MLB Picks: Take The 'Under' As White Sox Try To Sweep Jays In Winning Finale

Jay Pryce

Thursday, April 28, 2016 2:06 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016 2:06 PM UTC

The AL-leading White Sox look for their first series sweep in Toronto in over a decade tonight. Get your MLB pick and betting analysis for this game here.

Chicago White Sox (15-6) – Jose Quintana (2-1, 1.82 ERA)
Chicagoans are sure liking their baseball right now. The White Sox (15-6) are tied with cross-town rivals the Cubs for the most wins in MLB. This, despite a tumultuous spring in which players and the front office clashed over Adam LaRoche walking away from the team because of a rift between management and his son’s ballpark visitations. Manager Robin Ventura’s men are nine games over .500 for the first time since September 2012, and with a win today, the South Siders would earn their first series sweep in Toronto since May 2005.

The ever-consistent Jose Quintana gets the nod for Ventura. Armed with a nasty curveball, the Colombian-born southpaw has performed well against the Blue Jays in his career. He has pieced together a quality start in each of his seven career outings, going 4-2 with 1.88 ERA. At Rogers Centre, Quintana is 3-0 with a 0.89 ERA in three starts.

All but two of Quintana’s starts occurred prior to 2014, The current Jays roster has hit him well, owning a combined .290 batting average. Edwin Encarnacion, Matt Dominguez, Josh Donaldson, and Michael Saunders are all hitting above .300 in at least seven plate appearances or more. Jose Bautista owns just one hit in 10 at-bats, a two-run homer.

Expect Toronto to make plenty of contact. Quintana has tossed only 10 strikeouts in 74 plate appearances against the roster. His curve is a ground-ball inducer, and will need to be spinning at its finest against the fence-seeking Jays lineup.

The entire staff, which rank in the top five of most key pitching metrics, are tops in fewest runs allowed (2.52 per game). 'The Under' is 14-5-2 in White Sox games this season.

Offensively, the White Sox are scoring just 3.71 runs per game (22nd in MLB) on 7.9 hits (22nd). They put the ball in play though, whiffing the sixth fewest time in the bigs with a strikeout rate of 19.3 percent.


Toronto Blue Jays (10-12) – Marco Estrada (1-1, 2.50 ERA)
This is not the start last year’s AL East winners expected. Mired in fourth place in the division with just 10 wins, the Blue Jays have dropped five of their last seven, limping to a season-low one run on four hits in a 10-1 beatdown by the White Sox last night.

Betting against the Jays in every game this season nets a 15 percent ROI. They take care of business as high-priced favorites, going 6-2 at odds of -135 or more. Shorter than this price, though, and their record is a dismal 4-10; four defeats lost by the bullpen in late innings. Oddsmakers opened tonight’s contest -130 in favor of Toronto.

The vaunted Toronto bats have yet to find any consistency this year. Leading the majors last year with a whopping 5.45 runs per game, the Jays are crossing the plate for just 4.1 runs per contest this season. They have hit into a lot of double plays (.86 per game) and strikeout the third most out of any team in the bigs (24.9 percent). Most glaring, however, is the lack of power. Toronto's league-leading .453 slugging percentage from 2015 is down to .399 (14th). Betting the 'Under' in every Blue Jays contest has resulted in a 20 percent profit.

Marco Estrada will square off against Quintana. The right-hander has one career start against Chicago, a no-decision in which he yielded three earned runs on eight hits in 7.0 frames. The Blue Jays are 8-4 as home chalk behind Estrada lifetime, he and the pen allowing just 3.1 runs per game.


Final Thoughts
In the last calendar year, the White Sox yield 2.4 runs per game when Quintana takes to the hill in road games, holding opponents to three runs or less in 13 of 16 contests. The Jays are not your average hitting team, but until the lineup shows some life, fading their past run-producing ways should not be an issue. Estrada and Quintana are likely to work deep into the game, leaving a pen explosion limited. 'Under' 8 is the free MLB pick

YTD (61-42-1, -107)
MLB YTD (6-3, -109)
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Free MLB Pick: 'Under' 8 (-110)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


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