MLB Tuesday best bets: Cease, Gallen headline juicy day for under bettors
We're back to our winning ways after cashing both of our MLB picks on Monday, and we love the pitching matchups for Tuesday. Here are our best bets.
If you've been reading our articles daily, you know how much we love Lopez, who leads the NL with a 1.57 ERA and 6.1 H/9 alongside a stellar 0.91 WHIP. Aside from a short stint against the Nationals when he simply couldn't keep the ball on the ground, the Marlins ace allowed a combined five runs in seven starts and walked no more than two batters in any of them.
On the other side, McClanahan (2.33 ERA, 2.70 FIP) has some of the best stuff in the bigs, as evidenced by owning MLB's second-best strikeout rate (36.7%) and a paltry 35.6% hard-hit rate. The Rays youngster is also coming off arguably his two best starts of the season: He went seven innings in each with a combined one run, one walk, and 18 punchouts.
If that's not enough to make you consider the under, both teams' best hitters - Jazz Chisholm Jr. (hamstring) and Wander Franco (quadriceps) - are banged-up entering Tuesday, assuming they play at all.
Another pitcher's duel is in store in Chicago between two traditional AL powers whose bats haven't been up to the task early on.
White Sox starter Dylan Cease has been as advertised through his first eight starts, especially as a strikeout artist. The flamethrowing righty leads all qualified starters in strikeout rate (36.8%) and ranks fourth in FIP (2.17), and he's lasted at least five frames in seven of eight starts with a 2.04 ERA in those appearances. The lone outlier came against the mighty Yankees, who still racked up 20 swinging strikes against Cease in four innings.
Nick Pivetta hasn't been quite as prolific with the Red Sox, especially early on, but he's been sharp over his last three starts - allowing a combined two runs on 10 hits in 22 innings. He pitched a two-hitter through nine innings against the Astros and recorded a six-inning shutout against these very White Sox on May 7.
Both of these lineups rank in the top four in chase rate, and the Red Sox are especially vulnerable to whiffing, which is a bad sign against Cease. Although both batting orders boast star power, expect pitching to reign supreme on Tuesday.
Despite a 14-27 record on the year, the Royals' bats have picked up the pace in recent weeks, plating at least four runs in five of their last six games. That run ends Tuesday against Diamondbacks stud Zac Gallen.
It feels like we write about Gallen every time he's on the mound, but why wouldn't we if he keeps cashing at this rate? The 26-year-old righty has been virtually unhittable this year, pacing MLB in ERA (1.14) and WHIP (0.71) among starters with at least 30 innings pitched.
He's also been remarkably consistent, especially early in games. Through seven appearances, he's allowed zero or one run in six of them, with the lone outlier a two-run outing against the Marlins. Even then, he blanked Miami for the first six frames before surrendering a couple of runs in the seventh.
Entering Tuesday, the Royals rank in the bottom three in baseball in average runs scored through the first five innings (1.78), while Gallen has allowed just three such runs the entire season in 34 innings. I don't expect this game to substantially change either mark.