Chris Sale isn't lined as an underdog very often, but he is for the opener of a four-game series between his White Sox and the Yankees in the Bronx Thursday night.
White Sox-Yankees Thursday Odds
As of early Thursday morning the best MLB odds we could find on New York with Michael Pineda was the -120 at BetOnline, while GT Bets was giving Chicago and lefty Chris Sale +112.
New York just dropped two of three games up in Toronto this week, losing Wednesday 4-0. So the Yankees are 2-1 in their last three series, 6-4 over their last 10 games.
At 83-68 New York trails division-leading Toronto by 3.5 games in the AL East, but still leads the AL wild-card race by four games over second-place Houston and five games over third-place Minnesota.
Chicago, meanwhile, just split four games in Detroit, losing Wednesday 7-4. So the Sox are 0-3-2 over their last five series, 7-10 over their last 17 games.
At 72-80 Chicago is down to trying to play spoiler from here on out.
This is only the second meeting between these teams this season; back in early August the Yanks took two of three games in Chicago, with all three of those games playing OVER, as the teams combined to score 44 runs.
Thursday's Mound Match-Up
Pineda (11-8, 4.10) is only 11-for-24 on quality starts this year. Last Saturday he held the Mets scoreless through 5 1/3 innings of work, but in his two starts previous to that Baltimore and Toronto got him for eight runs through 10 2/3 innings. On the season Pineda has allowed 155 hits through 145 innings, walked just 21 and struck out 141, for a strikeouts-to-walks ratio of 7/1.
New York is 14-10 in Pineda's starts, with the OVERS going 13-9.
This will be Pineda's first start against the White Sox since 2011, when he was with Seattle.
Sale (12-10, 3.47) is 20-for-29 on quality starts, but only one for his last four. Last Friday he gave up seven runs on eight hits, including a pair of homers, and three walks, through seven innings against Cleveland, although only one of those runs was earned. Still, over his last four starts he's allowed 14 ER through 23 1/3 innings. On the season Sale has allowed 173 hits through 195 innings, walked 40 and struck out 259, for a K/BB ratio of better than 10/1, which is crazy.
The Sox are 15-14 in Sale's starts, with the UNDERS going 15-12.
In five career starts against New York, the most recent coming in August of last season, Sale has given up nine runs, just three earned, through 34 1/3 innings; Chicago won three of those games, and three of those games played UNDER.
Thursday's Batting Splits
Chicago ranks 23rd in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .310 team on-base percentage, and 26th with a .394 team slugging percentage.
New York, on the other hand, ranks third against left-handed pitching with a .334 team OBP and fifth with a .424 team slugging percentage.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Yankee Stadium this season are 36-33 on the OVERS, averaging 9.3 runs per.
Sox-Yanks Free MLB Pick
New York has all the motivation, trying to catch Toronto in the divisional race, and an advantage with the sticks, but Sale might be ripe for a bounce-back effort, and he's getting an underdog price. So we'll add Chicago to the list of free MLB picks for tonight.
Free MLB Pick: White Sox +112 at 5Dimes