White Sox vs. Cubs MLB Best Bet: Take White Sox Over Cubs

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They’re last in the majors, but that makes the Chicago White Sox the right MLB pick for Tuesday’s tilt with the Chicago Cubs.

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MLB Pick: White Sox ML (+248) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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White Sox ML (+248)
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Chicago White Sox vs. Chicago Cubs

Tuesday, June 04, 2024 – 08:05 PM ET at Wrigley Field


It’s good to be back at the ranch. I’ve been writing more about politics and such lately. However, the winds of change have brought me back to the baseball diamond. And I am very happy to be here.

Things have changed since I’ve been away. We’re long past the point where my crack staff and I could look at the free projections at FiveThirtyEight, compare them to what’s on the MLB odds board, and crank out our baseball picks. Good data is still out there to be had, but most of it is proprietary now, and besides, you don’t need me to copy and paste any of that stuff for you.

What I will do instead is take a game of interest from Tuesday’s slate and tell you what makes it worth betting on at top-rated sportsbooks. And there’s one in particular that jumps right out at me: the last-place Chicago White Sox (15-45, minus-20.40 betting units at press time) visiting the Chicago Cubs (29-31, minus-2.44 units).

Why Should I Bet on the White Sox?

This is an old-school handicapper’s dream. The White Sox may be one of the worst teams ever. But this is baseball, so they’re still winning 25% of their games. That implied probability translates to –300 (which you can verify with the delightful BMR Odds Converter). And –300 happens to be the Northsiders’ price on the MLB lines at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review).

The thing is, the Cubs aren’t as good as the teams the Pale Hose have faced this year. Baseball Reference has the Cubbies at minus-0.2 using the Simple Rating System. This means they’re 0.2 runs worse per game than the average MLB team. And the seamheads have the White Sox playing the toughest strength of schedule (plus-0.4 SOS) in the entire majors up until now.

As for expected win-loss records, that minus-12 run differential for the Cubs is congruent with their actual 29-31 record, so you can’t blame their misery on bad luck – or a tough schedule (0.0 SOS).

Not that the White Sox (minus-1.9 SRS) have been fortunate on the diamond; their minus-138 run differential translates to a Pythagorean record of 14-46, one game worse than their already abysmal start to the 2024 campaign. Nevertheless, as +248 underdogs at BetOnline, this sad-sack Sox squad is available at a bargain price heading into Fenway.

Who’s Pitching?

According to the official MLB website, it’s Chris Flexen (4.83 xFIP) taking the mound for the White Sox against Shota Imanaga (3.46 xFIP), the surprisingly effective Japanese southpaw. The Cubs are 8-2 in Imanaga’s 10 starts for 3.56 betting units in profit; the Pale Hose are 2-8 behind Flexen and 3.74 units in the red.

A lot of this is smoke and mirrors. Flexen has pitched somewhat better than his 5.50 ERA would indicate, but there’s an even bigger gap between Imanaga’s sparkling 1.86 ERA and his decent xFIP. Having 86.3% of his runners left stranded has helped the Cubs immensely, compared to 66.4% for Flexen and the stumbling Sox.

Digging a bit deeper, it looks like MLB hitters are starting to figure Imanaga out. His last start against the Milwaukee Brewers was easily the worst of his short career here, with seven runs allowed in a 10-6 loss at –141 road faves. That’s part of the overall 2-9 slide the Cubs are on right now; they’ve dropped each of their last six series, including at home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds – the bottom two teams in the NL Central.

Bet accordingly, and may the sphere be with you all season long.

MLB Pick: White Sox ML (+248) at BetOnline

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White Sox ML (+248)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.