings in a row. Perez should benefit from facing a Blue Jays team that ranks in the bottom five of most advanced metrics against left-handed pitching.
Also helping the under this game is the fact that Toronto has scored three runs or fewer in five of its last six games.
* Final Score Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays: 4 – Minnesota Twins: 3*
[8:05 p.m. EST] Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs (-1.5, -120)
MIA: Sandy Alcantara – R (1-3, 4.86 ERA)
CHC: Cole Hamels – L (3-0, 3.19 ERA)
The Cubs just completed a three-game sweep over the rival Cardinals, so that brings their winning streak to seven games, and they are now 16-4 over their last 20. It shouldn’t be too hard for Chicago to continue their dominant run, facing a Miami team that has scored three runs or fewer in 18 of its last 23 games.
Cole Hamels takes the ball for the Cubbies and he’ll go up against a Marlins team that ranks in the bottom five of most advanced metrics against left-handed pitching. The former World Series MVP has been his usual dominant self, with a 1.09 WHIP, and that’s even going against tough competition like the Brewers, Dodgers, Mariners and Rangers. One of those starts, though, was versus this stagnant Miami offense and Hamels pitched seven innings of shutout ball to get the win back on April 17.
Bettors should feel quite confident going with the Cubs on the 1.5 run-line, considering Hamels has managed to get an average of eight runs of support in his six starts this season. Although the game total sits at seven, I expect Chicago to post all the runs on the scoreboard tonight.
* Final Score Prediction: Chicago Cubs: 5 – Miami Marlins: 0 *