Indians vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-175|
|Time||4:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday evening and via BetMGM.|
When the odds came out for Saturday afternoon’s game between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox, I was disappointed. From a betting angle I am not a fan of the Chi Sox because I believe that a few of their starting pitchers are overvalued by the betting markets.
One of those starting pitchers is Lance Lynn. Over the last few years Lynn has done a good job, but he doesn’t look like as good of a pitcher from advanced stats as he does with basic stats. While I might be tempted to back the Indians, my model says that I shouldn’t bet on them unless they are +160 underdogs or better.
However, my model does like the Cleveland Indians team total to go over. The Indians lineup is a sleeping giant that will be dangerous when they are awoken this season. Against an overvalued pitcher in Lance Lynn, Cleveland should score four or more runs. That is why I am betting on the Indians scoring over 3.5 runs at +125 odds.
One reason to bet on the Indians team total rather than their moneyline is because of their starting pitcher Triston McKenzie. After a promising 2020 season, McKenzie has regressed. That is why I would rather bet on the Indians lineup than on McKenzie as well. There is certainly value on the over for the game total with McKenzie on the mound, but the real value is in the Indians team total.
The Cleveland lineup averages only 3.91 runs per game which is the seventh lowest in the league. However, their runs per game average does not tell the whole story. The average MLB team is only averaging 4.25 runs per game this season which is only .34 more runs per game than the Indians are averaging.
What is scary about the Tribe’s lineup is that with the sum of their parts they should be an above-average lineup. While the bottom of the order is weak, OF Amed Rosario, C Roberto Pérez and 1B Yu Chang are overperforming their preseason projections. Additionally, the top of their lineup is dangerous with 3B Jose Ramirez, 2B Cesar Hernandez and OF Jordan Luplow all meeting their preseason projections. Only DH Franmil Reyes and OF Eddie Rosario are underperforming offensively.
The Indians lineup has been good this season but unlucky in their run production. Once they play more games, they should average about 4.45 runs per game in a typical ballpark.
Chicago White Sox
The biggest factor in whether the Indians go over their team total is not their lineup, but the opposing White Sox pitching. The starting pitcher for the Chi Sox is Lance Lynn who has looked unstoppable over the last few years. In 2019 and 2020 with the Texas Rangers, Lynn had an ERA between 3.32 and 3.67. However, last year when his ERA was only 3.32, his xFIP was more than a full run higher at 4.34.
This season in only three starts, Lynn has a 0.92 ERA but a 2.32 xFIP. Recently Lynn has been lucky, and as he reverts to his mean performance of having an ERA near four, the Indians should be able to produce enough runs against Lynn in his six innings.
After Lynn is taken out of the game, the Indians will rely upon their bullpen which currently has a 4.56 ERA. While their xFIP is significantly lower than their ERA, my model does not look at the Chicago bullpen kindly. Over the course of a full season, the White Sox bullpen should end up with an xFIP of 4.40.
Indians-White Sox Pick
The Indians lineup is good, and eventually they will produce more runs per game. Even though scoring is down this season and Lance Lynn is pitching for Chicago, the Cleveland team total over is still too good to pass up.
With all the talent on Cleveland’s lineup and Lynn bound to regress, I believe that the Indians should score at least four runs. At +125, betting on over 3.5 runs is a good bet. I would bet that team total over up to +105, or over three runs at -120 or better.
Pick: Cleveland Indians Team Total Over 3.5 Runs +125 (BetMGM) would play up to +105