MLB Odds: Shield's Strong Arm Will Make The Difference Against Twins

Willie Bee

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 12:37 PM GMT

The dregs of the AL Central battle it out in Chicago on Tuesday when the White Sox and Minnesota Twins continue their series with a pick 'em on the MLB odds.

Minnesota Twins vs. CH White Sox
Only two players really had an impact on Tuesday's series opener between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox, and both were wearing Twin Cities caps. Brian Dozier homered twice for Minnesota, his third consecutive game to go deep, and Kyle Gibson tossed seven shutout innings in his best start of the season to help the Twins to a 4-0 victory.

Paul Molitor's men will go after another dubya this evening (8:10 PM ET), and just their second 3-game win streak of the month with Ricky Nolasco on the mound. James Shields gets the ball for Robin Ventura's side, and the contest is a virtual pick 'em on the baseball betting board. A few shops such as BetOnline are slightly favoring Minnesota while others like Pinnacle and Bookmaker have Chicago ever so slightly chalked. Nobody has much faith in the pitchers with an opening 9½ run total creeping up to 10 at many sports books. 

After losing their first six games to the White Sox this year, the Twins pulled off Tuesday's triumph as +170 underdogs on the MLB odds. The 'under' winner left totals split in four games on this diamond in 2016.

 

Shields Having A Nightmarish Season
The Twins have dropped nine of Nolasco's 15 starts this year, leaving baseball bettors down three units. Coincidentally, nine of his assignments have failed to make it into the quality start column, the latest last Thursday among them as he worked into the seventh against the Phils having allowed four runs on 10 hits and four free passes.

The 10-year veteran got knocked around on this mound back in May, though his defense also let him down immediately with two unearned runs in the first inning. This stadium has been something of a little shop of horrors for the righthander, Nolasco 0-3 in four starts while pitching to a bloated 7.13 ERA (24 IP). Jose Abreu (.364, 2 HR), Melky Cabrera (.440, HR) and Dioner Navarro (.389, HR) should all be licking their chops waiting to take their swings.

If US Cellular Field has been scary for Nolasco, 2016 in general and his short stint so far with the Pale Hose has been an absolute nightmare for Shields. He checks in Wednesday with a 6.22 ERA in 15 starts, the first 11 with the Padres, and that stat is more than doubled in four outings for Chicago. Shields has issued 13 walks in less than 14 innings wearing a White Sox jersey, and allowed 13 earned runs over his first seven innings in front of the home fans. He actually pitched pretty well here while he was with the Royals in 2013-14 (6 starts, 3-1, 2.08 ERA), but struggled a bit against the Twins in that span with a 3-4 record in seven assignments and 4.04 ERA.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Batters and pitchers on both sides get to test Ron Kulpa's strike zone for the first time this season tonight. The St. Louis native has been void of any real trends on the year, home teams running 7-7 in his plate assignments and totals at 7-6-1 O/U/P, though only one of those has been above 8½ runs. He has been something of a good luck charm for the home side when working games on the South Side, the White Sox winning five of his last six appearances here (2-3-1 O/U/P).

It should be a gorgeous night in the Windy City, just a few clouds passing overhead during the game which will with a light SE breeze (in from center). The pitching matchup seems to scream slugfest; however, my free MLB pick will be on Big Game James and Chicago evening the series.

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Free MLB Pick: White Sox +102 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Season: 34-28 (+7.35)