MLB Picks: Bet The Chalky Favorite On The Tigers vs. White Sox

Jason Lake

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

The baseball odds say the Chicago White Sox are heavy favorites Wednesday night versus the Detroit Tigers, but the Sox have dropped three of four behind Chris Sale.

Of course the Chicago White Sox should beat the Detroit Tigers Wednesday night (8:10 p.m. ET). The White Sox are sending Chris Sale to the mound; he's been an All-Star ever since joining Chicago's starting rotation in 2012. The Tigers are going with Mike Pelfrey, a former fan-favorite who has seen much better days. The Sox are –170 home faves on the MLB Odds board for this mismatch.

It's too chalky. FiveThirtyEight has Chicago winning 61 percent of the time, which converts to –156 betting odds using our aptly-named SBR Betting Odds Converter. We might have been more willing to eat that chalk earlier in the season, but Sale (3.38 FIP) hasn't been himself lately, dropping three straight games before getting bailed out in a 7-5 win over the Kansas City Royals. Maybe these Tigers are the underdogs we are looking for.


Victor, Nettoyeur
Maybe. They've been a profitable team this year at 33-31 and 4.41 betting units in the black. They definitely hit better than the White Sox (32-33, –2.52 units); Fangraphs has Detroit ranked No. 15 overall in hitting value at 7.7 WAR, and Chicago ranked No. 24 at 3.4 WAR. But Pelfrey (5.40 FIP) is down 3.53 units this year on a team record of 4-8. He just hasn't been the same since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012 – and moving to the American League.

Not consistently, at least. Pelfrey has made back-to-back quality starts, including a 7-4 victory over Sale and the White Sox (+112 at home) on June 4. Pelfrey allowed just two earned runs over six innings. Sale gave up four runs in 6.1 innings of work. It only seems prudent to put the Tigers in our MLB Picks for Wednesday's rematch.

Well, there might be one problem. Detroit DH Victor Martinez (.902 OPS) tweaked his left knee on Sunday and has been used sparingly since. Martinez was 2-for-3 with a walk against Sale last time out. He's also 18-for-36 lifetime versus Sale with four homers and a 1.453 OPS. Sweet baby corn. That means utility guy Mike Aviles (.461 OPS) might be starting his third straight game Wednesday. Curses~!

Fantasy Corner
Meanwhile, the White Sox have themselves some pretty good relief pitchers. Consider putting holdmeister Nate Jones (3.33 FIP) in your fantasy lineup for Wednesday. Jones has 14 holds, a save and a couple of wins in 28 appearances, and he's only owned in 6.3 percent of ESPN leagues. I bet a lot of those leagues don't count holds, though. Nobody cares about middle relievers.

They should, of course. And with Martinez far less likely to eat Sale's lunch this time around, we're willing to recommend a small wager on the White Sox this Wednesday, at the best price on the board.

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Free MLB Pick: White Sox -168
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Record: 11-13 ML, 3-0 Totals (+0.99 units)

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