Thursday night has an exciting matchup of as the NL Central’s Milwaukee Brewers (4-5) travel to Guaranteed Rate Park to take on the AL Central’s Chicago White Sox (7-5). This will be the last game of a four-game set, one that featured two games being played in Milwaukee and two in Chicago.
On Wednesday, it was all about the pitching. The Brewers were able to edge out a 1-0 victory behind a phenomenal performance by Adrian Houser, who went seven innings, allowing five hits, two walks, and struck out 5. In the loss, Dallas Keuchel was similarly solid going seven innings, allowing five hits, one earned run, one walk, and struck out eight.
The pitching matchup for Thursday’s finale features Josh Lindblom (0-0, 4.91 ERA) taking the mound for the Brewers against Chicago’s Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 7.36 ERA).
According to FanDuel, the moneyline comes in with the White Sox as the favorites playing at home at -132. The Brewers sit at +116. The over/under for total runs scored sits at 9.
By The Numbers
On the offensive side, the young White Sox offense has been dynamic. They currently rank 6th in MLB in runs scored averaging 5.36 runs per game. For Milwaukee, they come in 22nd overall averaging 3.75 runs per game.
On the defensive side, these two teams sit neck and neck. The Brewers currently rank 16th in the league in opponent’s runs per game as they are giving up 4.62. For the White Sox, they come in just one spot behind at 17th allowing 4.64 runs per game.
Brewers Hope Wednesday’s Win Can Be A Spark
Going into Thursday’s game, the Brewers technically sit in second place in the NL Central. With that being said, they sit 4.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs and could easily find themselves out of the division race if things continue to go south. The win Wednesday was a huge confidence boost for a pitching staff and defense that has struggled, and they will try to use that moving forward.
Taking the mound for the Brewers is Josh Lindblom. In his last outing, an 8-6 loss to the Pirates, he went 3.2 innings allowing three hits, two earned runs, three walks, and struck out 5. If he wants to be successful, he will have to reign in the walks, but the Brewers hope he can improve on this performance against the White Sox.
On the offensive side, the Brewers desperately need Christian Yelich to break out of his slump. The perennial MVP candidate has hit just .088/.162/.206 in 34 at-bats this season with only one home run. He got the day off Wednesday as a “mental break,” but expect him to be back in the lineup Thursday.
White Sox Leaning On Young Stars
It has been undeniable how good center fielder Luis Robert has been this season. In 48 at-bats, he is hitting .354/.415/.542 with three doubles, two home runs, six runs batted in, eight runs scored, and four stolen bases. In a lineup that features tons of young stars (Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada), he has been the best thus far.
While his numbers have been adequate, the White Sox are hoping to get a big boost from catcher Yasmani Grandal. Seen as one of their big offseason acquisitions, Grandal has hit .270/.356/.324 in 37 at-bats this year but has no home runs to date.
Pitching wise, the starting rotation outside of Dallas Keuchel and Lucas Giolito has been rough. On Thursday, Gio Gonzalez will try to reverse that trend. In 2 games thus far, Gonzelez has gone 7.1 innings of 7.36 ERA, including a 2.18 WHIP. He did perform better in his last outing but will have to show consistency to help solidify Chicago’s rotation.
Good Value Bet In Brewers
Offensively, the White Sox are undoubtedly the better team, especially with how Christian Yelich has been hitting. Still, Gio Gonzalez on the mound concerns me for the White Sox and has me thinking that there may be some good value in the Brewers.
While I wouldn’t blame you for taking Chicago in this one, I am going with the Brewers at +116.