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4th of July Premium Best Bet Winner: Baltimore at Chicago

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Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman has been an unqualified disaster this season with a 5.22 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in fifteen starts, including posting a 6.37 ERA and 1.78 WHIP on the road, a 6.46 ERA and 1.94 WHIP in day games and a 5.65 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over his last three starts. Tillman’s underlying metrics provide little hope for a turnaround:

Chris Tillman’s 2015 Metrics:

  • 4.75 FIP & 4.89 xFIP
  • 4.86 SIERA
  • 5.61 FIP & 5.07 xFIP on the road (4.85 BB/9; 1.52 HR/9)
  • 4.34 FIP & 4.87 xFIP in June (5.13 K/9)

Tillman has yielded four or more earned runs in seven of his last 15 starts this season, and his strikeout rate is at its lowest point since 2010. Tillman now faces a Chicago squad that has won three straight and is averaging 4.6 runs over its last seven games. Meanwhile, Jeff Samardzija toes the rubber for the White Sox, and the 30-year-old finds himself in good for with a 3.38 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in his last three outings. Samardzija has also worked at least seven innings in eight of his last nine starts and now faces a scuffling Baltimore lineup that is averaging 3.9 runs over the last ten days.

Samardzija is at his best before the home faithful where he is 3-1 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 2015. His 2.68 FIP and 3.15 xFIP at home support his surface statistics, and his command has been elite at U.S. Cellular Field (7.87 K/9; 1.06 BB/9; 0.64 HR/9). Overall, the talented righty owns a 3.65 FIP, 3.83 xFIP and 3.77 SIERA this season, although he has been somewhat unlucky with a .329 BABIP and 68.3% LOB%, both of which are above the league average.

The month of June was particularly cruel to Samardzija where his 5.75 ERA was inflated by a .371 BABIP and 66.1% LOB%. Samardzija’s 3.90 FIP in June suggests that he deserved a much better fate than what his surface stats show. Both teams possess solid bullpens, with Baltimore’s unit boasting a 2.62 ERA and 1.14 WHIP on the road and the White Sox staff posting a 3.02 ERA and 1.19 WHIP at home. However, Chicago relievers own a 3.12 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over the last seven games, whereas the Orioles’ bullpen has a 4.15 ERA and 1.49 WHIP over the last seven contests.

From a technical standpoint, Baltimore is a money-burning 4-9 in its last 13 road games versus teams with a winning home record, 7-16 in its last 23 road games versus a right-handed starter and 8-18 in its last 26 road games with a total between 7 and 8.5 runs. Finally, White Sox find themselves with little room for error, sitting 6.5-games out of an American League Wild Card.

“We’ve put ourselves in position where July is a very important month for us. It’s a critical month for our direction for the next several months,” said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn.” “Everybody in that clubhouse knows it. We’ve talked about it. They are aware of the situation and they have spoken publicly about the fact that they know we’ve put ourselves in this position where July is critical.”

With Chicago standing at 4-1 in Samardzija’s last five starts, take the White as our free premium Best Bet and invest with confidence.

Oskeim Sports Best Bet: Chicago White Sox

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