MLB Picks & Predictions - June 8
Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago White Sox
First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Robbie Ray (3-2, 3.57 ERA) vs. Carlos Rodon (5-2, 1.98 ERA)
Two hard-hitting offenses begin a series tonight at U.S. Cellular Field. Two really good left-handed starting pitchers are commencing this three-game set as well.
Decisions, decisions for a call on the total.
Given how both probables have looked since the onset of the campaign — and the current rhythms they’re in right now, respectively — I’m giving the edge to the pitchers to pace a lower-scoring outcome.
Rodon has been the better one, looking to be on track for his first career berth on the All-Star team. He wields a shiny 1.98 ERA, as he’s seemingly now finally living up to his high potential after all these years, though injuries were what held him back.
Questions understandably were abound when Rodon returned from Tommy John surgery last year, being a strikeout artist that relies on increased velocity. Not only should those questions completely be halted based on the fact he’s throwing harder than ever (average fastball is 95.5 mph!), there has to be additional talk of Rodon being the American League’s starting pitcher in the Midsummer Classic.
He’s been that electric, registering career-best marks in strikeout rate (13.7 K/9) and walk rate (2.14 BB/9). Furthermore, his 80-13 K/BB ratio is easily the best it’s ever been, or 6.15 strikeouts per walk allowed.
Don’t be surprised by what the 28-year-old is accomplishing. This was a long time coming for those who watched him earlier in his Major League career when healthy.
Speaking of hard-throwing southpaws turning a corner due to less free passes being issued, Ray deserves credit for doing so, too, after a known track record in the bigs of handing them out regularly.
Listen to how substantial his improvement has been. Ray is only yielding 2.33 BB/9, more than a full walk per nine innings than in any of his other eight MLB seasons. His previous low was 3.45 BB/9 six years ago, and he’s pulling this off while not losing his usual copious amounts of punch-outs.
In fact, Ray’s notching more than 10 K/9 for the sixth straight season. Like his counterpart, this is just a left-handed starter living up to his longtime reputation.
As alluded to, these teams can slug, especially the White Sox against a lefty. Given how both starters keep strongly trending in the right direction, I’m willing to entrust each of them to sustain it here.
Pick: UNDER 8.5 @ -113
Mariners-Tigers Under 8.5
Royals-Angels Under 8.5
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “34-28-3,” +2.26 units
Last Result: Dodgers-Braves Under 8.5 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit