MLB Regular Season
Matchup: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago White Sox
Date/Time: July 21, 8:10 p.m. ET
Pitching Matchup: Michael Wacha (10-3, 2.93) vs. Carlos Rodon (3-2, 3.80)
MLB Betting Odds From BetDSI Sportsbook
Moneyline: St. Louis -130
With his last out in his final start of the first half, Michael Wacha officially set a new career high in innings pitched. He’ll continue into uncharted territory on Tuesday night when the St. Louis Cardinals add a bat to the lineup for the start of their interleague series against the Chicago White Sox. Wacha, a first-round pick in 2012, will be opposed by Carlos Rodon, the third overall pick in 2014.
These two teams are basically at opposite ends of the spectrum, but they should be even farther apart. The Cardinals have the best record in baseball with 58 wins and did a good job to bounce back with two out of three against the New York Mets after a tough first half finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The White Sox are somehow 42-48, even though their Pythagorean Win-Loss record equates to a 36-54 mark. The White Sox have the worst offense in the American League with 3.4 runs per game. That probably won’t match up well with the Cardinals, who are allowing just 2.9 runs per game this season.
Michael Wacha is healthy and that’s a big deal for St. Louis. The Cardinals have been without Adam Wainwright all season after he was forced to undergo his second Tommy John surgery. Wacha has made 17 strong starts with a 10-3 record, a 2.93 ERA, a 3.06 FIP, and a 3.46 xFIP. Wacha has shown impeccable command this season, which was his strongest asset when he was drafted out of Texas A&M just over three years ago.
Over his first 63.1 innings pitched, Wacha only struck out 42 batters, leaving some room for regression in his stat line. That regression happened, as Wacha posted a 3.77 ERA in June and has a 4.15 ERA so far this month, but he has averaged a strikeout per inning over his last 44 frames. Wacha’s BABIPs have evened out over the last couple of months, but he should be able to get back on track against the White Sox.
Carlos Rodon needed all of 31.2 innings in the minor leagues before the White Sox brought the North Carolina State product to the bigs. The best way to describe Rodon is to say that he is effectively wild. He has averaged more than a strikeout per inning, but has also walked 41 batters in 66.1 innings of work. Rodon has been a victim of Chicago’s terrible defense, posting a 3.80 ERA with a .341 BABIP against. The walk rate hasn’t helped either, but Rodon has kept the ball in the park so far in his rookie season.
Left-handed pitchers continue to stymie the Cardinals. They rank 28th in wOBA against southpaws this season, including one of the league’s lowest slugging percentages at .343. They have, however, worked the count against southpaws. The Cardinals have walked in 9.7 percent of their plate appearances against lefties, which ranks third in baseball. That could be the deciding factor against Rodon, who strikes out a lot of batters, but also allows a lot of free passes. The Cardinals rank 25th in wOBA against lefties over the last three seasons, so this has been an ongoing problem for quite a while now.
MLB Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals
Betting on the White Sox offense is impossible and they have certainly overachieved from a wins and losses standpoint. This has the potential to be a very low-scoring game, given St. Louis’s troubles with guys that throw with their left hand, so the under would seem to be a stronger play than the side. These are two above average bullpens as well.