The Chicago White Sox have clinched a playoff berth, but they want more: The top seed in the American League and the AL Central title. They can take another step toward both with a win at division-rival Cleveland on Wednesday.
How to Bet White Sox at Indians MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 6:10 PM ET
- Where: Progressive Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Lucas Giolito/Zach Plesac
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: ESPN+; https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Chicago? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis
One of Chicago’s top relievers, Aaron Bummer made a simulated appearance on Monday. That’s a big step in the right direction for the rehabbing left-hander, who’s been sidelined since early August because of a left biceps strain and nerve issues around that same muscle. Bummer could potentially return to the White Sox bullpen before the end of this week.
Bummer is 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA, 12 strikeouts and three holds in seven appearances this season. Bummer, who tied for sixth in the American League with 27 holds in 2019, agreed to a five-year, $16 million contract with the Sox during spring training.
Outfielder Luis Robert got off to a great start this season and looked like he would win AL Rookie of the Year, but he has been slumping big time of late. In July and August, in his first 33 games in the big leagues, he slashed .298/.348/.612 with 10 homers, eight doubles and 24 RBIs.
And Robert’s not the only one slumping. Yoán Moncada is hitting .185 in September. Edwin Encarnación is hitting well below .200 on the season.
“What is our hope? Our hope is that between now and the time we actually start to make that run (in the playoffs) … that they start to take off again and be as impactful as we need them to be,” Sox manager Rick Renteria said recently.
It’s ace Lucas Giolito (4-3) on the mound and his next start after this will be Game 1 of the Sox’s playoff series. Giolito went six innings while allowing three runs in a loss to the Twins last Wednesday. Giolito allowed only three hits, and he struck out four against three free passes. While he limited the baserunners — for the most part — he did allow two homers; a solo shot to Eddie Rosario and a two-run blast to Byron Buxton. It’s the third straight start that the 26-year-old has allowed three runs. He has posted an 86/25 K/BB mark with a 3.53 ERA in 66 1/3 innings over 11 starts.
Giolito last faced the Indians on Aug. 9. He yielded two earned runs across seven innings in a no-decision. Cleveland would go on to win 5-4 in extra innings. Giolito scattered five walks and four hits while striking out nine batters, including all three batters he faced in the top of the seventh. Chicago was up 3-2 when he departed.
Why Bet on Cleveland? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis
If all goes well, they will most likely find themselves as the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. There’s a possibility that the White Sox will be the No. 2 seed, meaning a rematch of this series in a three-game Wild Card starting in Chicago on Sept. 29.
The Tribe remain without manager Terry Francona due to some health issues and he will not be back with the club before Thursday at the earliest. It remains unknown if the 61-year-old will manage Cleveland for a weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates or the playoffs. Francona missed a portion of the pandemic-shortened campaign in early August due to a gastrointestinal issue that has reportedly bothered him for nearly a year. First base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. has served as Cleveland’s interim manager throughout Francona’s absences.
A late-season push by José Ramírez has the Indians boasting not one, but two MVP candidates along with starting pitcher Shane Bieber. Bieber probably wins the Cy Young. Ramirez has been raking of late and recently had 16th career multi-home run game and his fourth this season, the most in the majors.
Indians starting pitchers have tossed a league-leading 36 quality starts this season. They are 23-13 when a starter records a quality outing. It’s scheduled to be Zach Plesac (4-2) here. Plesac matched his season high with 11 strikeouts over 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a dominant victory over the Tigers last Friday.
After surrendering three home runs in his previous start at Minnesota, Plesac kept the Tigers off balance and rendered them helpless against his changeup in his second-longest outing of the season. He retired 13 batters in a row and 16 out of the last 17 he faced before a two-out single in the eighth by Victor Reyes ended his night. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed just five hits on the night while walking one.
“My direction was good towards home, me and (catcher Roberto Pérez) had a good mix, I really am just feeling comfortable with all my pitches right now,” Plesac said. “I feel like I can throw it at any time in the count and it’d be effective.”
He has been outstanding through his first seven starts this season, compiling a minuscule 1.85 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 50/4 K/BB ratio across 48 2/3 innings. Plesac has faced the White Sox twice this year and not allowed a run in 14 innings.
Expert PredictionIndians 3, White Sox 2
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