It's just one highlight from a very good night for the first place White Sox
Before the season began, we broke down our best bets to win each American League division. Less than two months later, the odds have already significantly changed for some teams after blistering starts or surprising cold spells.Here are our favorite values after the first few dozen games:AL East TEAM ODDS New York Yankees -120 Boston Red Sox +300 Toronto Blue Jays +550 Tampa Bay Rays +600 Baltimore Orioles +17500 I was intrigued by the Red Sox to win this division at 30-1, but a strong start from their talented lineup slashed that price to 3-1, despite Boston sitting just three games ahead of the Yankees and Rays in the standings.Tyler Glasnow is a star headlining a rotating cast of filthy arms, but the Rays' bats rank dead last in expected batting average (.220) and lead the league in whiff rate (30.6%), which are indicators that the offense may not improve significantly. And though I liked the Blue Jays entering the year at a shorter price, injuries have hampered an already uncertain pitching staff.Boston's lineup has posted the best numbers in the bigs, but the Yankees' isn't far behind, and New York's stellar bullpen has helped take the pressure off non-Gerrit Cole starters. When the Bronx Bombers eventually retake the lead in the division, this short price will likely look silly in hindsight.Value: Yankees (-120)AL Central TEAM ODDS Chicago White Sox -125 Minnesota Twins +375 Cleveland Indians +500 Kansas City Royals +500 Detroit Tigers +17500 For a couple of weeks, it looked like the weight of expectations might hinder the White Sox, who got off to a 6-8 start. They then won 13 of their next 18 games, discovered a handful of unlikely stars, and stole the early divisional lead from the rival Indians.As a result, Chicago leads all AL teams with a 58.5% chance of winning its division, according to Fangraphs, which translates to roughly -140 odds. If you believe in the early breakouts of Yermin Mercedes, Carlos Rodon, and Dylan Cease, that number may be even higher, even with Luis Robert's recent injury.Cleveland's rotation still has the highest upside, but its lineup has been no-hit twice and can't find consistent production outside of Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes. The Twins are an absolute mess amid a 12-20 start, and the Royals have already wilted after a stunning run to open the year. Stick with the White Sox at an even better price than before the season.Value: White Sox (-125)AL West TEAM ODDS Oakland Athletics +115 Houston Astros +120 Los Angeles Angels +700 Seattle Mariners +2200 Texas Rangers +15000 It's been a wild ride to get there, but the Athletics sit atop the division with a 2.5-game lead over the Astros and Mariners. Still, advanced stats suggest Oakland's early division lead isn't built to last.Houston's hitters have lived up to expectations thus far, ranking in the top two in expected batting average (.272) and xwOBA (.339) behind a league-low 19% strikeout rate and strong line-drive rate (25.3%). The issue has been on the mound, where a poor ground-ball rate and lack of aggression early in counts has plagued the Astros' rotation.Those issues can be corrected, unlike the Athletics' lack of star power, the Angels' injury woes and lack of depth, and the Mariners' general dearth of MLB talent. Seattle may be worth a shot if it calls up a majority of its top prospects, but Houston is still the safest bet to win its fourth division title in five years.Pick: Astros +120C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.Copyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
Our weekend finale was postponed due to weather, but we went 2-0 on our other picks for yet another perfect weekend. We love the value on the board this week, starting with a potential pitcher's duel on Monday ... Rangers (+125) @ Giants (-145)May 10, 9:45 p.m. ETStarting pitchers: Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.40 ERA) vs. Alex Wood (3-0, 1.96)This may not look like the pitching matchup you'd expect from a game with a total of just seven runs, but both are playing like studs through the first month of the season. Plus, a friendly park and uninspiring lineups will aid the two in this one.Gibson's xERA (2.89) and xwOBA (.273) rank just a tick above Wood's xERA (.287) and xwOBA (.272), with both ranking among the top 20% of all starters. The pair have also relied on a sinker to set up filthy breaking stuff - Wood's slider has been responsible for 18 of his 22 strikeouts, while Gibson has a whiff rate north of 40% on his slider and cutter, which combine for nearly 35% of his pitches.Those arsenals should play well at Oracle Park, which has been the most pitcher-friendly park over the last three years, per Statcast, and is statistically the hardest to hit a home run. The Giants and Rangers don't have the bats to scare you away from playing the under with these two on the mound.Pick: Under 7 Twins @ White Sox (TBD)May 11, 8:10 p.m.Starting pitchers: Kenta Maeda (2-2, 5.02) vs. Dylan Cease (2-0, 2.37)We were all set to bet Maeda on Sunday before rain postponed the Twins game. Still, I'm all in on Maeda after a tough start to the campaign. The 33-year-old's slider - which fueled his 2020 breakout - was finally clicking in his last start, and he ceded zero hits alongside a 42.9% whiff rate on 38 tries with that pitch.Maeda will have a chance to continue his dominance against a White Sox lineup that has crushed lefties this year but struggled against righties, especially given the roster's decline. Still, don't fade Chicago entirely behind Cease, who spun the two best starts of his career with a combined 13 innings of 4-hit ball with 20 strikeouts and just three walks.Pick: Under (TBD) Cardinals @ Brewers (TBD)May 12, 7:40 p.m.Starters: John Gant (2-3, 2.15) vs. Brandon Woodruff (2-1, 1.73)Woodruff has become a must-bet every time he takes the mound, even with a middling offense to support him. The Brewers stud has been the 10th-most profitable starter with at least seven starts ($285 on $100 bets), and he ranks in the top five among qualified starters in ERA (1.73) and FIP (2.21).In his start, Woodruff may have some help. The Brewers have hit the ball hard, but a crippling strikeout rate (27.2%) has limited their opportunities. Insert Gant, who has been hit as hard as anyone this year and owns an abysmal 25:24 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Expect Milwaukee to hang a few runs on the Cardinals starter early and maintain that lead behind Woodruff and a loaded 'pen.Pick: Brewers -1.5 (TBD)C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.Copyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
How walk numbers belie under-the-hood improvements for the righty. The post What Dylan Cease Has Already Figured Out appeared first on Pitcher List.
The season is in full swing and unfortunately players are dropping like flies. Is it just me or does it feel like injuries have been through the roof this season? Don't forget to check out JKJ's injury roundup for the prognosis. Likely you're now in need of replacements and if your team has avoided the injury bug, well good for you. In any case a little extra depth is never a bad thing. We'll mostly be looking at hitters today but there is one notable pitcher who deserves your attention. Dylan Cease has turned in back to back starts that were everything you could hope for. The Ks are flowing, and the ceiling is the roof. His raw stuff is amazing but his control has always held him back. He was my bold pick for Cy Young so I'm loving watching him put it all together. He won't last long.