For now, the 2020 Major League Baseball season is moving forward. Commissioner Rob Manfred said over the weekend that he currently has no plans to pull the plug, so we still have baseball for the time being. That can certainly change any day at this point, but it’s safe to assume Monday’s slate of games will proceed as scheduled.
We have a few interleague games on the schedule, including an intriguing matchup between the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox. The Brewers haven’t played since last week after their weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals was postponed, while the White Sox are fresh off a 3-game sweep over the Kansas City Royals on the road.
We’ll have a couple of southpaws on the mound for this game. Veteran left-hander Brett Anderson will toe the rubber for the Brewers, while Carlos Rodon will make his second start of the year for the visiting White Sox. This game is essentially a toss-up, with both teams listed at -105 on the moneyline. We also have an over/under of 9.5 runs.
Anderson’s Journeyman Career Continues
Brett Anderson was once a promising prospect for the Oakland A’s, but his career has taken a number of twists and turns in recent years. The 32-year-old is at his seventh different stop since 2013 after signing a deal with the Brewers over the offseason. He has spent the past two years in Oakland after stops in Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Colorado after beginning his career with the Athletics.
In 31 starts for the A’s last year, Anderson went 13-9 with a 3.89 ERA. Unlike most pitchers these days, though, Anderson doesn’t rely at all on high velocity and big strikeout numbers. In fact, Anderson’s 12.1 percent strikeout rate last season was one of the lowest marks in all of baseball among starting pitchers.
His control was reasonable (6.6 percent walk rate), and he instead relies on generating soft-hit ground balls. Anderson’s 54.5 percent ground ball rate was among the highest marks in the majors, and he allowed more than three earned runs in just one start from last August until the end of last season.
Anderson’s matchup tonight is a difficult one, however. The White Sox may have one of the most improved lineups in the league after adding Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnacion, Luis Robert, and Nick Madrigal for 2020. The Brewers do boast an excellent bullpen behind Anderson, though, so if he can keep those opposing bats in check for 4-5 innings, Milwaukee is in a decent spot.
Rodon Looking To Bounce Back
Rodon was another highly-rated prospect when he broke into the majors, but he’s another guy that has been beset by injury woes. He was able to make just seven starts last season, and his first start this year didn’t go too smoothly. The Miami native allowed five runs on four hits in 3.2 innings of work while taking the loss last week against Cleveland.
Rodon is still just 27, though, and he has shown enough flashes in the past for the White Sox to believe he can still live up to his potential.
Rodon struck out more than 29 percent of hitters he faced last season with a respectable 4.19 SIERA. His career walk rate of 10 percent is cause for concern, but control tends to improve with age.
Rodon will also be facing a Brewers lineup that looks a lot less imposing than it did in 2019. Milwaukee lost Grandal and Mike Moustakas from the heart of the lineup, and their replacements aren’t too impressive. Other than Keston Hiura and Avisail Garcia, there is almost no right-handed power of which to speak among Milwaukee’s bats.
Rodon will also have the platoon advantage against Christian Yelich, who has been struggling mightily early in the season. Yelich has just one hit through his first 27 at-bats of the season, which comes out to a slash line of .037/.071/.148. The former National League MVP will find his footing at some point, but a matchup with a tough lefty in Rodon is far from ideal.
Brewers vs White Sox Pick
The Brewers’ offense is likely overrated, while the White Sox’ collection of young bats isn’t the most disciplined group in the world. This game has all sorts if potential to be high-scoring, but Vegas is probably a bit too optimistic. Anderson’s numbers hardly jump off the page, but he’s also a veteran lefty that rarely gets blown up. His numbers from last season bear that out.
Rodon is more of a wild card, but I’m confident that he’s good enough to fare well against Milwaukee. The 9.5 total for this game looks aggressive. The Brewers’ home park tends to be favorable for home runs, but I think the under on 9.5 looks pretty safe tonight. I don’t expect this to be the run-scoring bonanza that many may expect at first glance.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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