Home run (Safe bet)
Take the Chicago White Sox, on at 1.85, to win at home versus the Cleveland Indians.
This Monday match up features two team teams that are currently at the bottom of the American League Central standings. But the White Sox at home is the call here – especially against an Indians team that has ranked in the bottom-five in all of Major League Baseball (thirty teams) in road game winning percentage.
Beyond that I’m a huge White Sox starter Jose Quintana fan. The Chicago pitcher has produced a quality start (six innings or more pitched; three runs or fewer allowed) in five of his last six appearances. Also, earlier this season, he faced the Indians with much success. On April 13, he went six innings, allowing just five hits, two walks and one run, while striking out six.
For Cleveland, Josh Tomlin’s overall pitching numbers have been misleading. For sure, he’s a sturdy looking 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA, but his fielding independent pitching statistic (a better indicator of performance) is a far less impressive 4.58. Considering his lifetime ERA is 4.80, he’s due for a market correction in his performance and there’s no reason why it won’t happen in this game.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Look for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (1.75) to prevail on the road against the Seattle Mariners.
Over the past twenty games, the Angels have quietly been one of baseball’s best teams, throw in the fact that they have been consistently good on the road in 2014 and you have a nice foundation for success in this contest.
Now look at the pitchers and it bolsters LA’s prospects at a victory. The Angels give Tyler Skaggs the starting assignment. The former first round pick hasn’t been dominating this year (4.14 ERA), but he’s coming off a very good start (7 innings pitched; 1 run allowed versus the Houston Astros). He has also delivered his best performances on the road. In three away starts, he’s 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA.
Mariners’ pitcher Chris Young leaves some reason for concern. In particular, he’s been shaky in his past two starts. Over that stretch he’s 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA.