Washington @ CHICAGO
CHICAGO -1 +134 over Washington

Pinnacle -1½ +134 BET365 -1½ +130 SportsInteraction -1½ +130 BetOnlin-1½ +131 Bookmaker -1½ +130

Posted at 5:15 PM EST

CHICAGO -1½ +134 over Washington

7:40 PM EST. Adbert Alzolay (RHP - CHC) has posted a 4.00 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and 26% K-BB over five games started (40/0% dominant start/disaster start split) since tallying a disaster against Milwaukee in his first turn on April 6. He's changed his pitch mix significantly; sporting a 46% usage rate on his slider (22% swing & miss, .139 oBA) and 27% sinker usage (59% grounders, .214 oBA). The adjustment has led to highly improved skills, as he owns a 3.38 xERA, and a Top 20 K-BB% among starters. The Washingron offense is below-average against RHP and their 7% BB% is the second-worst in the league. Alzolay has improved his Ball% from 38% in '20 to 35% in '21, and he's seen an even bigger boost in first-pitch strikes (52% in '20, 63% in '21). A career .808 oOPS versus LHB is helped by Wrigley Field's -12% HR suppression to LHB, but one has to be encouraged by the changes he's made and the consistent skills he's exhibited over the last five games started. That makes him playable here.

We can’t stop attacking Jon Lester (LHP - WAS). Lester’s overall picture—fading velocity and strikeouts, batters hitting the ball harder, a rising xERA—is one of concern for how much longer he'll remain a viable major league starter. His xHR/F has been steadily creeping up suggesting that he's getting hit harder. That notion is backed up by his Exit Velocity allowed, which has risen from 85.8 mph in 2015 to 87.8 mph in 2019, to 89.4 this year. His Barrel% has risen from 4.4% in 2015 to 7.4% in 2019 to 16% (!) in 2021. Jon Lester has an unsustainable and extremely lucky 89% strand rate. His swing & miss rate is 8%. Dude somehow has amassed a 2.25 ERA but his xERA is 5.42, thus revealing that his charmed life is about to blow up.

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Our Pick

CHICAGO -1 +134 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.68)