Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox
First pitch: 2:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Keegan Akin (0-0, 6.10 ERA) vs. Lucas Giolito (4-4, 4.04 ERA)
Even in down years, the lowest of the lowest bottom feeders can see bright spots amongst otherwise gloomy action.
Such was the case last year in the pandemic campaign for the Orioles, when Akin got his first taste of the bigs and emerged as a useful arm for the rotation.
At first glance, his pedestrian 4.56 ERA for 2020 doesn’t jump off the page but that also factors in a pair of relief appearances. As a starter, Akin posted a respectable 4.04 ERA in six starts, and most notably, he was punching out batters at a very hearty rate (13.7 K/9!).
This will be his first start of the campaign — and it comes against an opponent that loves to see left-handers — but I actually like him here for a relatively high total. Akin comes with a considerably high ceiling and now that he’s (rightfully) being given a chance to start again, I think the 26-year-old southpaw shines once again.
The key, however, will be the starter he’s pitted against this afternoon. Giolito has returned to usual form the last few weeks after exiting April with an uncharacteristic 5.68 ERA. Entering this assignment, though, he’s got his ERA down to 4.04, and is seeking to finish the month strong.
Giolito will have a favorable matchup in order to accomplish his quest, facing an O’s lineup that may not have its best player, Trey Mancini (elbow), after the outfielder missed both games of yesterday’s doubleheader. Since leaving early in Thursday’s meeting, the Orioles have managed seven runs in three games.
As it is, Baltimore has dropped 12 in a row, making it even more difficult taking on an ace like Giolito on the road with the right-hander on an upward trend. He’s allowed no more than one earned run in four of his last five starts and I’ll look for a similar fate here.
Orioles vs. White Sox Picks
Pick: UNDER 8.5 @ -115
Brewers-Nationals Under 6
Giants-Dodgers Under 7.5
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “30-25-2,” +1.58 units
Yesterday’s Result: Brewers-Nationals Under 6 — Game 1 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 uni