This article is part of our WynnBet Sportsbook series.
Previous article (7/2): 2-2, -0.76 RW Bucks
Season: 30-35-3, -6.92 RW Bucks
MLB jumps right back into the swing of things Friday with a full day's worth of action. I'll pick up my second half wagering suggestions with a pair of intriguing AL matchups in which I think the favorites can enjoy some success.
Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox, 8:10 pm Eastern
The Pick: Astros moneyline (-130) for 1 RWBuck
McCullers is in the midst of another highly effective season and already owns one quality start against the White Sox, having tamed Chicago for two earned runs on two hits over six innings back on June 20. The right-hander has had poorer control on the road (5.3 BB/9), but he's largely made up for it by posting a 12.3 K/9 when traveling that dwarfs his 8.4 home figure. Chicago is a formidable opponent for right-handed pitchers in its home park, yet McCullers has been excellent at limiting damage by giving up three earned runs or less in all but one start and generating a minuscule 0.7 HR/9.
Cease is undeniably a talented young arm, and he's been excellent at home with a 1.81 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 11.5 K/9 in 44.2 innings. The 25-year-old took his lumps against the Astros on the road in his one encounter with them, however, with Houston tagging him for seven runs (six earned) over 3.1 innings. Dusty Baker's squad isn't any less intimidating on the road against righties, either, as they posted a .282 average, .847 OPS, 19.3 wRAA and .363 wOBA in that split over the last month of the first half while striking out at just an 18.7 percent clip.
The Astros bullpen was also appreciably more effective than the White Sox's over the last month of the first half, with Houston relievers pitching to a .219 BAA and .296 wOBA in that span. As such, I'm in the camp of the visitors.
Cleveland Indians at Oakland Athletics, 9:40 pm Eastern
The Pick: First 5 innings run line: Athletics -1.5 (+120) for 1 RWBuck
Secondary Pick: Chris Bassitt Over 18.5 outs (+115) for 1 RWBuck
Morgan has experienced a rough landing at the big-league level to say the least, pitching to a 1-3 record, 8.44 ERA and 1.50 WHIP across his first five starts. The right-hander was bounced around by the Cubs in his one road start as well, and the Athletics check in with a .345 wOBA and .210 ISO against righties at home in the last month. Morgan has gone at least five innings in each of his last three starts, but he's allowed between three and six earned runs in each turn thus far.
Bassitt's first half was so strong it earned him his first All-Star honors. The veteran right-hander owns a 2.55 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 0.7 HR/9 across 53 home frames, and he's gone at least seven innings in eight starts overall, including three of his last four. He has the luxury of facing a Cleveland squad that's been MLB's worst against righties on the road in the last month, posting a 25.3 percent strikeout rate, .204 average, -11.6 wRAA and .262 wOBA in that split (273 plate appearances).
I'm putting some stock in the A's coming out of the gates hot against Morgan, and in Bassitt pitching at least 6.1 innings for the ninth time this season.