The Chicago White Sox (15-12) will host the Cincinnati Reds (13-14) to begin a two-game series on Tuesday, marking the first of four games between these teams in the 2021 season. After taking a series off the reigning champion Los Angeles Dodgers early last week, the Reds followed up with another series win over the Cubs. The White Sox are an even 6-6 on the road, but it’s been a while since they’ve played away from their home of Guaranteed Rate Field. Their last road game was April 20.
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Can Cease avoid another meltdown vs. Reds?
Dylan Cease, who’s just 25 and embarking on his third MLB season, surely remembers what happened the last time he matched up against the Cincinnati Reds. The Chicago White Sox starter faced Cincinnati back in September of last year and he threw three no-hit innings. Sounds great, right? Well …
Cease also walked seven. Yes, SEVEN. He gave up three runs on seven walks to take the loss. What a nightmare for a young pitcher still carving his path in the majors.
On Tuesday, Cease and the White Sox are -120 money line favorites (10Bet) among the day’s MLB picks, while the Reds lag as +100 underdogs (10Bet). It’ll be a chance for Cease to make right on his weird outing last season, and for him to build on what’s been a solid 2021 campaign to this point.
Cease (1-0, 2.96 ERA) is coming off seven innings of three-hit, no-run ball against the Tigers. It was the first time he’s worked at least five innings this year, and also his first scoreless effort. On the other side, the Reds will deploy Jeff Hoffman (2-1, 3.33 ERA), who is back to a starting role after a disastrous stint as a reliever last season with the Rockies (9.28 ERA in 21 1/3 innings).
It’s safe to say Cease gives the White Sox a bit of an advantage on the mound, but what about the offenses? The White Sox are no slouches (.733 team OPS, eighth in majors), but the Reds are well ahead of the rest of the league with a .780 team OPS. They also lead in home runs (43) and runs scored (151).
Also, the Reds happen to be coming off a wild 13-12 win over the Cubs, in which they racked up 16 hits (five of which left the yard). The White Sox, on the other hand, were shut out in their most recent game.
We have no prior matchups in 2021 to look at between these teams. And even last year, they only met three times (the Reds won two of three).
The White Sox could have an offense as electric as the Reds, but unfortunately they’ve seen some of their heaviest hitters suffer serious injuries. Luis Robert will miss at least four months, while Eloy Jimenez will be out at least five. Last year, those two were the White Sox’ starting center fielder and left fielder, respectively, and Jimenez won a Silver Slugger award. They are crushing absences.
For this BetPicks prediction, we reckon the Reds’ firepower will be a bit too much for Cease and Co. to handle.
- Chicago is 7-3 on the money line in its past 10
- The OVER has cashed in six of the White Sox’s past 10 games
- Cincinnati is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
- The OVER has cashed in seven of the Reds’ 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).
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