Tuesday's Game Two
By: Ron Patrick
Chicago took the fog-delayed opener of this series Monday night 10-6, jumping on Toronto starter RA Dickey for seven runs in the first five innings, then icing the victory with three runs in the bottom of the eighth, with help from a couple Jays errors.
Apparently, fog is not good for knuckleballs; Dickey gave up 10 hits, including a pair of homers to Adam Dunn.
The scoring outburst came as a bit of a surprise, considering Chicago had been held to 37 runs total over its previous 13 games.
Toronto's bullpen threw three more innings Monday night, and has thrown 23 innings over its last four games.
The Sox won Monday as +115 home dogs on the MLB odds boards, and the game played OVER its total of 8.5.
The teams meet for Game 2 of this series Tuesday night (8:10 pm ET).
Tuesday's Betting Odds
Most books we consulted Tuesday morning opened Chicago and Jose Quintana at around -115 over Toronto and newcomer Chien-Ming Wang, with a total of nine. Most baseball betting shops then also bumped the Sox to -120, and the total to nine.
Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up
Lefty Quintana (3-2, 3.95), by our tough standards, is only 4/12 on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last three. Last time out he gave up four runs in 7 2/3 innings vs. Oakland, and over his last three starts he's allowed 11 runs through 19 innings.
On the season Quintana's numbers aren't too bad; he's given up fewer hits, 67, than innings pitched, 70 2/3, and his K/BB ratio stands at 50/21. But Chicago has won just four of his 12 starts.
One of those wins, though, came against Toronto back on April 17, when Quintana held the Jays scoreless on five hits through 6 2/3 innings of a 7-0 Sox victory.
Last year Quintana started twice against Toronto, allowing four ER and 17 hits in 12 2/3 innings; Chicago split those two games.
Wang belonged to the Yankees up until last Friday, then signed with Toronto. Last year he posted a 6.68 ERA in 32 innings for Washington. So far this Spring he's been doing time in the Minors, and doing fairly well, going 4-4 with a 2.33 ERA for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, allowing 15 ER and 57 hits in 58 innings.
This will be Wang's first start against the White Sox in five years.
Our Take on Tuesday's Game
Quintana hasn't fared too well as of late, but he's had recent success against Toronto. Wang, meanwhile, while his numbers were good at Triple-A this Spring, also only recorded 25 strikeouts in his 58 innings down there; that's some serious soft-tossing. So in hoping maybe Chicago's bats are waking up we'll go with the White Sox for our free MLB picks for Tuesday.Pick: Take the Sox at the -117 offered at Pinbet
Monday's Game One
By: Ron Patrick
They head into a three-game series against another team in need of some good vibes, the Chicago White Sox, at the Cell, starting Monday night (8:10 pm ET).
As bettors, do we jump on the Jays, hoping they'll get their act together? Or do we fade 'em, which has been the more profitable option on Toronto so far this year?
Jays-Sox Monday's MLB Betting Odds
Most baseball betting outlets we surfed Monday morning opened Toronto with RA Dickey at around -125 over Chicago with Dylan Axelrod, the total proffered at eight. Most books then also dropped the Blue Jays about a dime, to around -115, and bumped the total to 8.5.
But while Toronto is favored to win Monday's series opener, The Greek was listing Chicago at -140 to win this series, with the Jays getting +120 on the MLB odds board.
Jay-Sox Series Set-Up
Toronto just took two of three games at home from Texas, winning 4-3 in 18 innings Saturday, then falling 6-4 Sunday, missing out on the sweep.
So the 27-35 Jays, pre-season favorites to win the AL East, are instead in last place, 11 games behind first-place Boston.
Chicago just split four games at home with Oakland over the weekend, losing the first two games but winning Saturday 4-1 and Sunday 4-2.
But the Sox have been having some serious problems scoring runs lately; in losing 10 of their last 13 games they've scored a total of 37 runs.
At 27-34 Chicago sits in last place in the AL Central, eight games back of first-place Detroit.
This is the second meeting this season between these two teams; back in mid-April they split four games at Rogers Centre. Interestingly, all four of those games played UNDER on the totals, as the teams combined to score 25 runs in the series.
Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Dickey (5-7, 4.66) is 7/13 on quality starts this year, but only one for his last three. Most recently, Dickey threw 8 1/3 innings of two-hit, shutout ball against the Giants last Wednesday; but in his two starts previous to that he had been bombed for 12 runs and 20 hits in 12 2/3 innings against the Orioles and Braves.
For the season the first knuckle-baller ever to win a Cy Young Award has allowed 75 hits, including 12 homers, in 83 innings, walked 34 and struck out 64. Toronto is only 5-8 in Dickey's starts
This will be Dickey's second start this year against Chicago; back in April he held the Sox scoreless on two hits through six innings of a 3-1 Jays victory.
Axelrod (3-4, 3.73), by our tough standards, is 5/12 on quality starts this season, although he's also held opponents to three runs or fewer 10 times. Last time out Axelrod threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings vs. Seattle, although he also walked five guys in that crazy game the White Sox eventually won 7-5 in 16 innings; and over his last four starts he's allowed seven ER through 23 2/3 innings.
On the season Axelrod has given up 68 hits through 70 innings, walked 21 and struck out 40; Chicago is 6-6 in his starts.
This will be Axelrod's second start this season vs. Toronto; back in April he held the Jays to two runs through six innings of a 4-3 Sox win.
As far as the bullpens go for this series Toronto relievers rank 10th in the Majors with a 3.21 ERA but have blown seven of 21 save opportunities; meanwhile, Chicago's pen ranks 18th with a 3.92 ERA but has converted 19 of 23 save opps.
Toronto's pen threw a total of 20 innings over the weekend against the Rangers, and could be a little thin for the next day to two.
Jays-Sox Betting Trends
Chicago, seven games under .500 overall, is 15-13 at home this season.
Toronto is 11-18 on the road.
The Sox are 21-34 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, and 7-16 (with five pushes) on the totals at home.
The Jays are 15-13 on the totals on the road.
Our Take on Monday's Game
Neither of these teams has done much to inspire confidence this season. As for Monday's game, we give Dickey a slight edge in the pitching match-up, and the Jays get the check-mark with the bats. So, we'll go with Toronto for our free MLB pick for Monday.
Pick: Take the Jays at the -115
Bettors should check back at this page for revised pitching match-ups and more free picks as this series plays out.