The Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants enter into a series in unfamiliar territory, as both are in third place in their division.
Both offenses are vulnerable and both pitchers are due for significant positive regression. Suddenly, it seems this has become a rather important series for both sides.
Who has the edge?
Read on for the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for this Friday’s matchup.
Chicago White Sox vs San Francisco Giants Odds
100-200 words on the odds and how you think the game will play out
Sharp money has already hit the under, which is where I’m already leaning for this matchup. These are two offenses that are just struggling to get out of their own way.
I would like the Giants at home, but I had hoped Alex Cobb would be priced better across the market. I suppose it’s cheap to back Lance Lynn right now, as well.
Chicago White Sox Starting Lineup
Lance Lynn R
1-1 6.19 ERA
SS T. Anderson R
DH A. Vaughn R
CF L. Robert R
1B J. Abreu R
LF A.J. Pollock R
3B Y. Moncada S
RF G. Sheets L
2B J. Harrison R
C R. McGuire L
Chicago White Sox vs Alex Cobb
It’s been a fun season fading Alex Cobb so far. He’s posted a 5.48 ERA so far this season and the Giants are just 4-6 in his starts.
But this is not going to last forever.
Cobb pairs a .378 BABIP with a 55.7% strand rate and a 17.8% HR/FB rate, all of which are incredibly unsustainable numbers. Check out his Baseball Savant page:
Image credit: Baseball Savant
Cobb’s xERA is a ridiculous 2.33. His xFIP is 2.70 behind a 10.37 K/9 and a 2.74 BB/9. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pitcher with such wild expected and advanced statistics. In fact, he has the highest ERA-xERA (3.15) of any pitcher who has posted at least 200 PAs this season.
All-in-all, Cobb could be very undervalued in the betting markets right now.
The White Sox are still just a league-average offense. They might be less than league average. The Southsiders are broken with a poor manager and an All-Star (Tim Anderson) who is struggling with injury.
It’s tough to get through that.
San Francisco Giants Starting Lineup
A. Cobb R
3-3 5.48 ERA
RF L. Wade L
CF M. Yastrzemski L
3B E. Longoria R
LF J. Pederson L
1B B. Belt L
SS T. Estrada R
2B W. Flores R
DH T. La Stella L
C C. Casali R
San Francisco Giants vs Lance Lynn
Lance Lynn is also hurt. In three starts since returning from injury, he’s managed just 16 innings with a ridiculous 6.19 ERA. Like Cobb, he’s also due for plenty of positive regression. Unlike Cobb, Lynn has a 5.09 xERA.
Lynn’s fastball velocity is just not there right now. It’s down close to 2mph year-over-year, sitting at its lowest rate since the Fall of 2018. Now, there’s a good chance that velocity comes back around. But for the time being, he might be worth a fade in the betting markets.
Image credit: Baseball Savant
Like the White Sox, there’s no need to be scared of San Francisco right now. The Giants have been a relatively poor offense this season by Bay Area standards, and have posted a bottom-10 OPS over the last month.
The key to this whole team is Mike Yastrzemski. Joc Pederson has been hammering all season, and Evan Longoria consistently gets on base, but the Giants win when Yaz is playing to his potential, and they lose otherwise.
Yaz has a .603 OPS during June and the Giants are 13-13 during the stretch. That’s not a coincidence, and the Giants are starting to fall behind in the NL West race.
Chicago White Sox vs San Francisco Giants Pick & Prediction
My picks: Under 8 (-115 at WynnBet Sportsbook)
This is a no-brainer for me.
Two lackluster, slumping offenses combined with two pitchers begging for positive regression. Lynn and Cobb could see their first decent start in months on Friday night.
I don’t 100% trust the Giants bullpen, but the White Sox’s bullpen has the fourth-best xFIP in MLB over the last month. Chicago should shut down a San Francisco lineup that is slightly more dangerous than its own.
This total has already dropped to 7.5 at many books. I’d rather play it at 8, however, and up to about -120.