Cleveland hopes to put a rough weekend behind them as they head into the April 18th White Sox at Guardians betting matchup. Terry Francona’s squad sat atop the AL Central until getting swept at home by the Giants in the first three games of the year at Progressive Field.
The Guardians having their losing streak continue would be doubly troublesome over the next four games as the division leading White Sox come to town. Chicago was able to wrangle two of three from Tampa Bay over the weekend, and now have a two game lead over Cleveland and Detroit in the AL Central. Monday night’s opener looks like a pitcher’s duel on paper (O/U 7.5) but these are also two very potent offenses.
Is Keuchel Back?
There were definitely some questions surrounding Dallas Keuchel’s season debut last week, but he was able to pick up the win going 5.0 IP while allowing 3 ER in a 6-4 win over Seattle. Perhaps the left-hander truly has gotten healthy over the offseason, because when we last saw him he was posting a 2-6 record with a 6.82 ERA over the second half of the season.
Sure the 34-year-old Keuchel is getting up there in age, but he also just went 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA in the COVID shortened 2020 season. The left-hander also posted a 6.61 ERA in three starts vs. the Indians last year.
The Chicago offense has some challenges of their own in the April 18th White Sox at Guardians betting matchup up against Cleveland’s Shane Bieber. The Sox have just a .162 team average (26-121) against the 2020 Cy Young winner. 3 of Jose Abreu’s 8 hits (.267) have been HRs vs. Bieber, but Luis Robert is just 1-12 (.083) against the right-hander.
Cleveland Offense Sputtering
The Guardians offense needs to find some consistency. They were corralled to just four total runs in the three game sweep at the hands of the Giants, but had put had plated 44 runs in the four games prior.
Cleveland still has four players with an OBP higher than .450 through the first two weeks of the season. Steven Kwan has cooled off a bit going 0-11 his last three, but Owen Miller is still hitting .500 on the season, Jose Ramirez has a hit in every game this season, and Myles Straw has reached base 20 times in 9 games. Despite all that potential and output the Guardians were still swept over the weekend.
Bieber makes his third start of the season still looking for his first win. He has yet to break the 80-pitch barrier largely because of the shortened Spring Training, but he pitched into the 6th last time out and has allowed just 2 hits in each of his first two starts this season. Bieber was 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four starts vs. Chicago.
Free April 18th White Sox at Guardians Betting Pick
There is value on Chicago at +115 on Monday night, coming into town in 1st place and after taking four of six from two solid teams (Seattle, Tampa Bay) the last two series. It’s hard to trust Keuchel after his issues down the stretch last season, and he’ll need to string together a couple more solid outings before backing him – especially against Bieber.
Free Pick: Guardians -135