Free MLB Picks: Trust Rodon To Rally White Sox In ChiTown

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 2:53 PM GMT

Wednesday, May. 4, 2016 2:53 PM GMT

Carlos Rodon squares off against the struggling Clay Buchholz tonight as the AL-leading White Sox host the Red Sox in Chicago. Check out our free MLB pick and betting analysis here.

Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox

Boston Red Sox (15-11) – Clay Buchholz (0-3, 6.51 ERA)
Boston won seven of eight games before falling in the opener of a three-game series against the AL-leading White Sox 4-1 last night. Dating back to last season, the Red Sox are 3-5 in their last eight versus Chicago.

Manager John Farrell’s men are 0-5 in Clay Buchholz’s outings this year, he and the bullpen yielding 6.6 runs on a whopping 10.4 hits. Something is obviously amiss with the two-time All Star since returning from an elbow injury that sidelined him for the second half of last season. Let’s not mince words here, he’s getting smashed. Buchholz has worked just one quality start, and yielded five earned runs in all but one of his starts. Something needs to change, and quickly.

In eight career starts against the White Sox, the right-hander is 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA. Boston is 3-1 when he pilots the hill at U.S. Cellular Field though, slugging in 5.8 runs per game.

The Red Sox are 24-7 SU in Buchholz’s last 31 starts as away chalk, scoring 5.8 runs per game.

Buchholz pitches well against most of Chicago’s current lineup, but many have yet to face the right-hander. Big-hitting Jose Abreu, who slugged in three of the White Sox’s four runs in last night’s victory, is hitless in six at-bats. Veteran Melky Cabrera is batting a less-than-stellar .226 in 34 plate appearances, while Brett Lawrie is hitting a lowly .107 in 28 at-bats.

Offensively, the Beantown club owns the second best batting average (.280) in MLB and cross the plate 5.19 times per contest (fourth-best). The lineup has a potentially nice matchup against White Sox starter Carlos Rodon. Rodon and the bullpen yield 5.0 runs per game against teams scoring more than the league average (4.25 runs per game) in his career.

 

Chicago White Sox (19-8) – Carlos Rodon (1-3, 4.33 ERA)
The South Siders’ staff is dominating. It’s held foes to two runs or less in 14 out of 27 games. Only the club’s Windy City neighbors have yielded fewer in more games (16). Not surprisingly, both teams are tied with 19 wins apiece, most in baseball.

Can Rodon carry the torch tonight? The young southpaw is just 1-3 on the year with a 4.33 ERA. He’s put in three quality efforts, but has received little run support with the lineup crossing the plate just 2.2 times per start. Rodon has never faced the Red Sox.

If there is a chink in Chicago’s armor, it is hitting. Scoring just 3.93 runs per game, the team shows their weakness in game situations like today when the betting market projects a good number of runs (total of 8.5). The White Sox are just 4-4 in games with an over-under north of 8 runs, accounting for half of their defeats. They score 3.4 runs per game to their opponent’s 4.1.

 

Final Analysis
Not only has Buchholz been hit hard this season, but also the walks are out of control, gifting 4.2 per nine innings pitched. He is generating few swings and misses, too. His 1.46 walk-to-strikeout ratio is the sixth worst of all starting pitchers in MLB. Rodon, though shelled a few times this year as well, can still manage the big strike out to get him out of jams. One, if not both, may get chased early, leaving it to the bullpens. Nevertheless, we expect Rodon to be the better of the two early on, and will jump on the White Sox as my MLB picks to take the first five innings (-115) after studying the MLB odds.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2992457, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,169,999996,180,139], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free MLB Pick: White Sox
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

comment here