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Thursday Afternoon Baseball Best Bet: Chicago White Sox

CWS

Chicago southpaw Jose Quintana was 4-3 with a 2.50 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in thirteen day starts last season, compared to posting a 3.90 ERA and 1.37 WHIP at night. Quintana also pitched extremely well in the month of May, posting a 3.16 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over five outings. This season, the left-handed hurler is 1-2 with a 5.28 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, although he has saved his best work for the home crowd where he owns a 2.57 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.

Quintana’s peripheral numbers are misleading in that he has allowed two runs or fewer in three of his five starts this season. The outlier occurred on April 19 wherein he yielded nine earned runs on the road against the Tigers, which was his worst outing dating back to 2013. I label that start as an outlier based upon the fact that Quintana garnered a 3.60 ERA in four starts against Detroit last season, and has allowed three runs or less in seven of his 9 career outings against the Tigers.

Quintana’s 2015 Metrics:

3.96 FIP & 4.22 xFIP
4.13 SIERA
2.17 BB/9 & 5.7% BB% (career bests)

The 26-year-old hurler is also supported by a very good Chicago bullpen that owns 2.77 ERA and 1.28 WHIP this season, including a 2.04 ERA and 1.16 WHIP at home and a 2.04 ERA over the last seven games. Meanwhile, Detroit sends 25-year-old Kyle Lobstein to the mound for his first career start at U.S. Cellular Field. Lobstein is 2-2 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.42 WHIP this season, although he owns a 5.11 ERA and 1.70 WHIP on the road and a 4.66 ERA and 1.50 WHIP versus division opponents.

The bigger concern for Lobstein is the fact that he has given up more hits (27) than innings pitched (25.3), while also posting a woefully inadequate 12/9 K/BB ratio.

Lobstein’s 2015 Metrics:

3.26 FIP & 4.44 xFIP
4.73 SIERA
4.26 K/9 &11.1% K% (career lows)

The metrics suggest that Lobstein’s real ERA is between 4.50 and 4.81, and I agree with that projection based upon his skill set and performance in the Minor Leagues. The lefty is also hampered by an unreliable Detroit relief staff that owns a 4.07 ERA and 1.26 WHIP this season, including a 4.07 ERA and 1.24 WHIP versus division opponents.

From a technical standpoint, Chicago is 6-1 in its last seven games as a home favorite and 4-1 in its last five home games versus southpaws, whereas the Tigers are 4-11 in their last fifteen road games versus left-handed starters and 0-4 in their last four games as underdogs.

Finally, today’s home plate umpire, Manny Gonzalez, is a 58.8% winning proposition for home teams in his career, including boasting an 80% win rate for home squads this season. With Detroit standing at 1-4 in its last five trips to U.S. Cellular Field, take the White Sox as today’s free best bet and invest with confidence.

Free Best Bet: Chicago White Sox (-111) over Detroit Tigers

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