Will Chris Sale Record More or Less than 6.5 Strikeouts vs Baltimore Orioles?
Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox will travel to Oriole Park at Camden Yards for a matchup against Bruce Zimmermann and the Baltimore Orioles. Both pitchers have thrown limited innings this season, although they’ve been on opposite ends of the spectrum. Sale boasts elite metrics, while Zimmermann’s struggled. Baltimore also features one of the coldest offenses in the MLB, while Boston’s is arguably the hottest in the league over the last 14 days. Furthermore, the Orioles own the second-worst bullpen xFIP over the last 30 days on this slate, while the Red Sox possess an above-average bullpen xFIP over that span.
The odds in this game represent the massive discrepancies towards Boston, as the Red Sox are currently -265 favorites. Boston’s currently fighting for a Wild Card slot in the playoffs, while Baltimore owns the worst record in the MLB [tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks]. The Orioles are also 3-7 over their last 10 games, while the Red Sox are 7-3 over that span.
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Chris Sale and the Red Sox opened as -250 road favorites against Bruce Zimmermann and the Orioles. The odds have widened slightly throughout the day, as Boston is now a -265 favorite. The game total opened at 9 runs, increasing to 9.5 thus far. Our Trends page shows that the Orioles team total opened at 3 runs and hasn’t moved yet.
Sale’s seen mixed results in terms of strikeouts throughout his short 2021 season. Overall, his strikeout total is set at 6.5 on all of the available books tonight. You can still find +105 odds on DraftKings or BetMGM, while FanDuel already has -118 odds set on the over 6.5 for tonight.
Sale’s strikeout success is down a bit in 2021 from past years. With that being said, he still boasts 26.4% strikeout and 13.1% swinging-strike rates thus far. Sale also boasts a 10 K/9 this season. Most importantly, his velocity isn’t down and his pitch mix is relatively similar to past years, suggesting he could find more strikeout success as he throws more innings.
Sale’s recorded 39 strikeouts through 35 innings over 7 starts. He’s recorded 7+ strikeouts in only 3 of those 7 starts, although his pitch count has been somewhat limited at times in 2021. He’s recorded 85+ pitches in 3 of his last 4 starts, though, and he should see that once again tonight.
The sample size is extremely limited, especially for road innings, as Sale owns a 12% strikeout rate with a 5.34 xFIP on the road. Keep in mind, this was only one game. Throughout his career, his home and road splits are nearly identical, and I’ll trust the larger sample size here. His strikeout rate increases slightly from 30.4% to 31.1% against left-handed batters, though, and his xFIP dips to 2.53 against them. Regardless, he boasts elite metrics against either handedness.
Sale gets an elite matchup against a struggling Baltimore offense tonight. Over the last 14 days, they’ve recorded a .286 team wOBA and a 28.1% strikeout rate. Their wOBA is one of the lowest on the slate, while their strikeout rate is the highest. Surprisingly, in their only matchup this season, Sale recorded 1 strikeout over 5 innings.
The Orioles are expected to utilize roughly 8 right-handed batters tonight, although I don’t believe it matters. Sale should be throwing full pitches, and I continue to expect positive strikeout regression. The Orioles have been struggling and getting plus odds on the over is an added bonus.
The Mets are only expected to utilize three left-handed batters tonight. They’ll also have the added bonus of using a DH as the game will be played in Boston. Still, I prefer the over on Rodriguez’s strikeout prop, as I believe 5.5 strikeouts is set a bit low, especially with plus odds on the over.
Bet 1 unit on Chris Sale over 6.5 strikeouts (+105) to win 1.05 units on BetMGM - Click the link to receive a $1,000 Risk Free Bet
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