“Crosstown Showdown”

Cubs vs Whitesox 

White Sox @ (1.95/-105)

Tonight we have a matchup featuring two teams from Chicago meeting in a battle featuring each team’s top pitcher. These two met a few weeks ago in a matchup at Wrigley Field, now they head south with the White Sox at home this time around. Let’s get into why we see value in the White Sox tonight:

Key Factors

  • John Lester struggles on the road
  • 8-20 in their last 28 vs. the National League Central.

The Northside Cubs are heading down to the Southside to take on the White Sox. John Lester is on the mound for the Cubs while Lucas Giolito is pitching for the White Sox. Lester (7-6, 3.89 ERA, 90 strikeouts, and 1.31 WHIP). Giolito (11-2, 2.72 ERA, 115 strikeouts, and 1.02 WHIP). In the last 7 starts, Lester is 2-4 with a 5.67 ERA. Right-handed batters are hitting .265 off of Lester this year, while left-handed batters are batting .289 off him. Giolito has pitched very well this season by finally proving the MLB that he is the top prospect that a lot of teams wanted a couple of years ago.  They are two games under .500 for the year, but -70 in run differential, which is 24th in the league.

The White Sox are also trying to stay in the AL Wildcard race. The White Sox are in an odd position because this series and the trip after the break could determine whether or not they become buyers or sellers.

Further analysis on pitching matchup

Lester

White Sox hitting splits

Sox Splits

Lester pitching splits 

Lester splits.JPG

Taking a look at these three charts, a few things stand out: The White Sox have great numbers this season against left-handed pitching and as mentioned earlier have a solid history against Lester despite the small sample size. The third chart shows Lester’s pitching splits versus left-handed and right-handed batters, while similar, there is a slight edge to be seen for right-handed batters. Today’s White Sox lineup will feature 8 batters from the right side of the plate against Lester.

On the other side, Lucas Giolito will get another try against the Cubs after struggling the first time he faced them this year. In the first meeting, he gave up a first-inning grand slam home run and the rest of the game settled down and still had nine strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings pitched. However, what was most impressive is Giolito bounced back from this performance, allowing only three runs in a high scoring environment at Fenway Park and only allowing one run to the top offense in baseball, the Minnesota Twins. Considering the Cubs recent struggles on the road recently and the White Sox proven ability to hit left-handed pitching, we see value in the White Sox tonight at nearly even money odds.

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