SBR is trailing the Baltimore Orioles all week with previews
and MLB picks, starting with their 3-game series on the
There appears to be no stopping Chris Davis. The Baltimore Orioles slugger continued his onslaught Wednesday night in Chicago where White Sox pitchers became his latest victims, setting up a rubber match in this afternoon's series finale.
Jose Quintana will deliver the game's first pitch about 10 minutes past one local time in the City of Broad Shoulders (2:10 PM ET), and Baltimore's Zach Britton makes it an all-lefty matchup. Early MLB odds for the clash had the game a pick, and it remains that way at many offshore betting outlets following overnight wagering.
Nine is the magic number for scoreboard bettors, with level pricing high and low.
Davis homered and settled a 2-2 score in the eighth with a 2-run double in the eighth to help the O's to the dubya in Game 2. The first baseman leads the majors in homers (32) and slugging (.731), and trails only Miguel Cabrera in the AL batting and RBI races. Considering how the Texas Rangers are looking for offense right now, you can't help but think they'd love to have the 2011 deal that sent Davis to Baltimore back.
Britton has won two of three starts since being called up for a second time this year from the minors, but there is trouble hiding behind the impressive 2.81 ERA in those outings. Yes, he has beaten the Tigers and Yankees, but he'll never survive if he can't cut down on the free passes, nine of them compared to just seven K's in the last 16 innings of work.
The pride of Panorama, CA has seen the ChiSox twice before and beaten them both times, including a 6-IP, 1-run performance in Chicago back in 2011.
Quintana went through June with six no-decisions, the White Sox 2-4 in the assignments. The Colombian has struggled on the mound in Chicago where his ERA is more than three-quarters of a run higher than on the road. The Sox have lost his last four starts at The Cell and sit just 2-6 behind him for the season.
His only experience vs. the O's was last August in Baltimore, and it wasn't pretty (3.2 IP, 5 ER, 2 HR).
Andy Fletcher will grade the pitches Wednesday at US Cellular Field, an 8-7-1 O/U/P mark the results from his previous plate assignments this year. All signs point to an enjoyable Fourth in Chicago, afternoon highs only climbing into the low-80s, a gentle breeze from the south (in from left), a few clouds and not much chance of rain.
Playing the UNDER has been the way to go in the first two matches of this series, and that is probably the smart way to play almost any game involving the White Sox. I'm going against that advice, however, with a free pick on the OVER today in Chicago.
Wednesday's Game Two
By: Willie Bee
The Chicago White Sox didn't waste time picking up their 1,000th victory vs. the Baltimore Orioles with a 5-2 decision in Tuesday's series opener. Now they'll shoot for only their second series win since sweeping the Marlins in late-May.
MLB odds for Wednesday's middle game of the set were sent out expecting Miguel Gonzalez to be on the bump for Baltimore opposite Hector Santiago of the Pale Hose. But the Orioles upset that idea after acquiring Scott Feldman from the Cubs, and Buck Showalter isn't going to waste anytime getting his new hurler into his rotation.
Theo Epstein and the Cubs officially opened the MLB trade market with three separate swaps on Tuesday, and the North Side bunch figures to remain active up to the July 31 deadline. Accompanying Feldman to the O's was catcher Steve Clevenger, while pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop hopped a plane out of O'Hare to Oakland where they'll join the Cubs.
The Cubs also unloaded Carlos Marmol on the Dodgers and made a minor trade with the Astros.
Feldman will become the 13th starting pitcher used by Showalter and the Orioles this season. The big righty has had six days of rest since he last pitched, earning the dubya at Milwaukee on June 26, and his brief Cubs career comes to a close with fairly impressive numbers (7-6, 3.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP in 15 starts). One of his seven wins came against the White Sox at Wrigley Field on May 29, but Feldman had some mixed results against them on this field during his tenure with the Texas Rangers.
Santiago's only experience vs. Baltimore is a couple of relief appearances last year. The lefty allowed of 9th-inning solo shots to Nolan Reimold and Adam Jones in his outing at The Cell, blasts that forced extra innings in a contest the Orioles went on to win in 10. Baltimore is 13-10 vs. southpaws this year after dropping Tuesday's matchup against John Danks.
The Newark native has bounced between the rotation and bullpen this season with Wednesday his fifth consecutive start, and ninth overall for '13. The White Sox gave him a 5-run 1st-inning lead last Friday at home against the Tribe, but Santiago couldn't make that stand up and he never made it out of the third in a wild 19-10 win for Cleveland.
A 30% chance of thunderstorms make up the evening forecast for Chicago. At the very least, muggy conditions and a game-time temp of 70º are expected for the fans with only a slight SSW breeze (in from right-center). Sam Holbrook is in line for plate duty in the middle game of the series. A veteran of 12 full campaigns, Holbrook is 6-8-1 (O/U/P) this season and the White Sox are unbeaten in his last four games behind the dish at US Cellular Field.
Updated lines were still unavailable as we went to press, so MLB bettors will need to keep an eye on SBR's live MLB odds for their release. I'm leaning towards the Pale Hose in the meantime.
My MLB Pick: Lean White Sox
By: Willie Bee
Assuming they don't get swept, the Chicago White Sox will record their 1,000th win against the Baltimore Orioles this week when the clubs meet for the first time this season. Then again, the way both teams are playing entering the series, an Orioles sweep is entirely possible.
Baltimore hits the road for the next six days, and SBR is going along for the ride as Buck Showalter's troops take on the White Sox and New York Yankees. The set in Chicago gets underway Tuesday evening when Jason Hammel climbs the South Side hill against John Danks.
The Orioles are tagged as road chalk for the opener with MLB odds around -120. Monday's total is 9 runs, the UNDER costing a little extra.
Chicago does indeed enter this set with 999 wins and 875 losses over the Orioles franchise, which also called both Milwaukee and St. Louis home at various times. The White Sox even have a 53-45 advantage in the games played at US Cellular Field since it opened in 1991.
But the Windy City bunch hasn't won a season series vs. the O's since 2008, and Robin Ventura's squad has lost five straight while beginning to look very comfortable in the American League Central basement. An offense which ranks near the bottom of the American League in several crucial statistical categories, including scoring (3.77) and OPS (.677), is primarily to blame.
Baltimore Lineup Supplying Plenty Of Offense in 2013
The Orioles, meanwhile, are near the top of most offensive columns, including an MLB-best 115 homers in their first 83 games. Baltimore ranks fourth in the majors averaging nearly five runs per contest, and thanks to Manny Machado and Chris Davis, tops the majors in slugging (.455).
It's on the mound where the O's have struggled, their 4.43 ERA saved from being the worst in baseball by the hapless Houston Astros. Getting Hammel turned around would go a long way to Baltimore reaching the postseason for a second consecutive year.
Hammel is showing signs of doing just that with four quality starts among his last seven assignments. He worked seven against the Indians last Wednesday, allowing just two runs and four hits for his third straight no-decision. But the end result was the same for Baltimore as his previous four starts, a notch in the loss column.
Danks is also finding it tough to get into the win column since coming off the DL in late-May. The lefty lost his third straight last Wednesday when defense and offense let him down vs. the Mets. He is sporting a strong 2.11 ERA at home in three starts.
Over Trends In Recent Clashes At The Cell
Backing the OVER with your sports picks is a tough thing to do when the White Sox are involved, even against a potent lineup like the Birds have. But that was the way to go the last two seasons when the clubs met in Chicago. Two of the four last year jumped the scoreboard hurdle, along with a push, and the OVER has cashed five of the last eight on this diamond.
The high side of the total has also been the way to go when Hammel pitches on the road where six of his last seven assignments away from Baltimore sailed past the number. All three of Danks' home starts, however, failed to reach the total.
Cool and damp is the forecast for the 60616. There's a 40% shot at showers all day in Chicago where the thermometer is expected to be in the low-60s for the first pitch with a 10-15 mph NNE wind (3B out to RF corner).
Road favorites have been a source of red ink the first three months, but I'm going to still get behind the Orioles with a play in Game 1.
My Free MLB Pick: Orioles -119 at Bet365