Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM
Wednesday's Best Bet
Wednesday MLB Betting Preview (8:15 p.m. ET)
Chicago White Sox vs Kansas City Royals
Tonight's game between the White Sox and Royals is Game 3 of this four-game set and so far things have not gone according to plan for Chicago. There was a 5-2 defeat on Monday night that saw them chasing the game the entire time, and last night's 11-0 loss was exponentially worse. The White Sox allowed Glenn Sparkman to pitch a complete game shutout against them, and Sparkman's been a guy the MLB betting market has had no problem fading all year.
Yesterday's defeat continued Chicago's winless ways since returning from the All-Star break (0-5 SU) as they've now dropped seven of their last eight overall. 2019 was supposed to be the year that this young, rebuilt club starts to learn how to win, and while they were taking great strides towards that goal in the 1st half of the season, bettors that rode them to plenty of profits in April, May, and June, are in danger of giving it all back here in July.
Can Chicago turn it around tonight against this bad Kansas City team, or will the losing simply continue for this White Sox club?
MLB Odds: Chicago (+119) vs Kansas City (-129); Total set at 10.5
There is no way around the fact that the White Sox have not played well so far in this series, as they've dropped the first two games, both as favorites. Well, Wednesday's game is the first time they are listed as underdogs, and Chicago fans are hoping that that change can help turn around their team's play.
Tonight they are up against KC starter Danny Duffy – one they've yet to face this season – and a guy who's not exactly been at his best all year. Duffy's 4.64 ERA on 79 hits allowed in 77.2 IP is not great by any means, and all of those numbers are actually worse over his last three outings. He's coming off an ugly 2 IP outing in Detroit where he was rocked early, and it's those types of performances that can make it tough to consider laying the chalk with KC in this spot, even if they are up 2-0 in this series. And it series like this where it's two bad teams squaring off against one another, it's never a horrible idea to simply take the plus-money and move on.
Yet, the White Sox bats are really quite cold right now, and even after a two-inning outing by Duffy, I'm not sure you can trust Chicago to come out and take advantage. For one, Duffy's bounced back strong in a similar position already this year – he lasted just 2.1 IP in a 7-5 loss to Boston in early June and responded with 7 IP and 7 K's in his next outing against the Tigers. That did end up being a 3-2 loss for KC as a home favorite in a similar price range (-120), so there is that to hang your hat on if you are a White Sox backer tonight, but that's still not enough supporting evidence in my mind to pull the trigger.
At the same time, White Sox starter Ivan Nova is coming off an outing where he allowed 10 hits to Oakland in just six innings of work, with three of them leaving the yard. That can't inspire too much confidence in pulling the trigger on the underdog tonight either, as he's consistently been inconsistent this year as part of Chicago's staff. However, the last time Nova allowed 10+ hits was back in late May, and the following start was against this same Royals team and he pitched quite well in a 2-1 win. Which brings me to tonight's total of 10.5, and one that statistically makes sense, but situationally is probably a full run-plus too high.
In those two scenarios outlined for each starter – Nova after allowing 10+ hits, and Duffy after lasting less than three innings – the following outing for both guys ended up being a nice bounce back spot for them both. Both outings were extremely low-scoring against sub-par teams – which each of them are – and I believe we see a similar outcome tonight.
I don't think we see Kansas City's bats explode for another 11-run outburst as they did 24 hours ago, as on the year, KC is 0-3-1 O/U following a game where they scored 10 or more runs, and the average total runs scored in those games is 7.25. At the same time, Chicago is 3-8 O/U this year following a game where they gave up 10+ runs to their opponent, with an average total score of 7.54 runs per game in those contests. Put those two scenarios together and tonight's total of 10 starts to look really high.
With a home plate umpire in John Libka tonight who averages seeing just 9.5 runs per game in that role this year (10 starts), and neither offense really striking fear in an 'under' play in terms of depth or explosion capabilities, this is a spot where you do have to go low on the total.
MLB Best Bet: Under 10.5 runs