MLB Picks: Rays vs. White Sox

Jeff Grant

Monday, April 28, 2014 1:46 PM GMT

The Tampa Bay Rays have been known to close out a four-game series in the win column, making them an attractive road favorite against the Chicago White Sox Monday night. Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting lines for this American League matchup at U.S. Cellular Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:10 pm ET.

A first time for everything
The Tampa Bay Rays are in the midst of its first-ever road trip to Chicago, Boston and New York, as it attempts to gain a split of this series after dropping two of the first three games, including a 9-2 defeat Sunday.

Entering their last affair, the Rays had scored only 24 runs in their first 10 games away from Tropicana Field—their fewest ever in that situation.

MLB handicappers will find that the club is 4-3 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125, with the 'under' going 5-1-1 in that situation.

 

Falling into a pattern
Chicago has alternated wins and losses over its last seven games, which is a bit surprising after its bullpen has settled down after a rough start to the season—compiling a 1-0 record and 2.53 ERA over the last 10 days.

The White Sox are being led offensively by rookie first baseman Jose Abreu, who has 10 home runs and 31 RBIs. He’s a big reason why the club has scored 143 runs this season after totaling just 598 a year ago.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 22-25 as home underdogs of +100 to +125.

  

Odorizzi
Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (1-2, 6.52 ERA) has watched the team drop his last three efforts, but he didn’t factor into the decision of a 6-4 home loss to the Minnesota Twins last time out, as he allowed four runs and five hits over 3.1 innings of work.

The right-hander is still seeking his first career road win—owning a 5.26 ERA in six appearances (five starts) away from home.

Odorizzi will be making his first professional appearance against the White Sox, while opponents are hitting .121 against him the first time through the lineup.

Rienzo
White Sox starting pitcher Andre Rienzo (1-0, 4.91 ERA) is coming off a 6-4 road win over the Detroit Tigers—surrendering four runs and five hits over 6.1 frames, while issuing two walks and striking out three batters.

The right-hander went 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA over 10 starts with the franchise in 2013, with opponents hitting .253 against him.

Rienzo will be making his first career appearance versus the Rays.

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Rays as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve gone 26-9 in their last 35 during the fourth game of a series.

Free MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -120

[gameodds]3/262940/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]