MLB Wednesday Preview: White Sox at Indians, Mariners at Yankees
Chicago White Sox (16-18) at Cleveland Indians (18-16), 6:10 p.m. ETReynaldo Lopez (2-4, 6.69 ERA) (CHW) +170 / +1.5 runs (-130) / Over 8.5 runs (-110) Shane Bieber (2-1, 3.16 ERA) (CLE) -190 / -1.5 runs (+110) / Under 8.5 runs (-110)
The Indians will be prohibitive favorites when they take the field against the division rival White Sox on Wednesday night, and deservedly so.
Reynaldo Lopez has struggled mightily in his last three starts against Cleveland, going 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA. The Indians' bats, particularly second baseman Jose Ramirez, got off to a slow start but are showing signs of life. Ramirez has posted a .360 OBP in the first week of May, while shortstop Francisco Lindor has played unevenly since rejoining the lineup April 20, but it's far too soon to write 2019 off as a lost season for him, as he just tallied a three-hit game on Tuesday night.
Shane Bieber has avoided a sophomore slump, producing quality starts in five of his first six outings this season. He was highly effective against the South Siders last year, holding them to a .116 batting average in 12 2/3 innings of work. He's backed by the second-best bullpen in the majors by ERA (3.25).
MLB Free Play: Indians runline
Seattle Mariners (19-19) at New York Yankees (21-14), 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPNYusei Kikuchi (1-1, 3.98 ERA) (SEA) +125 / +1.5 runs (-150) / Over 9 runs (-120) Jonathan Loaisiga (1-0, 2.70 ERA) (NYY) -135 / -1.5 runs (+125) / Under 9 runs (EVEN)
Wednesday night's matchup between the Mariners and Yankees could be a high-scoring affair, with the bullpens involved early.
Nippon league import Yusei Kikuchi is on a tight leash in his first year in the majors for Seattle, as he's yet to exceed 100 pitches in eight starts. His one-inning outing against the Rangers on April 26 was by design, and there will be several more of those down the road, assuming he stays healthy.
Kikuchi's most recent outing was arguably his best yet, as he held the Indians to one run on three hits while striking out 10 in seven innings of work May 3. However, the Mariners' relief corps has a 4.92 ERA and climbing. The Seattle bullpen blew a 4-1 lead in the ninth to New York on Tuesday night. If they have to work overtime in this one, it could be disastrous.
Jonathan Loaisiga is on an even more strict pitch count, throwing just 186 total pitches in his first three outings of 2019. The Bombers' bullpen, 10th in the majors with a 4.01 ERA, is nothing to write home about.
MLB Free Play: Over