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The Smart Money Line: The Field of Betting Dreams

With heavy play on the White Sox tonight, take a hard look at the underdog

MLB: New York Yankees at Chicago White Sox Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight brings us one of the most heavily-promoted games on this season’s Major League Baseball calendar: the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees at the famous Field of Dreams. A game between two of the biggest American League ball clubs, with beautiful retro-style uniforms, at a stadium from a beloved piece of baseball movie history? Sign me up.

This game is already bringing in a ton of additional attention from more casual fans, and as such there is a lot more betting action on this game than usual. While this contest should be a wonderful spectacle no matter who you cheer for, there is one betting side that sharp bettors have been jumping all over.

The Listed Pitchers

Lance Lynn (10-3, 2.04 ERA) is getting the start for the Chicago White Sox in the Field of Dreams game. This spot was originally supposed to go to Carlos Rodón, who has been dynamite for the South Siders this season. Most teams would panic when such a talent goes on the IL, but Chicago arguably has two aces this year. Lynn is the current favorite to win the AL Cy Young award and has three gorgeous fastball pitches: a 92 mph cutter, 95 mph 4-seamer, and 93 mph sinker. He throws hard and suppresses hard contact very well, which has translated to quite a bit of success.

The opposition will start trade deadline acquisition Andrew Heaney (7-8, 5.45 ERA). Heaney has been solid for most of his career but has a major issue with giving up home runs, as can be attested by his career mark of 1.57 HR/9. This year, he has shifted his pitching arsenal to focus more on his 4-seamer and curve, to mixed results. Opposing teams have absolutely teed off on his 4-seamer, which he throws 60% of the time. For his sake, he needs to start to fall back on his changeup and slider more.

The Hitters

The New York Yankees have infamously had a lot of trouble with COVID-19 protocols, and they are currently without Anthony Rizzo, Gary Sánchez, and others for that reason. While they have some misleading metrics in their favor such as xwOBA (.326) the Yankees are pretty dreadful in two very important departments: They have hit into 109 double plays (most in the majors) and have a collective OPS of .650 with RISP (second worst in the majors).

The Chicago White Sox on paper should be in a much better spot to generate some runs. They rank fifth in the league for in OPS with RISP (.808) and are a top-three offense when hitting Heaney’s favorite pitches (second against changeups, fourth against curveballs, and seventh against fastballs). They also have a returning Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert to add to the regular lineup.

The Pick

Chicago is a very heavy favorite in this marquee matchup, and their moneyline has attracted 71% of all bets — but only a little more than half of the money wagered have been on them.

As for New York, their moneyline has attracted the other half, but with just 29% of the tickets. What does this tell me? Sharp bettors are pounding on an underdog club in a neutral ballpark with a lot of eyes on them, and who am I to disagree? The White Sox look very good, but have also faltered a lot against bad teams after the All-Star break. Casual bettors have driven Chicago’s moneyline pricing up to an incredible degree and I see little value on playing it. Therefore, I’m going to go with the wiseguy action tonight.

Sharp Money: Yankees +140