Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:05 AM EST.
8:10 PM EST. Situational betting is one part of our criteria but it doesn’t apply often to MLB because there are 162 games in a season and these players are trained not to get too high or too low. However, one cannot take the human element out of anything and in that regard, we cannot overstate the euphoria a team feels when they finally clinch a playoff spot after such a long and grueling schedule.
On Sunday, the Astronauts with Justin Verlander on the hill, clinched the AL West crown and there was a big celebration that probably lasted well into the night. When the Astros traded for Justin Verlander less than three weeks ago, they envisioned days just like that. Verlander struck out 10 over seven innings in his first home start for Houston in what the media is referring to a storybook clinching game. The Astros acquired Verlander from Detroit on Aug. 31, just minutes before the deadline for players to be eligible for postseason play. He had made two starts on the road before his Minute Maid Park debut. After a clinching win that was both emotional and celebratory, the Astronauts had a day off yesterday to digest it. They may need another day or two to get back into focus, as an emotional letdown is almost inevitable.
We also like the pitching matchup here, as Colin McHugh is average on his best day while Lucas Giolito is the South Side’s ace of the future and has not looked a bit out of place in his first five MLB starts (2.56 ERA). Giolito is the real and this is both a great spot and price to bet against the Astronauts. The White Sox have been hot with the bats recently, averaging 5.5 runs per game with a .821 OPS in September.
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Chicago +196 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.92)