Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
First pitch: 5:10 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Jose Berrios (8-5, 2.96 ERA) vs. Lucas Giolito (11-4, 3.12 ERA)
I’ve written before how Berrios’ home-and-road and first-and-second-half splits contrast significantly, and while his performance has been considerably superior in the former for each of those categories, I’m still going to make the call that the two-time All-Star can be very dependable this evening.
Yes, Berrios sports interestingly better numbers at home and in the first half of the campaign since first arriving in the big leagues three years ago. But this actually looks like a spot he can excel in.
First, there’s the staff ace’s apparent ownage of this division rival. In 11 career meetings with the White Sox, Berrios is 8-2 to go along with a pristine 2.21 ERA and 0.98 WHIP — his lowest such marks against any opponent whom he’s faced more than three times in his career. Chicago has only managed to crank out six homers in its dates opposite Berrios as well.
In addition, the roll Berrios has been on doesn’t look like it’s ending any time soon. He’s impressively yielded three runs or fewer in his last 10 assignments, and just one more output like that would be helpful for this bet.
Like his counterpart — and teammate on the American League All-Star team two weeks ago — Giolito has also displayed some solid work following the break.
Of course, the former first-round draft pick has been enjoying what is by far his best season to date but there was a concerning rough patch for Giolito prior to the Midsummer Classic. In his final four starts of the first half, he was tagged for 15 runs, including two outings in which Giolito surrendered six runs apiece.
Since then, however, Giolito has returned to form, with two quality starts in as many tries. That also doesn’t include his scoreless inning in the All-Star Game, which had to give him at least a slight confidence boost.
Most notable was his improved command after suddenly issuing too many walks throughout the latter part of June and into July. In his pair of outings after the break, spanning 12.2 innings, Giolito notched a 14-2 K/BB ratio.
He doesn’t have a great track record when facing the Twins but in his lone encounter with their dangerous bats this season, Giolito was impressive in logging five scoreless innings of one-run ball.
Make sure you wait like I am leading up to first pitch before placing a wager on the under. With how the juice is currently allotted, there’s a chance the over/under will go up to 9, but either way, this is my action for today. Play: UNDER 8.5/9
Yesterday’s Result: Rangers-Mariners Under 9 (WIN)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 58-47-8, +5.5 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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