Orioles vs. White Sox: Will Baltimore Get Lost In The Melky Way?

Jason Lake

Saturday, August 6, 2016 1:52 PM UTC

Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 1:52 PM UTC

No pitcher has beaten up the baseball odds more than Chris Tillman, but he'll meet an old nemesis Saturday when the Baltimore Orioles visit the Chicago White Sox.

Baltimore Orioles vs CH White Sox  
It was ugly, but that's how the Baltimore Orioles win. They managed to put away the Chicago White Sox 7-5 Friday night, cashing in as –117 road faves to retake the lead in the American League East. But the O's committed four errors in the process and the White Sox shot themselves in the foot with a baserunning gaffe in the eighth, just as they were making a comeback.

Game 2 of this three-game series at New Comiskey goes Saturday night (7:10 p.m. ET), and once again, the Orioles are the favorites on our MLB odds board. Pretty big favorites at –140, but that's the price you have to pay these days with Chris Tillman (4.03 FIP) on the mound. Tillman leads all MLB pitchers in profit at +15.92 units on a team record of 19-4. Great horny toads. Carlos Rodon (4.51 FIP) responds for Chicago.


Captain Underpants
You may have already figured out where we're leaning for our MLB picks here at the home office. Baltimore (62-46, +15.30 units) has to be overvalued in this spot, right? Tillman's pitched reasonably well this year, but he's no Jim Palmer. Okay, maybe early '80s Jim Palmer. And the Orioles have a run differential of plus-32, which translates to an expected Pythagorean record of 57-51.

As usual, we bring in the baseball scientists at FiveThirtyEight. Their Elo-based projection has Baltimore winning Saturday's matchup 56 percent of the time; run that through our shiny SBR Betting Odds Converter, and –127 comes out the other side. Yep, overvalued. Tillman has some lousy peripherals this year, like 3.33 walks per nine innings and a .275 BABIP, but that's pretty close to his career averages. He's a decent pitcher when healthy.

Rodon, meanwhile, is getting eaten alive after a promising rookie campaign. The White Sox (52-57, –6.55 units) are just 5-12 in his 17 starts for a loss of 7.40 units. That .351 BABIP is unfortunate, but Rodon has control issues of his own, walking 3.11 batters per nine innings. He also sprained his wrist last month and got rocked for five runs in his first start back. Against the last-place Minnesota Twins. Yeesh.


Fantasy Corner
Here's another fun stat: Current White Sox batters have a combined .735 OPS against Tillman. There's a chance you might find OF Melky Cabrera (.813 OPS) on the waiver wire. He's owned in 67.8 percent of leagues at press time, and he's 9-for-24 lifetime against Tillman with a .954 OPS. Worth a shot.

Maybe the OVER is, too. There's a total of nine runs up on the board, which isn't ideal. But the OVER is available at +105, the weather report looks nice, and New Comiskey is neutral when it comes to park factor. Close enough for government work.

Free MLB Pick: OVER 9 +105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
Record: 19-19 ML, 7-3-1 Totals (+4.97 units)

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