After splitting a doubleheader on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox will both be gunning for a series win in the finale on Wednesday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field on the South Side. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET. Taijuan Walker (1-1, 4.20 ERA) will take the mound for the Phils, while Chicago counters with Mike Clevinger (2-0, 2.22).
The Phillies check in as -125 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the White Sox are slight +105 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.5.
Phillies-White Sox picks: Wednesday, April 19th
Out: SP Ranger Suarez (forearm), RP Cristopher Sanchez (triceps), 1B Darick Hall (UCL), DH/RF Bryce Harper (Tommy John), RP Nick Nelson (hamstring)
Out: 3B Yoan Moncada (back), RP Garrett Crochet (elbow), RP Joe Kelly (groin), RP Liam Hendriks (cancer treatment), INF Hanser Alberto (quad)
Taijuan Walker vs. Mike Clevinger
Walker’s Phillies tenure got off to a bumpy start, failing to get out of the fifth inning against the New York Yankees or Cincinnati Reds in his first two outings. He rebounded last week in a return engagement in Cincy, though, twirling six innings of one-run ball on four hits and two walks. He’s never going to rack up the strikeouts, but when he has the feel for his splitter he’s more than capable of producing weak contact and getting through a lineup two or three times.
Clevinger is coming off of six one-hit innings against the Baltimore Orioles last time out, but don’t let the top-line numbers fool you: The righty has been among the luckiest pitchers in MLB so far this year. Per Statcast, there’s nearly a four-run gap between his actual ERA (2.20) and his expected ERA (5.91), thanks in part to one of the league’s worst walk rates and a penchant for giving up loud contact (33% line-drive rate that’s well above league average). Clevinger basically throws two pitches at this point, a four-seam fastball and a slider, and neither has been particularly effective.
In case you couldn’t tell, I think this run total is giving Clevinger a little more respect than he deserves. This is a Phillies lineup that’s currently fourth in OPS against right-handers, and I think they’ll be able to put up at least four or five runs before even getting to Chicago’s bullpen. Which brings me to another reason to back the over: After a doubleheader in which both teams used most of their high-leverage arms, we could see late-inning fireworks this afternoon.
Pick: Over 8.5
This one does feel a bit like a coin flip, as the moneyline would suggest, but Walker’s stuff has been getting steadily better as the year has progressed and I think he has a better chance of going deep into this game than Clevinger. Plus, in Jose Alvarado (18 Ks in just 7.1 innings so far), the Phillies have a late-game weapon capable of putting out any fire.