The Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox play a day-night doubleheader on Friday. Edinson Volquez starts Game 1 for the Royals, and he's been shredding the baseball odds.
Jason's 2015 record as of July 16: 31-24, plus-7.36 units ML; 0-3, minus-3.30 units Total
If you're one of the millions who just don't care about the All-Star Game anymore, fear not: The regular season resumes this Friday, and it gets off to an early start (2:10 p.m. ET) with the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox playing the first game of a day-night doubleheader at New Comiskey. It's a heck of a pitching matchup, too. Edinson Volquez (3.79 FIP) will throw for Kansas City against Jeff Samardzija (3.41 FIP). But only of these two gentlemen has made a killing against the MLB odds this season.
That gentleman would be Volquez. He's never been the same making the 2008 All-Star team as a rookie with the Cincinnati Reds; Volquez needed Tommy John surgery in 2009 and is on his fifth MLB team in five years. However, Volquez has enjoyed plenty of success with the Royals (52-34, +16.85 units), leading them to 7.43 units in earnings on a team record of 13-5. That's good for seventh place on the MLB money standings going into the second half of the season.
The Royals are also fourth in the majors in hitting (16.3 WAR) and fourth in relief pitching (3.2 WAR), so everything's lined up quite well for Volquez in Friday's matchup. He's even got a lifetime .581 OPS allowed versus current White Sox batters. The only guy who's really touched Volquez up is Adam LaRoche (7-for-22, 1.010 OPS), and he's having an awful season at .701 OPS in the DH slot.
It's Always Samardzija, Samardzija, Samardzija
We've already identified the White Sox (41-45, –4.71 units) as one of the top fade candidates for our second-half MLB picks. Samardzija hasn't been quite as dominant as the White Sox had hoped after picking him up from the Oakland Athletics in December; his strikeouts are down to 7.32 per nine innings, with Samardzija throwing fewer fastballs and more cutters.
Despite this, Samardzija has provided 11 quality starts in his 18 appearances on the South Side, including five of his last six outings. Too bad the White Sox are only 9-9 behind their ace this year. That's good for 0.09 betting units against the baseball odds. Nine shiny pennies. Remember how we told you that Chicago's last in the majors in hitting at –3.7 WAR? Yeesh.
Current Kansas City hitters have a combined .802 OPS against Samardzija (16-for-53), but as usual, there aren't many Royals available on the waiver wire. So we turn our attention to the relievers instead. If holds are one of your league's categories, consider RP Kelvin Herrera (2.75 FIP), who has a career .641 OPS allowed against Chicago (15-for-60) and is just 12% owned in Yahoo leagues.
Free MLB Pick: Take the Royals +105 at The Greek