The White Sox were able to even their series with the Dodgers last night for the win setting up a rubber match tonight between the two teams. We’ll preview the final game of the series before going over my best prop play for the action.
It took them scoring six runs in the final two innings, but the Chicago White Sox are now one win away from a much-needed series win. After only being able to push two runs across on Clayton Kershaw in six innings, the White Sox went into the 8th inning trailing 4-2. That deficit did not last too long, though, as Jake Burger left the yard for his second home run of the game to tie it at 4-4. Following the home run, Chicago sprinkled in three more RBI singles, eventually making the final score 8-4.
The White Sox did have to use six relievers in the game, so they will need to rely heavily on Dylan Cease to give them a strong start tonight. Cease has a 4.63 ERA in 68 innings, but his last two outings have been more consistent with the pitcher we have gotten used to seeing over the past two years. In those two starts, the righty has thrown 11 ⅓ innings with 13 strikeouts and just two earned runs allowed.
Cease will face a Dodgers lineup that certainly had plenty of opportunities to score more runs last night, as they finished the game with 27 runners left on base. Out of the Dodgers' seven hits last night, only one went for extra bases, as all four of their runs came on either RBI singles or a fielder's choice.
Los Angeles also used their fair share of bullpen arms, with five guys coming in during the game's last three innings. After going with the veteran last night, Los Angeles will turn to one of their youngest pitchers in Michael Grove to make his 6th start. The right-hander's last outing was a four-inning relief appearance, but between starting and relieving, he has thrown 25 innings with an 8.28 ERA.
I mentioned earlier that we have started to see Dylan Cease turn the corner a bit over his last couple of outings, and with that, I’ll be taking him to go over his strikeout total of 5.5, which is priced at (-120). The right-hander's stuff has started to regain shape and form over his last three starts, and with that, we have seen him go over this total in all three outings leading up to this one.
Cease has displayed a higher strikeout percentage when pitching on the road this season at 27.9%, and over his last three starts, he has put up a K/9 of 10.13 or better. Entering tonight, Cease is now in the 60th percentile in whiff percentage, and while that is not close to where he was last season, the overall improvement in chase rate and swing and miss % over his past few outing is promising.
While the Dodgers have a 20.3% strikeout percentage over the past month against right-handed pitching at home, opposing starters have registered at least five strikeouts against them in all five of their recent games played. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Cease recently enough, and with the White Sox likely needing him to work deep into the game, I like backing him in this spot.
Dylan Cease Over 5.5 K’s (-120)