Guardians vs White Sox Picks and Predictions: Fading Zach Plesac in Windy City

An opportunity to fade Cleveland's Zach Plesac is almost always a great one, especially against a hard-hitting lineup like Chicago's. We break it all down in our Guardians vs. White Sox picks and predictions below.

Last Updated: May 9, 2022 1:37 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Tim Anderson Chicago White Sox MLB
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The Cleveland Guardians are hitting the road and heading to Chicago, where they'll take on the White Sox to kick off a three-game series.

The Guardians arrive today at .500 with some momentum after taking three of four from the Toronto Blue Jays. The White Sox are even hotter, having won six straight including a series sweep of the Boston Red Sox.

Who will take the first game of the series? Find out in our MLB picks and predictions for Guardians vs. White Sox Monday, May 9th.

Guardians vs White Sox odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Opening odds for today’s matchup were released this morning. The White Sox opened up as -180 favorites, with the Guardians returning at +150. Since then, St Louis has taken some money, and San Francisco is down to -175 in some spots. 

The total opened up at 7.5 and has stayed the same. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Guardians vs White Sox predictions

Picks made on 5/9/2022 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Guardians vs White Sox game info

Location: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL
Date: Monday, May 9, 2022
First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
TV: NBCS-Chicago, Bally Sports Cleveland

Guardians vs White Sox betting preview

Starting pitchers

Zach Plesac (1-3, 4.44 ERA): Plesac finally caught a groove in his last start when he went just over five innings without giving up an earned run against the Royals. Before then, teams were hitting him hard to begin the year. The righty had given up at least one home run in every start but one and seven hits in three straight starts. He just hasn’t been very good to begin the season. His hard-hit rate, along with his barrel rate, has steadily risen throughout his career and reached career highs so far this season. Maybe you’d expect some improvements, but his expected ERA remains an entire run higher than his actual one.

Michael Kopech (0-0, 1.70 ERA): Kopech has been stellar to start the season. Through 19 innings of baseball, he’s given up just four runs, including no home runs. He’s had some favorable matchups and benefited from them and has also had a fair amount of luck. In the past, he’s had a history of command issues, and those have remained (illustrated by a walk percentage ranking amongst the worst in baseball); they have just yet to hurt him. Additionally, he has an expected ERA relatively higher than his actual one. You must wonder when a little negative regression comes, but you also must understand the unknown. With a pretty significant injury history, we have yet to find out how good Kopech is. Maybe we’re seeing it now. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Guardians: No key injures to report.
White Sox: Andrew Vaughn LF (Out), Yoan Moncada 3B (Out), Eloy Jimenez LF (Out), Yermin Mercedes 1B (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Guardians are 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two teams. Find more MLB betting trends for Guardians vs. White Sox

Guardians vs White Sox picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

Today is a good day. It’s fade Zach Plesac day. Plesac has been one of my favorite pitching fades over the last few years, particularly in a spot with power hitters, something you're getting in today's matchup with Chicago.

While it doesn’t always result in a win, the numbers are in your favor. Most Plesac blow-up games have come against opponents in the Top 10 of barrel rate. The Chicago White Sox ranks fifth in all of baseball there so far. If you followed the system of fading Plesac against the teams last season, you had a good time. 

Looking at my projections, you’ll understand why I don’t view this one as too complicated. A price of White Sox moneyline can be found as low as -175, and my projections have Chicago winning this game nearly 70% of the time. That suggests any lower price than around -240 or so is value. That's a significant edge. 

The White Sox have been blowing the cover off the ball so far. The runs come and go, but they’ve been making great contact. That’s what matters the most when projecting how they’ll do today. They rank third in hard-hit rate, fourth in exit velocity, and fifth in barrel rate.

When you look at their lineup history, they have multiple guys who have had historical success against Plesac in Adam Engel, and Luis Roberto, among others. Even better? They have tons of momentum rolling into today, having won six straight and coming off a sweep of a talented Red Sox team. Everything points to Chicago lighting up Plesac today.

I would rarely suggest laying heavy juice numbers like the one we have today in a baseball game. But even at its current number, I still see the value.  

Prediction: White Sox moneyline (-175 at DraftKings)

Over/Under analysis

Not too complicated of a handicap here. I’ll be taking the Over and may look to bet it live if we can get a scoreless first frame.

I won’t spend too much time talking much more about how I expect the White Sox to attack Plesac. I think I’ve done that enough. Instead, let's look at the Guardians. They’ve seen their bats come alive in a big way. Especially over the last few weeks and especially compared to where they were last season. 

Most importantly, as it relates to this matchup, Cleveland doesn’t strike out a ton. They have the sixth-fewest Ks in the league so far this season, and their patience at the plate will pay off today. Kopech's command issues are something Cleveland can take advantage of. When they do that, they knock in a few runs, and I don’t expect them to need to contribute much to get this one Over.

I’m taking the Over here and doing so confidently. Both of these pitchers are due for regression (one more major than the other), and both are facing opponents that match up well. 

Prediction: Over 7.5 (+100 at BetMGM)

Best bet

How many more ways can we fade Plesac today? How about this one: 

Plesac has one of the lowest K rates in baseball through this young season so far. This isn't exactly a new thing, though; he's struggled with strikeouts throughout his career. He has yet to go over this strikeout total so far this season. I struggle to figure out why that will change against a team that doesn't strike out much. Chicago has one of the lowest K rates in the majors, and that number improves at home. 

Since I'm expecting the White Sox to hit Plesac early and often, I'll pair this with the first five spread. At the attractive price of +177, it’s one of my favorite plays on the board today.

Pick: Same-game parlay — Zach Plesac Under 4.5 strikeouts + White Sox first five innings -0.5 (+177 at FanDuel)

MLB parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s MLB Guardians vs. White Sox picks, you could win $77.06 on a $10 bet?

Use our MLB parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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