MLB Picks: White Sox vs. Cubs Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Monday, May 5, 2014 2:26 PM GMT

Monday, May. 5, 2014 2:26 PM GMT

The South Siders have taken the first three games of this series, following Wednesday's 8-3 victory. Are the Sox the pick to complete the sweep when the teams meet for Game 4 of this series Thursday night (8:10 pm ET, WGN)? Or do we go with the Cubbies to salvage one game?

 

8th May
White Sox vs. Cubs Game 4

By: Ron Patrick

 

Thursday's Line
In the early betting, the White Sox and Scott Carroll were chalked at around -125 over the Cubs, and Jake Arrieta, with a total of nine.

 
Thursday's Pitching Match-Up
Carroll (1-1, 0.68), the 29-year-old rookie, is two-for-two on quality starts in his short career. First, he held Tampa to one ER through 7 1/3 innings of a 9-2 Sox win, then last Friday he gave up two unearned runs in six innings of a 2-0 loss at Cleveland.

Earlier this spring, in four starts at Triple-A Charlotte, Carroll went 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA, allowing 18 hits in 23 innings.

Carroll isn't going to roast anybody at the plate, but he does keep the ball down; in 13 1/3 ML innings he's recorded just three strikeouts, but 26 outs on ground balls.

After beginning this season on the DL with a sore shoulder, Arrieta made his season debut last Friday, holding the Cardinals scoreless on four hits through 5 1/3 innings, walking two and whiffing seven in a 3-0 Cubs victory.

The last time Arrieta faced the Sox was two years ago. As an Oriole he beat 'em by allowing two ER through 6 2/3 innings.

The White Sox have gotten a boost lately from an improved effort from their bullpen, which struggled early this season, but has now allowed just two ER over its last 37 2/3 innings of work.

The Cubs, meanwhile, are suffering from a case of cold bats, scoring just 12 runs over their last five games.

On a personnel note Sox slugger Adam Dunn has missed the last two games with a sore leg, and his status for Thursday is uncertain.


Free Pick for Thursday
This one is a tough call, but one thing grabs us; the Cubs are 7-16 this season against right-handed starters. So we'll go with the Sox, at the -119 offered at Pinnacle, for our free MLB pick for Thursday's contest.

[gameodds]3/263623/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

 

7th May
White Sox vs. Cubs Game 3

By: Ron Patrick

 

Wednesday's Line
Many sportsbooks we sampled opened the Sox and John Danks at around -125 over the Cubs. Fellow lefty Travis Wood then dropped that price all the way to -110 in the early betting. The early betting lean was definitely toward the Cubbies. 

[gameodds]3/263571/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Danks (2-2, 5.00) by our tough standards is three-for-six on quality starts this season, but 0 for his last two. Last time out, Danks got rocked by Cleveland for eight runs (five in the first inning) in five innings of a 12-5 loss on Friday, and just before that he gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings against Tampa.

For the season Danks has allowed 37 hits in 36 innings, but has also walked 20, while striking out 21. The Sox are 2-4 in Danks' starts, with the totals going 3-3.

Danks started once against the Cubs last year, allowing four runs in four innings of a 9-3 defeat.

Wood (2-3, 3.35) is three-for-six on quality starts. Last time out, he held the Cardinals to two ER through seven innings of a 6-5 Cubs' win last Friday, which was a nice bounce-back effort after allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings against Milwaukee the start previous.

On the season Wood has allowed 40 hits in 37 2/3 innings, walked just seven and struck out 37. The Cubbies are 2-4 in Wood's starts this year, with the totals going 3-3.

Wood started once last year against the White Sox, giving up two runs in six innings of an 8-3 Cubs victory.

Compare the top MLB World Series Betting Lines

Free Pick for Wednesday
The Sox just took two games at Wrigley; it would only be fitting that the Cubs go down to the Cell and take a game or two. And Wood has been one of the more unsung starting pitchers in baseball over the last season-plus. So we'll go with the Cubbies, getting +105 at Will Hill, for our free pick on Wednesday's contest. 

 

6th May
White Sox vs. Cubs Game 2

By: Ron Patrick

 

Tuesday's Line
In early action the Cubs and Edwin Jackson were favored by around -125 over the Sox and Hector Noesi. As usual, books were holding off on posting a total on this Wrigley Field game. 

Monday night, with the wind blowing in from right-center at around 10 mph, the game played UNDER a total of 6.5 runs. Expect more of the same from the wind tonight.

