I've written before that there may be no owner more loyal than the Chicago White Sox's Jerry Reinsdorf (that also goes for his Bulls franchise). But sometimes you have to make tough decisions on people you might have an affinity for, and it's starting to look like Reinsdorf might have to pull the plug on Manager Robin Ventura. The Pale Hose are in a total free-fall, going from leading the AL Central a couple of weeks ago by six games to third place in the division. The bullpen has been terrible since early May and the offense usually struggles to score three runs. Check out Jose Abreu's numbers! That offense made struggling Mets starter Matt Harvey look like Clayton Kershaw on Monday. Ace Chris Sale felt the need to recently come out in support of Ventura. It should be noted that Ventura is in the final year of his contract, so it's not like Reinsdorf would be eating a ton of money.
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White Sox at Mets (-195, 7.5)
First pitch of the day at 1:10 p.m. ET in a getaway game. It's Pale Hose fifth starter Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 4.50) trying to stop the bleeding. The Sox have dropped his past three outings. He gave up three runs and eight hits over 6.1 innings Friday in Kansas City in a no-decision as the bullpen blew a late lead as it did all weekend. This is Gonzalez's first interleague start since last July. Yoenis Cespedes is 6-for-13 off him with two RBIs. Curtis Granderson is 1-for-14 with six strikeouts. Asdrubal Cabrera is 3-for-13 with a solo homer. New York announced Monday that third baseman David Wright, who sat out again, is dealing with a herniated disk in his neck. So I'd imagine he will be out a while. The Mets start Jacob deGrom (3-1, 2.81). He is looking for his first since April 30. He deserved one Friday against the Dodgers in allowing a run and three hits over seven innings and left with a 5-1 lead but got another no-decision. DeGrom has never faced the White Sox.
Key trends: The White Sox have dropped four straight on Wednesday. The Mets are 19-7 in deGrom's past 26 at home. The "over/under" has gone under in five of deGrom's past seven vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Mets and under.
Twins at A's (-115, 8.5)
A 3:35 p.m. ET getaway first pitch. The Twins have placed outfielder Danny Santana on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring, his second visit to the DL this season with that problem. Of bigger news is the team bringing back up top prospect Byron Buxton from Triple-A. He was completely overmatched in the majors early this season but then was tearing up the minors again once sent back down. This season already is a lost cause for the Twins, but at least they could have some optimism for 2017 if Buxton can finally start hitting in the bigs. Minnesota starts rookie left-hander Pat Dean (1-1, 3.43). He got his first win Friday in Seattle, allowing two runs over seven innings. The A's start their own rookie lefty, Sean Manaea (1-3, 7.03). He has made six starts and obviously that ERA isn't good but two of the past three were quality.
Key trends: The Twins are 1-8 in their past nine on Wednesday. The A's are 24 games under .500 in their past 47 vs. left-handers. The over is 4-0 in Oakland's past four at home vs. a lefty.
Early lean: A's and over.
Nationals at Phillies (+188, 7.5)
Kudos to the Phillies for overachieving thus far, but it appears they are starting to fade; with their run differential, they should be several games under .500. Manager Pete Mackanin has announced he's going to start sitting lefty slugger Ryan Howard even against some right-handed pitchers since Howard isn't hitting and the team wants to see what young Tommy Joseph can do at first base. They go with lefty Adam Morgan (1-3, 6.67) here. He was bombed for six runs and eight hits Friday at the Cubs. Morgan has never faced Washington. The Nats go with Max Scherzer (5-4, 4.05), who can't seem to string more than a few dominant outings together. He wasn't sharp Friday against St. Louis, allowing five runs and walking four in seven innings a loss. Scherzer allowed a grand slam for the first time since 2010 and has given up an MLB-high 15 dingers this season. He is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA this year against Philly. Monitor the status of Bryce Harper as he's day-to-day after leaving Monday with a knee contusion. He was hit there by a pitch.
Key trends: The Nationals are 7-0 in their past seven road games vs. a lefty. They are 7-3 in Scherzer's past 10 on the road. The Phillies are 1-4 in Morgan's past five vs. the NL East. The over is 3-1-2 in Scherzer's past six vs. Philly.
Early lean: Nationals and over.
Giants at Braves (TBA)
San Francisco got initial good news on third baseman Matt Duffy on Monday. He took a pitch off his left wrist in that day's game vs. Atlanta but X-rays were negative. But he might have to miss a game or two. Duffy was great last year as a rookie but hitting .242 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 2016. The Giants have a hole in their rotation in this spot after putting Matt Cain on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. It's expected to be righty Albert Suarez (1-1, 2.25) here. Cain left Friday's start in Colorado with the injury after 1.2 innings and Suarez relieved him and went five innings, allowing three runs and five hits in taking the loss. This is the 26-year-old's first season in the majors and he has pitched 12 innings in relief. The Braves will go with Williams Perez (2-1, 3.72). He allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings vs. Miami on Friday in a no-decision. Perez was 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA last year against the Giants in two starts as a rookie. Duffy, if he can play, is 1-for-7 off him with two RBIs. Buster Posey is 3-for-3.
Key trends: The Braves are 5-1 in Perez's past six at home and 6-1 in his past seven overall vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 11-5 in Perez's past 16 overall.
Early lean: This is TBA awaiting official word on Giants' starter but all signs point to Suarez. Braves will be dogs regardless and I like them for a rare home win here.
Dodgers at Cubs (-183, TBA)
ESPN game and will have live betting at sportsbooks. The Dodgers start Mike Bolsinger (1-1, 4.50), who was born in the Windy City. He made his second start of the season last Tuesday against Cincinnati, allowing two runs and three hits over 5.2 innings. He likely will stay in the rotation awhile because the rehabbing Hyun-Jin Ryu has had a bit of a setback and now may not return until July. He missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery. Bolsinger's first big-league start was April 24, 2014, at Wrigley Field while a member of the Diamondbacks and he got his first win. Jason Heyward is 2-for-4 off him with an RBI. Addison Russell is 2-for-2. The Cubbies go with lefty Jon Lester (5-3, 2.48), whom the Dodgers looked at signing two offseasons ago. Lester bounced back from his worst start of the season by allowing an earned run over 6.1 innings Friday against the Phillies. He is 1-2 with a 5.19 ERA in three career starts vs. the Dodgers.
Key trends : The Dodgers are 1-5 in Bolsinger's past six vs. teams with a winning record. The Cubs are 3-7 in Lester's past 10 vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 3-1-1 in Lester's past five at home.
Early lean: Cubs.
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