I’m 17-11 over the last seven days entering a full slate of games on this fine summer Friday. It’s Crosstown Classic weekend in Chicago. You can feel it in the air. To make this even better, I have more #OnTapBets for you than just the Cubs/White Sox game. Let’s get to it.
Rays vs. Blue Jays
Matt Shoemaker and Ryan Yarbrough have both pitched against this opponent twice this year already. Yarbrough is yet to give up a run to the Buffalo-based Jays in those two starts. This is a spot bet. The Blue Jays are coming off of a two-game sweep of the Phillies. The Rays are now leading the American League East, just liked I predicted, after sweeping the Yankees. The main difference here is the lineup. The Rays rank third in the MLB in WRC+ with 116. The Blue Jays are still above average at 106. Look for the Rays to jump on Shoemaker early to possibly build on their AL East lead.
Pick: Rays -161
Braves vs. Phillies
Again, the Phillies are a better hitting team than the Braves with 116 WRC+. The difference here with the AL East foes is Aaron Nola against the current crop of the Braves roster. In 230 plate appearances, the Braves hold a .308 xwOBA, while the Phillies sport a .332 xwOBA against Max Fried in 100 plate appearances. The numbers are telling enough in aggregate. The biggest hindrance to the Phillies’ success is their bullpen. They will need a lead when Nola exits after going six-plus innings. If that happens, basically getting even money with the Phillies is a good investment.
Pick: Phillies -101
Cubs vs. White Sox
Finally, we get to the Crosstown Classic. I’m sure anyone reading this knows I am a Sox fan; however, I am 10-2 betting the South Siders this year. That’s 66% of their wins. The pitching matchup is Jon Lester vs. Dallas Keuchel, two southpaws, at Wrigley Field. It’s a nice summer day here in Chicago. There is a light breeze of 4 MPH from the south. The White Sox hold a .291/.366/.576 slash line with an OPS+ of 149. Much like WRC+, 100 would be average. The Cubs slash .217/.347/.362 with an OPS+ of 93, so they’re slightly below average against lefties. Keuchel owns a 58.3% groundball rate on the season. This will play into the White Sox favor with his 2.67/1 K/BB ratio. The Sox may struggle against Hendricks this series, but they should be fine today with Lester pitching.
Pick: White Sox -109
That does it, folks. As always, follow me on Twitter @cwsdjt. I give out picks daily in addition to these articles. There could even be a couple more picks later today, so stay tuned and good luck!