With a late rally last night, the Toronto Blue Jays were able to snap a three-game losing streak and take game one of their series with the White Sox. A win tonight would secure a series victory for Toronto, and we’ll preview the game before going over why I’ll be targeting the total for the first five innings.
By allowing four runs last night in their 4-3 loss, the Chicago White Sox have now gone seven straight games with four or more runs allowed by their pitching staff. The team did get a quality start from Lucas Giolito, as he kept them in the game by allowing just two earned runs. Right after Giolito threw his final pitch in the sixth inning, Luis Robert Jr. gave the White Sox the lead with a three-run home run. The lead would be short-lived, though, as Joe Kelly allowed two runs in the 8th, resulting in the loss.
The White Sox will give the ball to veteran righty Lance Lynn tonight to make his 18th start of the year. Lynn has been racking up strikeouts at an impressive clip over his last couple of starts, but at the same time, he has also allowed three or more earned runs in each of his last six starts.
Lynn will take on a Blue Jays lineup that was outhit last night in the win, as they recorded just six hits. Whit Merrifield opened the scoring in the game with a two-RBI double in the fourth inning, while Vlad Guerrero Jr. gave his team the lead on a clutch two-run opposite-field shot in the 8th inning. The Blue Jays slugger registered two hits in the game yesterday, which was more than he had in their entire series with the Red Sox.
As Toronto looks to secure the series tonight, they will send José Berríos to the mound. The right-hander eclipsed the 100-inning mark in his most recent outing, and in his 101 total innings, he is now pitching to a 3.74 ERA with 95 strikeouts and 28 walks. Berríos took the loss in his most recent outing, as he let up three home runs, leading to four earned runs in six innings.
The total for the first five innings can currently be found at 4.5, and I’ll be taking the over on that number which is priced at (-132). Lance Lynn has been one of the most profitable F5 over pitchers in the league this season, and José Berríos has struggled to keep runs off the board when pitching on the road. While both offenses were sluggish for most of the game last night, I expect a different outcome in this one.
When facing a right-handed pitcher at home over the last month, the White Sox offense ranks 8th in OPS, wOBA, and wRC+, to go along with a .262 average. Their matchup tonight, Berríos, has a batting average against on the road of .260, which has led to a 4.30 ERA and 4.29 xFIP. Berríos is also in the 24th percentile in expected batting average and 27th percentile in xERA/xwOBA.
Berríos counterpart tonight, Lance Lynn, falls in a similar spot in those categories as he is in the 34th percentile in expected batting average and 26th percentile in xERA/xwOBA. His expected numbers are not the only numbers well below the league average, as he is sporting a 7.22 home ERA and 5.29 ERA or higher in four of the first five innings.
F5 Over 4.5 (-132)