MLB Pick: White Sox To Run Up Score On Angels In Matinee

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 12:08 PM GMT

The Angels and White Sox four-game series continues in Chicago Wedneday afternoon, and our expert capper has some insight on what your MLB pick should be for this affair.

Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago White Sox

Los Angeles Angels (6-8) - Garrett Richards (0-2, 3.57 ERA)
The Angels have dropped four of their last five games after veteran right-hander Mat Latos and the White Sox staff baffled them for three hits in a 5-0 shutout last night. They will likely find it difficult to turn their fortunes around this afternoon versus Chicago's ace, Chris Sale.

Garrett Richards gets the nod for manager Mike Scioscia. The hard-throwing, fastball-slider-sinker pitcher is 2-0 in two career starts against the Sox. In eight appearances overall, Richards has allowed 10 earned runs on 16 hits in 21 frames.

The current Chicago roster is batting .265 against the right-hander Big-hitting Jose Abreu is four for six with two extra-base hits: a double and homer. While new middle infielder Brett Lawrie is batting .357 in 17 plate appearances.

The Angels have not played spoiler too much away from Anaheim recently. In the last calendar year, it is just 20-34 as a road underdog. When spotted a line greater than +115, Mike Scioscia's men are just 7-19, outscored by 2.0 runs per game.

When Richards takes the pill as a road dog, the Angels are 7-14, returning nearly 18 percent profit to bettors backing the opposing team. He and the pen allow 4.6 runs per game in this situation.

The MLB odds boards have shifted since both teams rank near the bottom of MLB in key offensive categories to start the year. The Angels, batting just .225 as a team, knock in just 3.07 per game. Their 5.64 strikeouts per game tops the league. This is not too encouraging for Angels backers with K-artist Sale dealing.

Chicago White Sox (9-5) – Chris Sale (3-0, 2.35 ERA)
The White Sox are off to their best start since the 2008 season, when they also went 9-5 to begin the year. Not to put a hex or jinx on things, but this was also the last time the South Siders visited the postseason, losing 3-1 to the Rays in the Division Series.

This will be Sale's sixth career start against the Angels. The southpaw is 4-0 with a 1.73 ERA overall. Sale has owned L.A.'s current roster in the past, allowing a .208 batting average overall. Veteran slugger Albert Pujols has suffered the most, collecting just two hits in 15 at-bats—though one was a dinger.

The White Sox struggled a bit last season at U.S. Cellular Field in day-game starts under Sale, failing to produce much with the bats. Crossing the plate 2.5 times per game, they went 2-4 with the UNDER hitting in all but one.

The Sox's 7.4 hits and 3.1 runs per game rank 25th in MLB. The lineup is free swinging, accruing the lowest walk percentage (5.5) in the bigs. What's dooming Robin Ventura's squad the most is ill-timed hitting. Their 2.7 runners left in scoring position rate per game ranks highest in all of baseball.

Final Analysis
Since the start of last season, the Angels yield 5.3 runs on 9.6 hits per game in away starts under Richards. The right-hander has great stuff, can rack up some strikeouts, and keep the ball in the park with many ground balls. When Richards gets hit, though, he gets hit hard, especially his flat four-seamer. If he is on his game, the less-than-reliable bullpen is prone to ruining a good outing. It will take Richards “A” game to top Sale, and he'll have to work deep into the contest. We like Chicago to find a few runs this afternoon, and will make the White Sox team total OVER 3.5 (-115) as our MLB pick. Overall YTD 55-40-1 (-107) MLB YTD 4-2 (-110)

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Free MLB Pick: Over 3.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker