Free Picks: Chicago White Sox vs Baltimore Orioles

White Sox vs Orioles Week 9
Chicago White Sox vs Baltimore Orioles, MLB, Guaranteed Rate Field

The Chicago White Sox (28-20) will host the Baltimore Orioles (17-32) to begin a four-game series on Thursday, marking the first of seven games between these teams this season. The White Sox and Orioles are a pair of teams heading in distinctly different directions: Chicago has won 20 of its past 30 games and leads the American League Central; Baltimore has lost nine in a row and has plunged into the depths of the AL East. When these teams last met in 2019, they split a six-game season series, 3-3.

Suspect pitching matchup spells runs in White Sox, Orioles matchup

When looking at a lopsided matchup such as this one, in which a division-leading team is facing a team that is already a dozen games back in its own division, bettors might be inclined to look beyond the money line.

In this case, Dylan Cease and the White Sox are -200 money line favorites (10Bet) among Thursday’s MLB picks, while Bruce Zimmermann and his hometown Orioles are hefty +165 underdogs (10Bet). For a Baltimore team that entered Thursday as losers of nine in a row, we wonder if that line is not generous enough.

At any rate, though, -200 for a single-game wager is not the most enticing value. This is a Chicago team that just took both games against the National League Central leaders, the Cardinals, in a bounce-back after getting swept by the surging Yankees. The White Sox have faced some of baseball’s stiffest competition in the past week, which suggests they’re not able to flinch against the lowly Orioles.

So by all means, go ahead and roll with the White Sox on the money line here. But we think you can do better for your payout, which is why we’re also interesting in the run total. At 8.5 runs, we like the over (-119 at 10Bet) for this one. The pitching matchup helps explain why.

In Cease (2-1, 3.18 ERA), you’ll see a pitcher who’s having a nice year. But he doesn’t go terribly deep into games — fewer than six innings in each of his past three starts — and he’s coming off the worst outing of his career. Against the Yankees last Saturday, Cease yielded five runs on five hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings of work. Walks are a particular nemesis of Cease (his career walk rate Is 4.7 per nine innings), and if the Orioles are patient they can make him pay.

On the other side, Bruce Zimmermann (2-3, 5.59 ERA) is much easier to critique. He is also coming off his worst start of the season — five runs on seven hits and a walk in three innings against the Nationals last Saturday — and he has very few good starts to speak of. After opening the year with a pair of quality starts, his ERA has swelled above 6.00 in his past six outings.

So again, for this BetPicks prediction, we definitely like the favored White Sox on the money line. But to make the potential payout juicier, the run total is worth a look, too.

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  • Chicago is 6-4 on the money line in its past 10
  • The UNDER has cashed in seven of the White Sox’s past 10 games
  • Baltimore is 1-9 on the money line in its past 10
  • The OVER has cashed in eight of the Orioles’ past 10 games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).