Videos by OutKick
Cardinals vs. White Sox, 2:10 ET
I mentioned the other day that I am looking forward to the All-Star break. Although we’ve already had more than 81 games, this marks the end of the first half of the season. Some teams will rebound, some teams will fall off of a cliff, and there should be plenty of intrigue in the division battles. Two teams that have to be looking forward to the All-Star Break approaching are the Cardinals and the White Sox.
The Cardinals are at the bottom of the NL Central. Reread that sentence. The team with the reigning MVP, the reigning division winner, and the most consistency over the years is at the bottom of the league. They are 15 games under .500 coming into today, but they do have a reasonable shot to improve in the second half and be able to grab the division. The two stars on the Cardinals really aren’t to blame, either. Nolan Arenado is hitting .285 with 19 homers and 62 RBIs, and Paul Goldschmidt is hitting .288 with 15 home runs and 46 RBIs. The pitching has been the biggest problem for them. It doesn’t get much better today for them as they send out a guy with an 0-7 record and a 5.02 ERA. Steven Matz takes the ball for the Cardinals and he has been terrible on the road. This will be his ninth appearance on the road and he has allowed 23 earned runs over 29 innings. Maybe this will be fine overall as the White Sox have never really faced him, but I don’t have much faith in him.
I piled on the Cardinals, but the White Sox have been just as bad. For a team that had a Cy Young finalist last season, and had expectations of winning the World Series recently this team has been extremely disappointing. They are also 15 games under .500 this season and the reasoning for their downfall is hard to understand. They have a lot of talented hitters, but maybe they are have collectively underperformed as they are hitting just .238. If the hitting turns around, the pitching will also need to step it up. Their 4.55 team ERA is not going to cut it. They aren’t playing very good baseball either as they have lost four of the past five games. The good news is that they will send out Lucas Giolito who has been very good at home this season. Giolito has a 2.43 home ERA, and was solid in June and in his first July start. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs over his past three home starts. Willson Contreras has struggled against him so under 0.5 hits at +170 is a worthwhile look in this one.
I’m going to take the White Sox through five innings in this game. I do specifically prefer the first five innings because the price is the exact same for the first five as the full game. I think Giolito is a better pitcher than Matz and is in better form. The Sox as a team have been falling apart, which is why I’m only playing this for one unit because I do feel a lot of confidence in this one otherwise.
For more sports betting information and plays, follow David on Twitter: @futureprez2024