MLB Picks: White Sox vs. Athletics Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Friday, May 31, 2013 1:38 PM GMT

The Oakland A's might be the hottest team in baseball at the moment. The Chicago White Sox just got swept three games by the Cubs. 

So, it's two teams coming in from different directions when the A's and Sox get together for a three-game series at the O.co Coliseum starting Friday night (10 pm ET, WGN). 

01 June
Saturday Game 2

By: Ron Patrick

 

Oakland took the opener of this series Friday night 3-0, scoring all three runs in the bottom of the eighth, the first on a double from Josh Reddick in his first game since coming off the DL. 

Behind Bartolo Colon's complete game the A's won as -180 favorites on the MLB betting line, and to our delight covered on the run line. 

So Oakland has won 12 of its last 14 games, while Chicago has lost four in a row, heading into Game 2 of this series Saturday afternoon (4 pm ET). 

Saturday's Sox-A's Betting Lines 

As of Saturday AM most baseball books were listing Oakland with Dan Straily at around -155 over Chicago and Jose Quintana, with the OVER/UNDER lined at 7.5.

Saturday's Pitching Match-Up 

Straily (3-2, 5.08) is three-for-seven on quality starts this season, and two for his last two. Last time out he held the Giants to one run through six innings, and just before that he threw seven innings of shutout ball against the Rangers. 

For the season Straily has allowed fewer hits, 32, than innings pitched, 39, walked 13 and struck out 33. Oakland has won five of Straily's seven starts. 

This will be Straily's first-ever start against the White Sox.

Lefty Quintana (3-2, 3.75) is four-for-ten on quality starts this season, and the Sox are only 4-6 in games he's started. Last time out he gave up four runs in six innings vs. the Cubs, but just before that he threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings vs. the Red Sox.

For the season Quintana has allowed fewer hits, 50, than innings pitched, 57 2/3, walked 18 and struck out 44.

This will be Quintana's first-ever start vs. Oakland. 

The A's are 10-8 against left-handed starters this season. 

[gameodds]3/228455/43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Our Take on Saturday's Game

Oakland is one of those teams that, when they get rolling, it's best to hop on and ride along. So despite a price that looks just a bit steep we'll go with the A's for our free MLB pick for Saturday. 

Pick: Take the A's at the -158 offered at Bet 365

 

31 May
Series Opener

By: Ron Patrick


Will Oakland keep rolling, or can Chicago cause the A's some problems? 

Sox-A's Betting Lines 

Most baseball books we consulted Friday morning opened Oakland with Bartolo Colon at around -170 over Chicago and Dylan Axelrod, with an OVER/UNDER of 7.5. Many shops then bumped the A's to around -175. 

Also, The Greek was listing Oakland at -150 to win this series, with the Sox getting +130 as the underdogs

 

Sox-A's Series Set-Up 

Chicago just dropped three games to the Cubs, losing Thursday's series finale at Wrigley 8-3. Which was kind of a downer considering the Sox had won nine of their previous 12 games heading into that Windy City Showdown series. 

Chicago hasn't exactly been ripping the cover off the ball; in going 4-4 over their last eight games the Sox have been held to three runs or fewer six times. 

At 24-27 the White Sox sit in third place in the AL Central, 4.5 games behind the first-place Tigers. 

Oakland has won 11 of its last 13 games, after taking three of four from the Giants this week, missing out on the sweep by losing 5-2 Thursday. Before that the A's swept three games from Houston; before that they took two of three from the Rangers in Arlington; and before that they swept three games from Kansas City. 

Over that span Oakland pitching has held opponents to three runs or fewer nine times. 

At 31-24 the A's are in second place in the AL West, three games behind the first-place Rangers.

This is the first meeting this season between these former division rivals. Last year these teams split six games, each winnings a series at home.

Friday's Pitching Match-Up

Colon (5-2, 3.82) is five-for-ten on quality starts this season, including his last two. Last time out he held the Astros scoreless through seven innings, walking none and striking out nine, and over his last three starts he's given up just five ER through 20 innings.

On the season Colon has allowed 65 hits in 61 1/3 innings, walked just four and struck out 39.

The A's are 7-3 in Colon's starts this season.

Last year Colon started twice against the White Sox, giving up seven ER and 16 hits in 12 2/3 innings; Oakland lost both those games.

Axelrod (3-3, 4.21), by our tough standards, is four-for-ten on quality starts this season. Last time out he gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Marlins, and over his last three starts he's allowed eight ER through 16 2/3 innings.

For the season Axelrod has given up 58 hits through 57 2/3 innings, walked 16 but only registered 29 strikeouts.

Chicago is 5-5 in Axelrod's starts this season.

This will be Axelrod's first-ever start against Oakland.

The totals are a combined 12-7 in Colon and Axelrod's starts this season, in part because, for whatever reason, the A's have averaged better than six runs per game for Colon.

In the match-up of bullpens for this series Oakland relievers rank second in the Majors with a 2.80 ERA and are 13-for-17 on save opportunities, while the Sox pen ranks 25th with a tasty 4.20 ERA, although it's also 17-for-21 on save opps.

A's-Sox Betting Trends

In the “something's gotta give” department Chicago is 18-27 on the OVER/UNDERS this year, while Oakland is 34-21 on the totals. 

The O/Us are also 15-10 in games played at the Coliseum this season, although some of that lean can be attributed to the relatively low totals listed on A's home games. 

Before playing the total on this game bettors might want to check the forecast, which as of Friday AM called for about a 10-15 MPH wind to blow out toward right field Friday night. 

Sox-A's Injury Update 

Oakland could get some good news this weekend with the possible return of OF Josh Reddick, who hit 32 homers last year but has only one HR in 29 games this season, thanks to a wrist injury. 

Our Take on Friday's Game 

Oakland comes in hot, Chicago not-so-hot; A's pitching has been tough lately, while the Sox are having trouble scoring runs; Colon gets the edge in the pitching match-up, and Oakland gets the edge in the bullpen comparison. So we'll go with the A's for our free MLB pick for Friday. 

And in searching for a price we'll gamble a little and play Oakland on the run line for our sports picks

Free Pick: Take the A's getting the +126 on the run line at MatchBook. 

Bettors interested in playing this series should check back at this page for updated info and more free MLB picks over the weekend.

[gameodds]3/228414/43-349-192/us[/gameodds]