In the words of this wise handicapper, the Chicago White Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals match on Wednesday is a "Bounce-Back Blowout" of major proportions, fueled by a huge home/road dichotomy.
Chicago White Sox (Quintana) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Lackey) (-155) 8:15 ET
The Chicago White Sox visit the St. Louis Cardinals after the Pale Hose recorded a 2-1 victory on this field last night behind another sparkling performance from Sale, who recorded double-digit strikeouts in an 8th consecutive start. It was not as surprising that CWS won the game behind Sale, but rather how they got the victory. Once the Cards tied the game and sent it to extra innings, they were clearly the odds-on choice to get the win on their strong home field. But, Tyler Flowers' 2-out homer in the top of the 11th proved to be the victory by the slimmest of margins for the visiting White Sox. This was not scheduled to be a PLAY ON St. Louis, as they would have been in a clear let-down spot had they beaten Sale last night. But there is one trend for these Red Birds which we cannot ignore when making MLB picks: coming off a defeat sets up a situation which finds St. Louis to be 111-61, following a defeat in the previous 3 seasons.
It was a rare road victory for CWS that lifted them to 15-27 away, the worst road mark in the American League. No surprise there, as even with last night's victory, the 33-42 overall mark is still the worst record of any American League team. What was expected from the Pale Hose was another poor offensive performance. In their last 15 road games, they have now plated just 39 runs. It will take a dominant pitching performance from tonight's starter, Quintana, if CWS is to remain competitive in this game. With respect to the young lefty, he has logged a 2.96 ERA in his previous 6 starts. Much like his teammates, however, performances on the road have been substandard. For the season, CWS has won just 2 of his 8 starts with Quintana owning a 1.46 road WHIP.
That road record is far dichotomous to the work done from this mound by St. Louis starter, Lackey. In 8 starts, Lackey has a 1.91 ERA from this mound with a 1.15 WHIP. St. Louis has won 7 of those 8 home starts by Lackey. Last night's defeat snapped an overall 6-game St. Louis' winning streak and a recent record of 9-0 on this field. Nonetheless, the overall run now is now 24-9 for the Cards, who continue with the best record in MLB at 51-25. In fact, they are the only team in MLB playing better than .600 ball. The home record is by far and away the best in the majors. Even with last night's defeat, their 8 home losses are 5 fewer than any other team.
CWS got an improbable extra-inning win on this field last night. In a game that had potential "letdown" written all over it (if St. Louis had won), we now find ourselves with the ability to back the best team in baseball with the strongest home field in baseball in a bounceback situation, a role in which they have been most profitable the previous 3 seasons. At a value price in Wednesday's MLB odds and with the huge home/road dichotomy in our favor, this has the potential to be a Bounce Back Blowout of massive proportions.
MLB Picks: Take St. Louis Cardinals -145 at YouWager