MLB Picks: White Sox at Angels Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 8/23/2011
An interesting series opens tonight in Anaheim as the White Sox visit the Angels in a matchup of big-market, high-salary teams trying to stay in their division races with about 35 games or so to go in the regular season for each. The Halos enter on a four-game winning streak but are still 4.5 games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
The White Sox have been peculiar all season at 63-63. They have won 11 of their last 16 games but can never seem to get over that .500 mark (the White Sox have spent exactly one day over .500 since the start of May). And the Pale Hose have won only eight of their last 26 home games and are 29-32 against sub-.500 opponents. So maybe it’s a good thing they are on the road vs. a winning team. Chicago is tied with the Indians at 5.5 games behind Detroit in the AL Central.
White Sox at Angels Betting Story Lines
A big reason for Chicago’s struggles has been how lousy Adam Dunn has been. But perhaps this trip to the West Coast is just what he needs. The last time the Sox traveled to Seattle and Anaheim (May 6-11), Dunn had his best streak of the season. His six-game stats: 10-for-23 (.435) with five doubles, a homer and four RBI. Dunn is also 5-for-15 in his last four games before the trip.
One guy who has been hitting is Tyler Flowers. A former top Braves catching prospect, Flowers has been the main guy behind the plate for Chicago with A.J. Pierzynski out the past few weeks with a broken wrist (and not back until Sept. 2). Flowers had two hits and scored three runs in Chicago’s 10-0 win over Texas on Sunday and his hitting .316.
Chicago will be without Carlos Quentin for the Angels series. He had an MRI on his ailing left shoulder Sunday morning, and results showed he has a sprain of the AC joint. Quentin was hurt while making a spectacular diving catch of Craig Gentry's first-inning blooper to right-center on Saturday. Quentin threw the ball back in, but then immediately signaled for medical help in clear pain. He is tied for the American League lead with 23 hit-by-pitches, while also setting a career high with 30 doubles and hitting at least 20 homers for the fourth consecutive season.
The Angels, who just swept Baltimore, have been getting amazing production from young center fielder Peter Bourjos. He's hitting .391 (27-for-75), with 16 runs, five homers and 10 RBI in the past 19 games. In the past eight games, he’s hitting .500 and has homered in each of the past three. This guy was supposed to be a spot player after finishing the 2010 season with a .204 batting average and a .237 on-base percentage in 181 at-bats.
White Sox at Angels Probable Pitchers
Chicago goes with lefty Mark Buehrle (10-6, 3.14) against the Angels’ Ervin Santana (9-9, 3.12), he of the no-hitter a few weeks ago. Buehrle is 2-7 against the Angels and hasn't won in Anaheim since 2001. He allowed four runs and 10 hits in seven innings of a 4-2 loss at home April 17 against L.A. Santana's five-start winning streak ended after he allowed four runs -- three earned -- and a season-high 10 hits in 7 2/3 innings of a 4-3 loss to Texas on Wednesday. It was Santana's first loss since June 21. He allowed five runs and yielded two homers in six innings of an 8-0 defeat to the White Sox on May 9.
White Sox at Angels Odds, Trends and Prediction
Chicago is +140 on Bodog for this game, with live betting available. The total is 7. The White Sox are 8-1 in their past nine road games. They are 13-3 in their past 16 on the road vs. a right-handed starter. The Angels are 10-2 in their past 12 at home vs. a lefty starter. The ‘under’ is 7-0-2 in Santana’s past nine home starts. The Halos are 1-5 in Santana’s past six home starts vs. Chicago.
The White Sox have won 19 of their last 28 games at Angel Stadium, and have won 17 of their last 23 road games anywhere. The White Sox are the only AL team with a losing home record and a winning mark on the road. Los Angeles hasn't won five in a row since April 12-17, which included a three-game sweep of the White Sox in Chicago. The Angels lost two of three at home against the White Sox in May. I like Buehrle to outduel Santana here in a 3-2 game, so also take the ‘under’.
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