MLB Picks: Yankees at White Sox Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 8/2/2011
Every time the Chicago White Sox seem to look like a challenger in the American League Central, the team goes on a losing streak to fall back in the division. That’s the case right now as after reaching the .500 mark for the first time in weeks, the Pale Hose have lost three straight to fall to 52-55 and 4.5 games back of the first-place Detroit Tigers. The New York Yankees, meanwhile, are going the other direction, having won four in a row to get within a game of Boston in the AL East. The Yanks have by far the best run differential in Major League Baseball at +151.
Yankees at White Sox Betting Story Lines
The last thing the offensively-mediocre Sox need is an injury to Paul Konerko, but it appears the AL MVP candidate will sit out again tonight. Konerko, who was hit in the left calf near his knee Sunday by a pitch from Boston Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller, received treatment and didn’t play Monday as the Sox lost the opener of this four-game series with the Yankees, 3-2. Konerko missed five games with a sprained right knee in 2008. He doesn’t expect to be out that long. On the other hand, he said he ‘‘can’t imagine taking a swing now.’’ Konerko leads Chicago regulars with a .305 batting average, 25 homers and 76 RBI.
On Monday, Adam Dunn played first base in manager Ozzie Guillen’s lineup against CC Sabathia. Carlos Quentin moved into Dunn’s customary designated-hitter spot, and Brent Lillibridge played right field in place of Quentin. Dunn continued to show he might be the worst player in MLB this season on Monday. He struck out three times – now 3-for-77 this season vs. lefties and batting just .162 overall this season with a whopping 137 strikeouts – and he had problems with a pair of hard-hit balls at first base from the Yankees in the first inning that went for hits as New York took a 2-0 lead.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter sat out Monday’s win with a bruised right middle finger but is expected to return to the lineup tonight. During Sunday's 4-2 win over the Orioles, Jeter took a Jake Arrieta fastball to the knuckle of his right middle finger in the bottom of the third, then was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fourth.
Yankees at White Sox Probable Pitchers
Tonight could be the final start for the Yankees’ Phil Hughes (1-3, 8.24). He has struggled since coming off the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. New York recently moved to a six-man rotation, but manager Joe Girardi has said he would like to limit his number of starters to five. Hughes needs a good start to hold off Ivan Nova for the fifth spot – Nova will start on Thursday. It’s likely that Girardi will at least stick with the six-man group through this week, but not any longer. Apparently the Yanks are comfortable with that group as they surprisingly didn’t add a pitcher before Sunday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
The White Sox go with lefty John Danks (4-8, 3.79). He has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last five starts, not including an injury-shortened 1 2/3-innings outing. He's 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA since June 6.
Yankees at White Sox Odds, Trends and Prediction
New York is at -107 with the White Sox at -113 on WagerWeb. The ‘over/under’ is 9. At Bodog it’s New York -102, Chicago at -108. The Yanks are 1-6 in Hughes’ past seven road starts. White Sox are 5-1 in past six vs. a righty starter. They are 6-1 in Danks’ past seven as a favorite. The ‘under’ is 6-1 in NY’s past seven on road vs. a lefty. The ‘under’ is 6-0 in Danks’ past six overall. The ‘under’ is 5-1 in past six meetings.
In my opinion, it’s always a good thing to take the Yankees when they are an underdog because it just doesn’t happen that often. You should definitely shop around here because I saw NY at +101 on a few sites as well. I don’t really trust Hughes, but think the White Sox will struggle again without Konerko. Plus, Hughes will be highly motivated as he doesn’t want to go to the bullpen. So for sure take the ‘under’. And the Yankees.
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