Tigers at White Sox Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 7/22/2013
I was ready to preview Monday night's Yankees-Rangers matchup. It had some potential good storylines. The return of Texas ace Yu Darvish from the disabled list is one. The Rangers' really need Darvish to stay healthy if this Matt Garza trade does indeed fall through -- as of this writing the proposed deal with the Cubs is in limbo because of some health questions, reportedly, of Texas prospect Mike Olt, the key piece that would go back to Chicago for Garza.
Also, Monday was supposed to be the Yankees season debut of Alex Rodriguez, but that could be pushed back now that A-Rod is dealing with a sore quad -- the same thing that landed Derek Jeter back on the DL after making his debut. A-Rod didn't start in Triple-A on Sunday because of it.
When I looked at Monday's pitching matchups, the decision became clear: Tigers at White Sox. Max Scherzer against Chris Sale. Both All-Stars. In fact, Scherzer started Tuesday's game for the American League and pitched a scoreless inning. Sale pitched the next two, also scoreless, and got the win. Frankly, Sale deserved the game's MVP Award because there was so little offense. He obviously did more than Mariano Rivera did, but you knew that if it was at all possible that Rivera would get the award in his final All-Star Game.
Monday's game is the start of a four-game series.
Tigers at White Sox Betting Story Lines
Sale is probably the only player on the White Sox roster that's not available for trade. Jake Peavy seems very likely to go as he returned from the disabled list on Saturday and was solid against Seattle. Texas might look to the other Chicago team for Peavy if the Garza trade doesn't go through. Alex Rios also seems likely to go. He was benched on Friday night after failing to run out a grounder on a double play but bounced back with three hits, including a grand slam, on Saturday. Rios is batting .310 in July entering Sunday. Both he and Peavy have a year left on their reasonable contracts, so that makes them more valuable. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez and reliever Jesse Crain (currently on the DL) also could be moved. The Tigers would love to get Crain, but I'm not sure the Sox would be willing to help their division rivals even though, clearly, Chicago isn't going to be a factor this year.
The lefty Sale (6-8, 2.85) hasn't gotten much run support this year as you can see by his wins total despite an ERA better than Scherzer's. Sale got his first win since May 17 last time out, allowing three runs and 10 hits in 6.2 innings in Detroit. Matt Tuiasosopo and Miguel Cabrera homered off him. Sale is 2-3 with a 4.35 ERA in his career against Detroit. Cabrera's homer was his first career off Sale, and he is hitting just .154 against him. Prince Fielder is at .167 and Sale eats up lefties -- they are batting only .133. Jhonny Peralta is a .333 in 13 career at-bats off Sale. Overall, batters are hitting only .175 this year against Sale at U.S. Cellular Field.
Detroit started the second half losing a series in Kansas City. It hasn't won back-to-back games since July 5-6 and looks very mortal -- especially with Justin Verlander struggling. How's that $180 million extension looking now Tigers fans? Scherzer (13-1, 3.19) has replaced Verlander as the team's ace and is the AL Cy Young favorite. His lone loss came in his last start, with the Rangers tagging him for four runs and eight hits in six innings. It was the first time Scherzer allowed that many runs since May 15. He hasn't faced the Sox this year but was 2-1 with a 2.90 ERA against them a year ago. Adam Dunn is hitting .286 with two homers but also 10 strikeouts in 21 at-bats against Scherzer. Dayan Viciedo is at .333 with a homer. Paul Konerko has two homers and four RBI in 29 at-bats. He will be activated from the DL and should be in the lineup Monday.
Tigers at White Sox Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Tigers opened at -116 and the White Sox +106 with a total of 7.5. All trends entering Sunday: Detroit is 52-42-2 “over/under” (24-24 on the road) and 45-51 on the runline. Chicago is 40-48-6 O/U (15-22-5 at home) and 44-50 on the runline.
Detroit is 8-2 in its past 10 Monday games. The Tigers are 8-21 in their past 29 road games against a lefty starter. Detroit is 10-1 in Scherzer's past 11 road starts against a team with a losing record. It is 6-1 in its past seven series openers. The Sox are 4-10 in their past 14 against right-handed starters. Chicago is 1-7 in its past eight home games against teams with a losing road record. The Sox are 6-0 in Sale's past six Monday starts and 5-1 in his past series openers. The under is 6-1 in Scherzer's past seven road starts against a team with a losing record. The over is 7-0 in Chicago's past seven against righty starters. The under is 6-1 in Sale's past seven against teams with a winning record. The over is 5-0-1 in the past six meetings.
Tigers at White Sox Picks and Betting Predictions
Rather shocking that these division rivals have faced off for just one series so far, with Chicago winning two of three in Detroit from July 9-11. You may remember that opener as Rios tied an AL record with six hits in a nine-inning game. He was the 32nd player in AL history to do it and first Sox player since Lance Johnson in 1995. Certainly you have to lean under here even though U.S. Cellular is a big-time hitters' park. That's why it's so puzzling that Chicago ranks No. 29 in runs scored. I like the Sox as a home dog here.
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