Our MLB handicapper checks the weather and finds a line that is not taking ballpark factors into account. Read on to see where he's found value and where it could be for the rest of the week.
The slumping Houston Astros have been coming back out to Earth, losers of their last four games. Next for them is a visit to the Chicago White Sox and Chris Sale who has been stellar against them in his career. Sale has only three starts against the Astros, but they’ve been nifty, as he has struck out 33 in 24 IP while only giving up one earned run. Twenty-one year old rookie Lance McCullers gets the nod for the Astros, which is good, as he pitched the last game that the Astros won in Baltimore. A top prospect in the Houston organization, McCullers is a fireballer with a fastball that sits around 95 MPH offset with a plus-curve that comes in around 84 MPH. The opening money line at 5Dimes had the White Sox favored at -142, and the O/U total set at 7.5.
Although I could talk until I’m blue in the face about Chris Sale and Lance McCullers, there are times when park factors come into play that could make all of their performance tendencies moot. This is one of those days that the weather will come into play heavily. Based on the statistical research of Chris Constancio, the HR rate at U.S. Cellular Field is the highest in all of baseball when the wind is blowing 10 MPH or more towards the outfield. We are talking about a rate of 24.5%, or one in four fly balls leaving the yard! The weather reports that the wind will be blowing 10-15 MPH to the outfield this afternoon in Chicago. It’s time for some dingers in Chicago.
Not only do we have the weather on our side for scoring, but also we have some early public action slamming the under for their MLB picks which has created value on that side as the total has moved to 7 at multiple books. If you were to just look at the pitching stats that would be the lean I would go with as well. Even at the total of 7 the consensus is still at 69% picking the under so that line continues to move in the favor of our weather dependent over play. Could we see 6.5? Likely not, but monitor the juice and shop around for even money. We are almost there at books such as Pinnacle, which has the over of 7 at -107.
Looking at the weather report for the rest of the week this weather dependent lean should continue. We have winds coming out of the west in Chicago – which will blow towards the outfield. Note that ballparks never face due east as the batter would be looking into a setting sun. Winds coming out of the west should always blow towards the outfield in some form. Not only will we have the White Sox at home this week, but also the Cubs will be coming back home on Thursday to face Cincinnati. I’ll be monitoring the MLB odds totals all week for value considering the weather.
MLB Pick: Bet over 7 on this game and monitor the weather report and totals for the rest of the week as home run rates should pick up in Chicago for games at U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley.