Underrated Pitching Matchup Suggests Rays vs. White Sox Will Go 'Under'

Charles Stark

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 10:41 PM GMT

For this matchup between the Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays I'm going to go against the line movement and take under the total. What we're getting in this game are two pretty decent pitchers that have been both hot and cold at times.

Odds
As mentioned, this line already moved a little bit and that movement was from 8 on the total to 8.5 with regular juice. That surprises me just a little bit because we are getting two underrated starters. At most sportsbooks the line is at -110 on the under of the 8.5, which is where I will make my play. At Bookmaker and Pinnacle you get this total at this number.

 

Pitching Matchup
For the Rays, Erasmo Ramirez takes the mound with a 3.61 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 79 strikeouts, and an 8-4 record. He is having a much better season than his career numbers of 4.29 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 244 strikeouts, and 15-16 record. He has been solid in his last 10 starts for the most part, with only one bad outing a couple games ago against the Orioles, where he allowed five earned runs in seven innings. In his last start at Boston though he was very good, allowing just one earned run off of five hits in just six innings of work. He has struggled a bit overall on the road but in his last three road appearances he has only allowed three earned runs in 16 innings against the Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays.

For Chicago, rookie Carlos Rodon gets the start with a 4.84 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 87 strikeouts, and a 4-4 record. What I see in him is a pitcher who is young at only 22 years old but who has good stuff and can be really tough at times. Talk about hot and cold in his last four starts he allowed zero earned runs to the Cubs, then seven earned runs to the Cardinals, followed by zero earned runs to the Indians, and then in his last start a very rough outing allowing eight earned runs to the Yankees. According to that trend alone look for him to have a solid day on the mound. More importantly though is the fact he is facing a pretty weak Tampa Bay offense.

 

Offenses
At the plate what we are getting in Tampa Bay is one of the poorer offenses in major league baseball. They rank 29th in the league in runs scored per game at 3.63, 23rd in OPS at .689, and a batting average of.241, which is ranked 26th. Across the board statistically there is not a lot of that jumps out offensively when it comes to the Rays.

Much like Tampa Bay there is not a lot to shout about with the Chicago White Sox offense. They average 3.72 runs per game good for 24th ranked in the league, an OPS of .682 ranking them 25th, and a batting average of .250 good enough for 19th in the league. In every major offensive category they rank in the bottom half of the league. Don't look for them to suddenly break out against a pretty decent pitcher like Ramirez.

Today I like for both of these pitchers to have a good quality start and shut the other team down. On paper I can see why this line moved up instead of down. But for me this just provides more value on taking the under with a higher number. At regular juice at -110 under the 8.5 is a solid play and I will take that as my under the total play in major league baseball today. Don't be swayed by the non-big named pitchers, both these guys are very capable of the quality start.

MLB Pick: Under 8.5 (-110) at Pinnacle

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