BET: Guardians Extend Division Lead Over White Sox On Friday

Things are heating up in the AL Central. But, I’m BETTING the CLEVELAND GUARDIANS (-132) to pad their lead in the division at DraftKings Sportsbook.

The 1st-place Cleveland Guardians (63-55) host the 3rd-place Chicago White Sox (61-58) Friday at Progressive Field for the start of a 3-game set. There’s a tight, 3-way race for the AL Central featuring the Guardians (1st), Minnesota Twins (2nd) and White Sox (3rd).

Both teams are trending in the right direction but the Guardians have a 2.5-game lead over the White Sox. Cleveland is 7-3 in the last 10 games and had a miraculous victory vs. the Detroit Tigers Thursday.

However, I’m backing the Guardians in this spot because they have a 3-phase edge over the White Sox. The Guardians have the better starter, bullpen and lineup in this spot.

Cleveland is giving RHP Triston McKenzie (8-9, 3.14 ERA) the start Friday. Chicago is sending RHP Lance Lynn (3-5, 5.62 ERA) to the mound. Lynn was an All-Star in Chicago’s division-winning campaign in 2021 but has regressed significantly this year.

Lynn’s ERA is nearly 3 runs higher vs. last season (2.69 ERA in 2021). His hard-hit rate, K% and barrel rate have all worsened year over year per Statcast. Four of Lynn’s six-pitch arsenal have a plus-run value (Statcast). And Guardians All-Star 3B Jose Ramirez rakes Lynn. Ramirez has a .348 batting average and .826 slugging percentage with 4 home runs in 28 plate appearances vs. Lynn.

Cleveland Guardians All-Star 3B Jose Ramirez strutting out to the 2022 Home Run Derby.

On the other hand, McKenzie has nastier stuff with one of the most effective 4-seam fastballs in the game. McKenzie’s command has improved since last season and is dealing. McKenzie has a 2.09 ERA in his last 7 outings with 4 “quality starts”.

Also, Lynn has sucked on the road and McKenzie pitches better at home. Lynn is 0-3 in 5 road starts this year with a 7.46 ERA (4.46 home ERA) and 1.62 WHIP (1.02 home WHIP). While McKenzie is 4-2 in 8 home starts with a 2.81 ERA (3.35 road ERA) and 0.88 WHIP (1.02 road WHIP).

Cleveland Guardians starter Triston McKenzie firing a 4-seam fastball vs. Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Furthermore, Cleveland’s bullpen is far more reliable than Chicago’s. The Guardians relievers have a better ERA, outside-the-zone-swing rate and swinging-strike rate, according to FanGraphs. The White Sox’s bullpen is taxed and has a 5.86 ERA in the last two weeks.

Finally, Cleveland’s lineup is more productive vs. right-handed pitching. The Guardians rank 9th in wRC+ (107), 10th in wOBA (.317) and 7th in BB/K rate (0.42) against righties, per FanGraphs. Whereas the White Sox have a 97 wRC+ (ranked 17th), .302 wOBA (22nd) and a 0.29 BB/K rate (28th).

Run over to DraftKings Sportsbook and GET DOWN on the CLEVELAND GUARDIANS (-135) to beat the White Sox.

  • A $135 bet on the Cleveland Guardians (-135) returns a $100 profit.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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