[gameodds]3/263455/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Tuesday's Pitching Match-Ups
Jackson (2-2, 5.24), who went 11-9 for the White Sox back in 2010-11, is just one-for-six on quality starts this season. Last time out he gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-4 Cubs victory at Cincinnati, and over his last three starts he's allowed nine ER in 18 1/3 innings. 

On the season Jackson has permitted 54 base-runners (hits + walks) in 34 1/3 innings, but he's also only allowed one home run.

The Cubbies are 2-4 in Jackson's starts, with the totals going 4-1-1.

Jackson's last start against the White Sox came five years ago, when he was with the Detroit Tigers.

Noesi (0-2, 11.12) has already pitched for three different teams this season. He began by making two  relief appearances for Seattle, then made three appearances for Texas. Now he finds himself starting for the White Sox, who have a couple of starters on the DL.

So far this year Noesi is 0-for-one on quality starts, to go along with six appearances in relief. Last time out he gave up four runs in less than four innings against Detroit last Wednesday.

On the season Noesi has allowed 14 ER and 20 base-runners in 11 1/3 innings.

This will be Noesi's first-ever start against the Cubs.

 

Free Pick for Tuesday
The White Sox have the better sticks, and they're getting an underdog price. So we'll go with the Pale Hose, getting +114 at 5Dimes, for our free pick on Tuesday's game.

 

5th May
White Sox vs. Cubs Game 1

By: Ron Patrick

 

The Betting Lines
As of Monday morning most books were lining the Cubs and Jeff Samardzija at around -120 for Monday's series opener over the Sox and Jose Quintana (1-2, 4.00). Books were holding off on putting a total on this game, because of the Wrigley Field wind factor.

[gameodds]3/263396/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

The Situation
The Sox just dropped two of three games at Cleveland over the weekend, avoiding the sweep Sunday by rallying for three runs in the top of the ninth for a 4-3 victory.

At 15-17 the White Sox sit in third place in the AL Central, five games behind first-place Detroit.

The Cubs, meanwhile, just took two of three from the hated Cardinals, missing out on the sweep by losing Sunday night 5-4.

At 11-18 the Cubs are in last place in the NL Central, 8.5 games behind first-place Milwaukee.

Last year the Cubbies swept four games from the Sox. with the totals going 2-0-2.

 

Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Today's match-up is a re-match of a contest from last May, won by the Cubs 7-0.

Samardzija (0-3, 1.98) is five-for-six on quality starts this season. Last time out he gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Reds, but before that he had allowed two or fewer ER in each of his first five starts.

On the season the former Notre Dame wide receiver has permitted 51 base-runners (hits + walks) in 41 innings. The Cubs are just 1-5 in Samardzija's starts, but five of those games have also stayed UNDER the totals, because the Cubbies have provided very little in the way of run support for him.

In his one start last year against the White Sox Samardzija threw a complete-game two-hit shutout, walking two while striking out eight in that 7-0 Cubbies victory.

Quintana (1-2, 4.00) is three-for-six on quality starts this year. Last time out he held Detroit to three runs through six innings, walking none while striking out 10. But after starting the season with three straight quality outings, he's allowed 11 runs and 24 hits over his last three starts, covering 17 innings.

On the season Quintana has permitted 48 base-runners in 36 innings. Chicago is 2-4 in Quintana's starts, with the totals going 3-2-1.

Quintana has started once previously against the Cubs, giving up four runs in six innings of that 7-0 Sox loss last May.

In the comparison of the bullpens Cubs relievers rank 11th with a 3.68 ERA but are only four-for-eight on save opportunities, while the White Sox rank 23rd with a 4.12 ERA and are only four-for-nine on save opps.

 

With the Sticks
The Sox rank fourth in scoring at 5.1 runs per game, 10th in team OBP at .328 and fifth in homers with 35. But those hot bats have cooled a bit recently, as the White Sox have been held to 12 runs over their last five games.

The Sox also own a .335 OBP against right-handed pitching.

The Cubs rank 24th in scoring at 3.9 RPG, 24th in OBP at .302 and 19th in homers with 25. But their OBP jumps to .333 against left-handed pitching.

 

Sox-Cubs Betting Trends
The White Sox have trended toward the OVERS this season by a 19-12 margin, but four of their last five games have played UNDER.

Cubs home games have trended toward the OVERS this season, by a 10-6 margin.

The Cubs are seven games under .500 overall this season, but 4-3 against left-handed starters.

 

Free Pick for Monday
We give Samardzija the edge in the pitching match-up, and the Cubs have been playing a little better ball as of late, while the Sox, after a hot start, have struggled a bit lately. So we'll go with the Cubbies, at the -120 offered at SBR Sportsbook, for our free pick on Monday's game.

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