Friday MLB Betting: Finding Value In AL Central Showdown

Written By Eli Hershkovich on July 22, 2022 - Last Updated on July 23, 2022
MLB Betting

Following the All-Star break, a crucial AL Central series begins between the White Sox and Guardians. My MLB betting guide for the first of a three-game set is below. Click on any of the odds to place a wager.

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MLB Betting: Cleveland Guardians at Chicago White Sox

The White Sox and Guardians find themselves in the thick of the division race — both within three games of the Twins (). However, the market is overvaluing Chicago starter Lucas Giolito in Friday night’s affair.

Giolito only tallied a 2.01 FIP (with no earned runs) versus Cleveland on July 13. But despite his improved resume in recent outings, he still possesses a 4.49 xERA and 4.28 FIP overall. Therefore, he isn’t outperforming his 4.69 ERA by much.

His opponent’s barrel rate (10.4%) ranks in the 13th percentile as well. For context, the MLB’s average barrel rate is between to six to nine percent while anything between 10 to 15 percent is considered substantial.

Related: 2022 AL Cy Young Odds

Plus, Giolito has steadily decreased his four-seam fastball usage, which has dipped in velocity (93.2 mph) from last season, in favor his changeup and slider. Unfortunately for the 28-year-old righty, Cleveland’s lineup boasts a top 10 efficiency against both pitches (via Fangraphs), recording its most damage against the changeup.

That’s not even driven by All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez, as Amed Rosario, Josh Naylor, Myles Straw and Owen Miller all place within the top 30 of that department (for hitters with at least 200 at bats).

Even though Cal Quantrill’s peripherals (4.65 xERA and 4.45 FIP) aren’t impressive in the slightest, Giolito is commanding too much respect in the betting market. I’ll side with the Guardians, whose bullpen is rated just about evenly with the White Sox, full-game as a result.

Best Available Line: TheLines’ MLB odds comparison tool
Eli’s MLB Bet:

2022 MLB Betting Record: 24-23 (+3.38 units)

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Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich