The Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers finish up their three game series in the final contest on Wednesday's MLB betting card, and we've got a preview.
White Sox vs. Dodgers Game 3
By: Willie Bee
Yasiel Puig has garnered a lot of hype, and deservedly so, as the top Cuban talent in the majors. The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder might have to move over, however, and share some of the spotlight with Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.
Abreu homered in his second straight game since coming off the DL, and Hector Noesi enjoyed a second consecutive fine outing on the mound to pace Chicago to a 4-1 win Tuesday in LA. The victory helped the White Sox even their interleague series against the Dodgers, setting the stage for Wednesday's rubber match (10:10 PM ET).
The finale finds the Dodgers once again heavy favorites with Josh Beckett on the mound. Los Angeles can be found in the -180 to -190 range as the moneyline held steady for the most part on overnight trading. John Danks goes to the hill for Chicago, and SBR's live baseball odds are in agreement with 7.5 run totals across the board.
Pale Hose Seek Rare
Win With Danks On Mound
Chicago is hoping to stop a 4-game skid in starts by Danks, and the White Sox are a sickly 3-8 overall when the lefty takes the hill in 2014 (-4.0 units). He has pitched well enough to win his last two games, blanking the Yankees for eight innings on May 24 and allowing just two runs in seven frames last Friday against the Padres, only to see his club fall each time.
It has been about five years since Danks last faced LA, and six years since his only appearance at Dodger Stadium. The Austin native combined to work 13 innings in those two starts, allowing three runs and splitting the decisions.
Beckett last faced the White Sox while he was with Boston in 2012. The Red Sox dropped each of his final four starts vs. Chicago after winning the first four, and all told, Beckett owns a 3.74 lifetime ERA over eight assignments vs. the White Sox.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Kerwin Danley missed the first game of this series on Monday, but was back with the umpire crew Tuesday and should have the plate for Game 3. He brings a 5-game 'under' string into the contest, leaving him 3-8-1 O/U/P for the year, 2-6-1 when totals are 7.5 runs or less.
While a big chunk of the country deals with some severe weather today, there won't be any problems in Los Angeles. Clear skies and a 70º reading on the thermometer are expected at first pitch, with only the slightest of WSW breezes (out to right-center).
The White Sox have been hanging right around the .500 mark all season, two games above the number the best the White Sox have managed so far. The Dodgers have also been piddling around lately with a 10-10 record the past few weeks. Los Angeles has also struggled at home, even when Beckett and his 2.31 Dodger Stadium ERA is pitching.
There are a lot of reasons not to play it this way, but I'm going with Chicago for my free pick in this series finale.
My pick: White Sox +170Season: 54-55 (-2.70)
White Sox vs. Dodgers Game 2
By: Willie Bee
Limiting mistakes is one common attribute of good teams. Taking advantage of your opponent's miscues is another sign, and the Los Angeles Dodgers sure did that Monday night in their series opener against the Chicago White Sox.
Los Angeles lefty Clayton Kershaw only made one mistake, and Chicago rookie Jose Abreu -- just back from a trip to the DL -- made him pay with a 2-run homer to give the White Sox an early lead. But that was wiped out by a couple of Chicago errors in the sixth that led to five unearned runs for the Dodgers, and completed the evening's scoring as Los Angeles inched a half-game closer to the idle Giants in the NL West.
Chicago now faces long MLB odds to level the set in Tuesday's second game (10:10 PM ET). The initial mound matchup finds Hector Noesi on the hill for the visitors opposite Dan Haren, and the Dodgers are once again 2/1 favorites after the moneyline started around -185.
Scoreboard bettors are mostly seeing 7.5 for the game total, with a 7 run mark also available at some locales.
Haren Aims To Stop
Noesi prepares for his seventh start since joining the White Sox in late-April, Chicago splitting the previous six including wins his last two times out. The Dominican rebounded from a 5-BB performance on May 23 vs. the Yankees by not walking a batter in last Wednesday's win over the Indians. Tuesday will be the first time he has pitched against the Dodgers.
Los Angeles is 0-3 in Haren's most recent assignments after beginning the year 6-2 behind the righthander. A key stat in those losses can be found in the HR column with five balls leaving the yard in the last three starts compared to three his first eight outings.
A couple of stints in the AL provided Haren with the bulk of his experience vs. the White Sox. The former Pepperdine standout is 3-1 with a 3.76 ERA in seven career starts against Chicago's South Side squad.
