Baseball Predictions: Tigers at White Sox Odds and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/9/2013
One year ago today, the Chicago White Sox had a two-game lead in the American League Central, a division they led most of the season, but would soon start a late-season collapse that saw the Tigers pass them, and the Pale Hose miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year. Alas, because that team came so close to winning the division, it was brought back pretty much intact. That was a big mistake, and the White Sox now are in full rebuild mode and seem a lock to finish with the second-worst record in the American League behind Houston. At least the White Sox will get a Top-5 draft pick for the first time since taking Alex Fernandez with the fourth pick in 1990. Since then, the Sox have only had one Top-10 pick in the draft, when they selected Gordon Beckham with the eighth pick in 2008.
The Tigers, meanwhile, can't seem to put together a long enough run of success to put away the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central, but it would be a huge upset for Detroit not to win it. Of course the Tigers have the White Sox partly to thank for their current starting shortstop, Jose Iglesias. He was acquired in the three-team deal -- including the White Sox and Red Sox -- that saw Chicago get Detroit's No. 2 overall prospect, outfielder Avisail Garcia, while shedding Jake Peavy's salary. The Sox are thrilled with the deal as Garcia is hitting .320 for them since arriving. He hasn't really found his power stroke yet, but that should come. Garcia, often called “Mini-Miggy” for his resemblance to Miguel Cabrera, is only 22. He's a huge piece of the Sox's future. It's possible he could sit Monday, however. He missed Sunday with a tooth problem and will have some dental work on Monday.
The Tigers and Sox begin a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday night, Detroit's final visit of the season.
Tigers at White Sox Betting Story Lines
There is no doubt that Detroit's Max Scherzer (19-2) will win the Cy Young as he leads the AL in wins and WHIP and is second in strikeouts and ERA. He does come off a rare loss as Scherzer was attempting to become the second pitcher ever to start a season 20-1. He pitched pretty well, allowing two runs and striking out eight in seven innings at Boston. A lot has been made of Scherzer's run support numbers. And he's second in the majors behind the Red Sox's Ryan Dempster in getting an average of 5.79 runs of support per game. By comparison, another Cy Young candidate, Seattle's Felix Hernandez, gets only 3.93. Clayton Kershaw, the expected NL Cy Young winner, receives just 3.66.
The Tigers lost last time Scherzer faced the White Sox as he allowed three runs and four hits in six innings. He is 2-0 with a 1.66 ERA in three starts against Chicago in 2013. Adam Dunn has had some success off Scherzer in his career with a .267 homers in 30 at-bats, but he's also fanned 14 times. Paul Konerko has struck out 16 times in 37 at-bats. Garcia is 1-for-3 with two RBI off his former teammate. Dayan Viciedo has two homers in 17 at-bats against Scherzer.
Meanwhile, if Chris Sale got Scherzer's run support, he'd probably have another 6-7 wins. Sale (10-12, 2.97) gets just 3.19 runs per game behind him, among the lowest in the majors. The lanky lefty needs just one strikeout to join Wilbur Wood and Gary Peters as the only lefties in White Sox history to record at least 200 strikeouts in a season. Sale allowed two earned runs in 7.1 innings last time out against the Yankees, but, predictably, the Sox lost. He threw a complete game last time he saw the Tigers, allowing two runs and striking out six. Sale is 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA in three starts against Detroit this year. Cabrera is hitting .429 with two homers off Sale in 2013. Torii Hunter is hitting .333 with a homer.
Tigers at White Sox MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Tigers are -140 and the White Sox +130 with a total of seven. Detroit is 74-63-5 “over/under” (35-35-1 on the road) and 71-71 on the runline. Chicago is 57-75-9 O/U (24-35-7 at home) and 67-74 on the runline.
The Tigers are 1-5 in their past six road games against a lefty starter. Detroit is 4-0 in Scherzer's past four Monday starts. It is 13-3 in his past 16 road starts against teams with a losing record. The Sox are 4-0 in their past four home games against a righty starter. They are 8-2 in their past 10 at home against teams with a winning record. Chicago is 7-1 in Sale's past eight Monday starts. It is 3-8 in Sale's past 11 against teams with a winning record. The under is 9-3-1 in Detroit's past 13 series openers. The under is 8-2 in Scherzer's past 10 road games against teams with a losing record. The over is 4-0 in Sale's past four series openers. It is 6-1 in his past seven starts against teams with a winning record. The over is 6-2-2 in the past 10 meetings in Chicago.
Baseball Predictions: Tigers at White Sox Betting Picks
Detroit leads the season series 8-5 but did lose two of three in its last visit to the South Side. Chicago is in a tailspin, entering Sunday's finale in Baltimore on a nine-game skid. That has to end at some point, but probably not Monday. I would take the Sox on the runline at -135 but Detroit to win and the under.
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