MLB Thursday best bets: White Sox to start fast vs. Tigers
It's "getaway day" in Major League Baseball. There are only 10 games scheduled, and half are set to take place in the afternoon.
That doesn't leave a full board to comb through, but thankfully, there's still some value to be had. Let's take a closer look at a pair of best bets.
White Sox (-150) @ Tigers (+130)
A small card to choose from means we can't be picky with edges - and I see one on the White Sox.
By and large, this play comes down to pitching. I like what I'm seeing from Lucas Giolito. The same can't be said of Tigers starter Alex Faedo.
Giolito profiles well over the past month. His FIP is in line with his 2.84 ERA, which is strong. He's striking out better than 25% of batters faced and is doing a great job of limiting hard contact, ranking first among the day's projected starters over the last 30 days.
The Tigers aren't a good offensive team - especially against righties. They don't hit for much power, nor do they string together many hits, owning a .227 average the past couple of weeks. Giolito should be able to put forth a quality start.
Assuming that's the case, I love Chicago's chances of leading through half a game.
Their offense is far from prolific, but the White Sox put the ball in the air often. Faedo, who has a fly-ball rate of nearly 60% this season, is unlikely to change that.
When you put the ball in the air consistently, you're bound to find some holes in the defense or leave the park entirely.
I expect the White Sox to get to Faedo early and produce a few runs, which should be more than enough for Giolito to see a lead through.
Bet: White Sox F5 -0.5 (+100)
Aaron Judge over 1.5 total bases (-105)
It's not fair how good Judge is. There's legitimately nobody in the league as dominant against right-handed pitching. To date, Judge owns a .470 wOBA, .400 ISO, and wRC+ of 207.
Of the 304 batters with at least 60 plate appearances versus righties this season, Judge leads the charge in all three categories. He's a monster.
Thursday evening, Judge will have the luxury of facing a hittable righty in Kyle Gibson. He owns a 4.97 ERA the past 30 days and is striking out only 13% of opposing batters. That, of course, means a lot of balls are being put in play against him.
That's a recipe for disaster when facing Judge - even more so considering Gibson's pitching profile. His most frequently used pitch is the sinker. It just so happens Judge destroys that pitch.
Last season, Judge posted a ridiculous .375 batting average, .533 wOBA, and 66% hard-hit rate against sinkers. Insanely good numbers.
With a current wOBA of .494 and a hard-hit rate above 70%, Judge has picked up where he left off versus sinkers.
Expect him to get ahold of Gibson and take care of business with one good swing of the bat.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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