Umpire Notes, Mother
Nature & A Free Pick
Crew chief Gary Cederstrom is next up to call balls and strikes for this quartet of umpires, bringing a 3-game 'over' streak into the affair to leave him 7-5 to the high side in 2014. The Dodgers won two of his three appearances behind the plate in Los Angeles last year, with the totals splitting three ways (1-1-1 O/U/P).
The weatherman is promising another nice evening at Chavez Ravine. Clear skies are expected for game time when the thermometer will have just dropped into the upper-60s with a light WSW breeze (out to right).
Chicago's defense isn't likely to contribute five unearned runs again tonight. That's going to leave it up to the hitters to cash my free pick on the high side of the total in Game 2.
My Pick: White Sox-Dodgers Over 7.5 (+105)
Season: 53-54 (-2.80)
White Sox vs. Dodgers Game 1
By: Willie Bee
Opportunity presents itself to the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers to start the first full week of June. Sitting second in their respective divisions, each has a chance to inch a little closer to the teams ahead of them when the White Sox and Dodgers engage in one of four interleague matchups that make up half of Monday's MLB odds slate.
The first of three games in LA has an all-southpaw mound duel with Jose Quintana taking on Clayton Kershaw in the 10:10 PM (ET) contest. The mere mention of Kershaw's name should invoke images of heavy chalk for baseball bettors, and that is certainly the case for Game 1 with the Dodgers better than -200 favorites.
A 6.5 run total is listed on SBR's live MLB odds, and we could see that figure drop to a flat-6 by the closing bell.
ChiSox Have Edge In
Previous Clashes With Dodgers
Chicago (29-29, +6.9 units, 31-26-1 O/U/P) just wrapped up a 6-4 homestand that included sweeping the Indians. The White Sox treaded water through a 14-14 month of May, but still sit just 4.5 behind Detroit in the AL Central as they begin a weeklong trip out west that is followed by a stop in Anaheim after dealing with the Dodgers.
Los Angeles (30-28, -7.0 units, 31-24-3 O/U/P) also experienced a level month of May with a 15-15 mark. This series with the White Sox concludes a 10-game homestand that finds the Dodgers 3-4 so far following visits from the Reds and Pirates.
This will mark the seventh interleague series between the clubs, the White Sox winning five of the previous six series and going 12-6 overall with a 5-4 mark in Los Angeles. The most recent series was two years ago at Chavez Ravine where the Dodgers won their first series against the ChiSox by taking two of three.
The 'over' cashed two of three in that 2012 series, and totals have run 4-5 O/U in all nine games in Tinseltown.
Kershaw 1st Of 3
Veterans LA Throws At Chicago
We just missed by a day having an outstanding duel to begin this series as Chicago's Chris Sale pitched the finale of the homestand Sunday against the Padres, but Quintana is coming off a pretty good May after a win last Monday against the Indians. The Colombian went six innings while allowing two runs and striking out five, finishing the season's second month with a 3.16 ERA in five assignments.
He was solid in his only career appearance vs. the Dodgers a couple of years ago, tossing eight shutout innings in Los Angeles only to get a no-decision. The Dodgers rallied against the Chicago bullpen win the contest in 10 innings, 2-1.
After missing all of April with a strained back, Kershaw is climbing the hill for just his seventh start of 2014. He took a tough-luck loss last Wednesday vs. the Reds, allowing three runs in seven innings as the Dodgers fell short, 3-2.
Kershaw has seen the Pale Hose twice before, once during his 2008 rookie campaign and again in 2012 when the teams last squared off. All combined, the Dallas native has allowed six runs to Chicago over the course of 10 innings.
There isn't anything in the forecast to suggest any trouble from Mother Nature the next three days. Clear skies and temps in the upper-60s greet the two teams for Monday's matchup, along with a light WSW breeze (6-8 mph out to right-center).
Winning at home has been a problem for the Dodgers who are 12-17 in Los Angeles, and facing lefties has also been a bit of an issue (6-7). But I'm not ballsy enough to bet against Kershaw on Monday. My free pick will be on one lineup or the other, perhaps both, putting up a crooked number early to help Game 1 go past the total.
My Pick: White Sox-Dodgers Over 6.5 (+100)
Season: 52-53 (-2.80)