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  • Writer's pictureMason Dalley

Best Bet 7/26/2023

The Chicago Cubs(-1.5) @ The Chicago White Sox

DK +130

FD +126

BSB +135

Best Bet Season Record: 7-7

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Best Bet is a tale as old as time. A great pitcher going up against a poor offense. Marcus Stroman is having a phenomenal contract year doing what he's best at: missing barrels and displaying exceptional command. Stroman has never been a Statcast or Baseball Savant darling, with his 5'7 frame not allowing for displays of raw pitching athleticism the way pitchers such as Tyler Glasnow, Shohei Ohtani, and Gerrit Cole do every time they take the mound. His only red bubbles on his Baseball Savant percentile rankings are in xSLG Fastball Spin, and Barrel%.

Stroman's fastball approach highlights his command and how he avoids extra base hits. The Sinker is his main pitch, tossing it 45.6% of the time, and he mixes it with 10.3% Cutter, 8.5% 4SEAM Fastball, 7.7% Splitter, and the rest goes to a Sweeper. Using Baseball Savant's illustrator, I'll show the locations of each.

Location, location, location. Sinkers and Splitters below the knees, 4SEAMers at and above the letters, and Cutters outside the strike zone is how you end up with a combined induced .209 BA and .261 SLG. The 4SEAM Fastball is particularly effective inducing a .114 BA and .176 SLG, and when it's only thrown at 92 MPH on average and inducing a 30.9% Whiff rate, that's a display of exceptional shifting of eye level and keeping hitters off-balance.

All in all Stroman's ben having a solid season and has kept the ball in the yard. He's tossed 122.1 innings of 3.09 ERA/3.51 FIP/1.14 WHIP/0.51 HR/9 ball and that's been good enough to help keep the Cubs afloat in the National League Wild Card race.

The team in the South Side has disappointed greatly this season. Nothing has gone well for the White Sox this season. The best thing that can happen to them is getting some future All-Stars for Lucas Giolito and maybe even Dylan Cease. The White Sox are bottom 5 in hitting WAR and bottom 6 in pitching WAR. There are also some real standouts buoying those numbers. Cease and Giolito make up 3.9 of the 6.6 pitcher wins recorded and Luis Robert makes up 4.0 of the 5.2 batter wins recorded. All Stroman and the Cubs will have to do is prevent Luis Robert and Jake Burger from doing damage, and do damage against Lance Lynn. Lynn in particular is emblematic of the season the Southside Sox are having. The name evokes a bulldog workhorse of a pitcher that's put together multiple down ballot Cy Young Seasons. He's averaging a career high 10.88 K/9 and has already logged 115.0 IP this season. Lynn has also allowed 28 home runs and has a career worst 6.18 ERA and 5.28 FIP. He could very easily strike out 10+ Cubs tonight while also giving up home runs to Cody Bellinger, Christopher Morel, and Dansby Swanson.

All in all, The Northside is trending towards having a stepping stone season, while The Southside is having a season that triggers a full rebuild. Take the Cubbies, especially given the pitching matchup.

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