Nationals vs. White Sox: 'Over' 9 Our MLB Pick In Battle Of Gonzalezes

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, June 10, 2016 3:43 PM GMT

In the Battle of then Gonzalezes, the ‘over’ looks like the MLB pick with neither starter impressing when Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals visit Miguel Gonzalez and the White Sox.  

 

MLB Record: 37-32-2, +9.05

Two pitchers with the same surname have the potential to provide a relatively high scoring contest in interleague play Thursday night when southpaw Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals (36-23, 21-12 away) pay a visit to right-hander Miguel Gonzalez and the Chicago White Sox (29-30, 13-14 home) for the final game of a three-game series from U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, IL at 8:10 ET in a game available on MASN2.

The posted total at Heritage Sports is 9 for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘over’ set at -110.

 

Nationals Looking for the Sweep
The Nationals are now a season high 13 games over .500 while leading the second place New York Mets by 3½ games in the National League East, and part of the reason has been their great play on the road as they are now 21-12 on the MLB highway and they look to complete a three-game sweep here in the Windy City after winning a pair of slugfests the last two nights by scores of 10-5 Tuesday and 11-4 Wednesday.

The White Sox meanwhile led the American League Central for a huge chunk of this early season, but they have now slumped all the way to being one game under .500 after being the losing MLB picks in 20 of their last 26 games overall including being 1-8 in their last nine home games, leaving Chicago now in fourth place and 3½ games behind the first place Cleveland Indians.

 

Gio in Terrible Current Form
Gio Gonzalez was once a contender for the Cy Young Award in his first season in the National League in 2012 when he went 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 199.1 innings for the Nationals, but he has never approached those numbers since due to severe bouts with inconsistency and he now appears to be in one of his “down” cycles.

In fact this current streak has been more awful than usual for even the streaky Gio, as he has a hideous 10.34 ERA and 1.85 WHIP over his last three outings, with the five runs allowed in six innings vs. the lowly Cincinnati Reds in his last start Friday being the fewest runs he has allowed during this span.

And while the White Sox are struggling, they have continued to hit southpaws fairly well batting .262 against them over their last 10 games, continuing their pattern for the entire season that has them batting .259 vs. left-handers overall as opposed to batting .235 vs. right-handers. Thus, while Gio may be a candidate to turn things around, this does not look like the right spot for that to happen just yet.

Miguel Not as Good as His ERA
Now, some would say that Miguel Gonzalez has pitched in some hard luck as he is 0-1 with five no-decisions in six starts despite a fairly commendable 3.93 ERA, especially by American League standards, but a closer look reveals that ERA to be quite fraudulent, and you do not even need to delve deeply into his sabremetric stats to see that given his lackluster 1.51 WHIP.

Yes, Miguel has now allowed three runs or less in each of his last five starts after limiting the Mets to one run and three hits in five innings last time out, but only two of those five outings were official Quality Starts because he failed to go the required six innings on the other three occasions. That leads to our point of Gonzalez running up big pitch-counts in limited innings due to his lack of command.

Miguel has a weak ratio of 7.60 strikeouts vs. 3.93 walks per nine innings and he has benefitted from an unrealistic 80.6 percent strand rate that will almost certainly not be maintained, leading to his 4.43 FIP and 4.63 xFIP, both of which are closer measures to what kind of pitcher he is than the sub-4.00 ERA. It is also now clear why the Baltimore Orioles unceremoniously released the now 32-year-old Gonzalez toward the end of spring training.

 

Both Teams on Nice ‘Over’ Runs
Finally, both of these teams enter this contest on nice ‘Over’ runs. The ‘Over’ is 5-0-1 in the Nationals’ last six games overall, 4-0 in their last four road games vs. right-handed starters and 13-2-1 in their last 16 games vs. starters with a WHIP greater than 1.30. The ‘over’ is also 4-1 in the White Sox last five games overall and 6-1 in their last seven games vs. left-handed starters.

Given the form of these pitchers, look for those trends to continue with the third straight high scoring game in this series, so go ‘Over’ when the Washington Nationals visit the Chicago White Sox for the final game of a three-game interleague series on Thursday.

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MLB Pick: Over 9 -110
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle