White Sox at Cubs Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 5/27/2013
It's an interleague schedule on this Memorial Day, and it was starting to look like a lost summer in Chicago with both the North and South Side teams struggling. However, the White Sox seem to be showing signs of being a contender again in the American League Central. Granted, a sweep of the Miami Marlins isn't much to get too worked up about, but it did get the Pale Hose to .500 for the first time since April 10 when they were 4-4. Chicago, which hasn't lost more than two straight this month, also has climbed out of the division cellar into third, just four games behind first-place Detroit. With Cleveland starting to look very mortal, it could be another Tigers-White Sox race the rest of the way as it was a year ago. Chicago faces just one team with a winning record (Oakland) over its next 32 games.
As for the Cubs? Well, it never was about this year. Or last year. It's more about 2015. They are last in the NL Central and probably the worst team in the National League other than Miami. They did end a six-game losing streak with Sunday's 5-4 10-inning win in Cincinnati. It was only Chicago's ninth win in 25 road games.
In a clever marketing ploy, the Cubs are marketing the City Series as "Ivy vs. Concrete," essentially a jab at bland U.S. Cellular Field compared to iconic Wrigley Field. Because of the new scheduling format with daily interleague games, this series has been cut from six games to four. Both two-game series are this week (ditto Yankees-Mets, etc.). The Cubs will play the same team in different ballparks (Tuesday and Wednesday) on consecutive days since April of 1990.
White Sox at Cubs Betting Story Lines
The Cubs do have a few foundation pieces like first baseman Anthony Rizzo and shortstop Starlin Castro. Both already have been locked up to long-term deals. The next in line probably is Monday's starting pitcher, Jeff Samardzija, the former Notre Dame star receiver. The big right-hander is just 2-6, but that's because of no run support as he has a good 3.25 ERA. Samardzija has allowed just three earned runs and eight hits over 15 innings in his past two starts, striking out 15. His 10.18 strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate is among the best in the league.
White Sox slugger Adam Dunn might be the streakiest player in the league. He's on a bad one right now with two hits in his past 25 at-bats with 13 strikeouts. In typical Dunn fashion, both hits are homers, but he's also struck out at least twice in five straight games. Catcher Tyler Flowers missed the Marlins series with back spasms but could play Monday.
Samardzija, who grew up in Chicago as a White Sox fan, is 0-2 with a 3.27 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox. Tensions could be high on Monday. The last time Samardzija faced the Sox, May 18 of last season, he hit Sox captain Paul Konerko in the face with a third-inning pitch. Konerko had homered in the first inning off Samardzija. Cubs fans also may remember that game as the final one of Kerry Wood's career.
The White Sox start lefty Jose Quintana (3-1, 3.48). He was brilliant last time out, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Boston. It was his third start this season without allowing any runs, but he's also been knocked around a few times. He has never faced the Cubs.
The Cubs obviously will need a designated hitter for Monday's game in the AL park, and Manager Dale Sveum will go with Scott Hairston against the lefty Quintana. The Cubs are just 4-10 against southpaws in 2013. Rizzo is in a slump as well, hitless in his past 23 at-bats.
White Sox at Cubs MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At WagerWeb, the White Sox are -120 and the Cubs at +100 with the total at 7.5 (under a -125 favorite). The Cubs are 23-26 “over/under” (9-16 on road) and 27-22 on the runline. The Sox are 17-27-4 O/U (6-13-4 at home) and 25-23 on the runline.
The Cubs are 1-6 in their past seven against lefties. They are 0-5 in Samardzija's past five road starts. The Cubbies have lost four of their past five series openers. The Sox are 5-0 in their past five as a favorite. They have won four straight against righty starters. The Pale Hose are 12-1 in Quintana's past 13 starts following a quality start in his past appearance. The Sox are just 4-11 in their past 15 series openers. The under is 10-3-2 in Samardzija's past 15 road starts. The under is 8-1 in his past nine Monday starts. The under is 5-0-1 in the White Sox's past six interleague home games against righty starters. The under is 5-2-1 in Quintana's past eight as a favorite. The under is 9-2 in the past 11 meetings.
White Sox at Cubs Picks and Betting Predictions
The White Sox have taken control of this series, winning eight of the past 11. Fifteen of the games in this series have been decided in the last at-bat. I could see that again, and the White Sox's bullpen is a strength, while the Cubs' is not. Take the Pale Hose and the under but the Cubs on runline at -210.
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