MLB PICKS RECORD LAST WEEK: 3-0 — PREVIOUS WEEK: 4-1 — SEASON: 9-5
Chicago White Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays [Tuesday 00:07] (CSN-Chicago, MLB Network, MLB Extra Innings, Directv 665 (US), SNET-1 (CAN) 7:07 p.m. EDT/4:07 p.m. PDT): The Chicago White Sox (13-6, 7-3 Road) will send AAA Charlotte call-up and RHP Miguel González (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the pitcher’s mound against Blue Jays (10-10, 5-4 Home) and RHP Marcus Stroman (3-0, 4.13 ERA) in Game 1 of this three-game AL series from the Rogers Centre on Monday evening.
Offshore MLB odds makers have the Blue Jays priced as -180 Home favorites with the visiting White Sox lined at +155 Road Underdogs (Bookmaker) with the Total (Runs) opening at 8½ Under -115 (Bookmaker). The Run Line odds see Toronto -1½ priced at +117 with the White Sox +1½ lined at -133 (Heritage). The Blue Jays are -180 favorites also in the First Five Innings market (BetHorizon) with Chicago at +160. The game begins a 7-game Road swing for Chicago which by when it finally ends, will have played 19 consecutive days.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox (33/1 to win World Series, Coral) are maybe the most surprising team Record-wise in MLB so far this season, with the best overall mark in the American League (13-6) with a nice Away (7-3) mark as well as at Home at US Cellular Field (6-3) for Manager (and former team player) Robin Ventura. On Sunday, the White Sox improved their Win Streak to 3 games with a 4-1 Win over the Texas Rangers at US Cellular on Chicago’s South Side as starter Mat Latos (6.0 IP, 7 H 1 R, 1 ER) had another brilliant outing and the White Sox Bullpen allowed just 1 Run and 1 Walk in 3 Innings of scoreless work. Latos (4-0, 0.74) threw 15 First-Pitch strikes to the 26 Batters the faced, getting ahead in the count as the South Siders continued to impress, possibly not wanting the North Siders (Chicago Cubs) to steal all the spotlight in the Windy City this year.
Don’t think for a second that the Cubs aren't part of the White Sox psyche and probably a good part of the reason—besides great Starting Pitching and playing good Defense—and Chicago has already had 5-, 4- and now a 3-game (and counting) Win Streak(s), so any perceived AL Central race between the Detroit Tigers (8-9) and the the defending division and MLB champion Kansas City Royals 912-6) will have to be put on hold. On Sunday, Ventura had a Starting Lineup of RF Adam Eaton, SS Tyler Saladino, 1B Jose Abreu, 3B Todd Frazier, LF Melky Cabrera (.333—only starter on Sunday hitting over .300), 2B Brett Lawrie, DH Jerry Sands, C Dioner Navarro, CF Austin Jackson with Latos getting the pill for the hosts. Navarro’s 2-run HR in the Bottom of the 5th broke a 1-1 tie and helped the White Sox sweep the three-game series against the Rangers (5-0, 4-3, 4-1). The White sox (61 RF-47 RA) have now played an amazing 8 straight Unders.
Toronto Blue Jays
On Sunday, the Toronto Blue Jays (14/1 to win World Series, Bwin) and Manager John Gibbons defeated the visiting and formerly red-hot Oakland A’s, 6-3 for their 2nd straight Win and a victory that won them the series (Game 1: OAK 8-5, Game 2: TOR 9-3, Game 3: TOR 6-3) on Sunday as the hosts jumped out to a 6-1 lead with 4 Runs in the Bottom of the 3rd and another 2 Runs in the Bottom of the 4th to give the Bluebirds a healthy cushion with which to work. In the Win, Gibbons had a Starting Lineup of: SS Ezequiel Carrera, 3B Josh Donaldson, RF José Bautista, DH Edwin Encarnacion, SS Troy Tulowitzki, 1B Justin Smoak, CF Kevin Pillar, 2B Darwin Barney, C Josh Thole with Drew Hutchison getting the start for Toronto (85 RF-76 RA) in Game 3 in which Bautista and Carrera blasted Home Runs to help both win the series against the hot Athletics and get back to the .500 mark (10-10) on the early season.
Monday’s starter Stroman is 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA against the White Sox but has only faced (potential) Chicago hitters a statistically insignificant of number of times (8 ABs) to pass any judgement with Abreu 2-for-4 (with a HR) having success against the Blue Jays righty in the past and having half of those AB’s, so expect him in, but we would anyway here, right? With this incredibly awesome lineup and a solid-hitting bench, the Blue Jays are the highest-scoring team in MLB and have scored at least 5 runs in their L3 games.
Blue Jays-White Sox Series Trends, Pitchers Report Card, Thoughts, Game Picks
Both of these teams have played an awful lot of Unders—a combined 16 Unders in their L20 games with 3 Overs and a Push (80%)—of late with (barely) AL Central leaders Chicago 1-9 O/U in its L10 and Toronto 2-7-1 O/U in its L10. But with a 31-year-old guy called up from AAA Charlotte (RHP Miguel González) making his first start for his new team—he was signed to a Minor League contract the day before Opening Day—on the Road in Game 1 of a series against the defending AL East champions is quite simply a tough spot for González (3-2, 2.82 Lifetime at Rogers Centre) and the White Sox and oddsmakers have been extremely slow (Sunday night) to post an Opening number (and Total) on this one.
Chicago is 6-4 in the L10 meetings in this AL series and has W4 of the L5 but 7 of the L10 games have been played in Chicago (Toronto was 2-1 in the the 3 meetings in Toronto last year). Against projected White Sox Starter González, Encarnacion has 3 HRs and 7 RBI although he is hitting just .120 against him.
Because these two are running at that aforementioned 80% Under clip over their combined L20 games, because these two teams have played 4 Unders in the L5 and because González has done well enough in a small sample size at this venue (and because Stroman in Stroman), siding with the Under is the lean despite Toronto being the MLB’s top scoring team and three games against Oakland with 13, 12 and 9 Runs in them as the only way light-hitting Chicago can hang with opponents is to try to out-Pitch and out-Defense them.
With recent success against the Jays, their own 3-game Win Streak and the best overall Record in the AL, the White Sox will go in with some pride to protect, although winning here when comparing potential Starting Lineups seems difficult unless the gracious hosts decide to lend Chicago Bautista, Encarnacion and maybe a coat of Pink Cashmere. MLB doesn’t release Umpire and Umpire Rotation information for Game 1 of MLB series up until around 30 minutes before the first pitch, and, on Sunday, the Rogers Centre had the Dome closed, a decision made by the club. The predicted final score for this MLB pick is: Blue Jays 4 White Sox 2.
Free MLB Pick: Under 8½
Best Line Offered: at Heritage