Hot-hitting Myles Straw will be looking to extend his 10-game hitting streak as the Cleveland Guardians (+130) match up against the Chicago White Sox (-150) at Guaranteed Rate Field on Thursday with the visitors in position for a sweep of the three-game series. The early total has been set at 7 with the over a -115 favorite. The Guardians (82-67) lead the series 2-0 after winning 8-2 on Wednesday, their 11th head-to-head victory in 18 games this season. Starter Triston McKenzie went eight innings, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out 13, to get the win. Steven Kwan was 3 for 5 with a home run and two runs in the win. Josh Naylor added a home run, three runs, and two RBIs. Yoan Moncada went 1 for 4 with a solo home run for the White Sox (76-73).
ON THE MOUND
Shane Bieber (11-8, 2.83 ERA) is slated for the start for Cleveland. The RHP allowed one run over eight innings in his last start, a 5-1 road win over the Twins on Saturday. He earned the win, scattering four hits while striking out six. Over four previous starts against the White Sox this season, Bieber has allowed only nine earned runs over 27.1 innings (2-2, 2.96). He has struck out 22 and walked four. Right-hander Johnny Cueto (7-8, 2.87 ERA) gets the ball for Chicago. He has made two appearances against the Guardians this season, both starts, giving up four runs (3 ER) over 15.2 innings (1-0, 1.72) with two strikeouts and two walks. In his last start on September 11, Cueto took the loss on the road against the Athletics. He threw 4.2 innings and gave up seven runs (5 ER) on eight hits, striking out three and walking one in the 10-3 defeat.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Cleveland has averaged 7.2 runs a game, up from their season average of 4.3, while performing better across the board (.260/.350/.408). Against righties like Cueto this season, the Guardians have a .716 OPS. Kwan has been the team’s biggest on-base threat against right-handers with a .389 OBP in 414 at-bats. Chicago is averaging 5.2 runs per game in the last five, up slightly from 4.4 for the season. The Sox have a .686 OPS against right-handers in 2022. With a .833 OPS over 454 at-bats, Jose Abreu has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Cleveland is on a five-game winning streak away from Progressive Field, bringing their record to 42-35 in 2022. The Guardians have scored 4.5 runs per game away from home, while allowing 3.9 runs. Chicago has lost three in a row at their home park. The Sox are 35-39 at home this season, averaging 4.2 runs per game while surrendering 5.1. Cleveland is 6-4 in the last 10 games between the AL Central rivals at Guaranteed Rate Field with an average scoreline of 6.6-5.2.
The Guardians lead the AL Central by six games over the White Sox. Their magic number to clinch the division is eight. The White Sox are fifth in the Wild Card race, five games out of a postseason position.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Cleveland Guardians (-140)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.