The Guardians are back in action on Friday looking to extend their 3-game win streak and continue closing the gap on the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central lead.
We're only 1.5 games back, but the Twins have the benefit of a series against the Royals this weekend, so the Guardians can't afford any slip-ups right now.
Naturally with so much drama, we're focused on this AL Central action to find our best bets for Friday.
Best Cleveland Bets: July 28, 2023
Tyler Maher: Guardians Moneyline vs. White Sox
After beating the White Sox 6-3 in yesterday’s series opener, the Guardians will try to keep rolling on Friday. They’ve now won three in a row to pull above .500 and are only 1.5 games back of the Twins in the AL Central, putting themselves in a good spot with the trade deadline coming up next week.
The White Sox, on the other hand, have already given up. They’re 22 games below .500 and traded away Lucas Giolito earlier this week, so they’re essentially playing out the string from this point forward.
Tonight’s game features an intriguing pitching matchup between Xzavion Curry and Touki Toussaint – two incredible names. Curry is one of many young Cleveland pitchers who’s stepped up this year, going 3-0 with a 2.98 ERA in his first full season. He’s pitched primarily out of the bullpen, however, going three innings in both of his previous starts this year.
Toussaint is more well-traveled, as he’s already on his sixth season and fourth team. He actually opened the year with the Guardians, but made only one start before being claimed off waivers by the White Sox. He’s been decent for Chicago but nothing special, going 0-2 with a 3.95 ERA and a 4.75 FIP in seven outings (three starts).
With both starters unlikely to last more than a few innings, this game will feature plenty of relievers from both sides. That bodes well for the Guardians, who have the second-best bullpen ERA (3.52) in the majors. The White Sox, on the other hand, have the sixth-worst (4.68).
All signs point to another Cleveland victory here, so take the Guardians on the moneyline.
Jason Schandl: Twins Runline vs. Royals
Looking elsewhere in the AL Central, let’s stick with one of the most consistent bets you’ve been able to make all season — fading the Royals on the runline.
No team has failed to cover the runline as often as KC in 2023, and it’s not even remotely close. The Royals have covered an absurdly low 35.6% of the time, while the next worst mark is 39.2%. That says they’ve not only been bad, but also that they’ve been bad relative to the (already low) projections, which is where you really find the betting value.
You probably don’t need me to rattle off the long list of stats that highlight just how terrible the Royals are, but suffice to say having Brady Singer on the mound (5.55 ERA) isn’t going to be enough to carry an offense that ranks dead last in on-base percentage and 28th in slugging.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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