MLB Picks: White Sox vs. Nationals

Jeff Grant

Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:01 PM GMT

The Chicago White Sox will try to avoid losing their first three road games for the first time since 2003, as they close out a three-game interleague series against the Washington Nationals Thursday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this matchup in the nation’s capital, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET at Nationals Park.

Let's breakdown this matchup and decide where the best value lies for our sports picks today.

Falling into a pattern

Chicago has certainly fallen into a pattern over its first eight games of the 2013 MLB season, as it has alternated two-game winning and losing streaks in that span, as it looks to bounce back from a 5-2 setback to Washington as +143 road underdogs Wednesday. 

The White Sox are 25-33 (-1,010) in the month of April the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 33-22-3 in that situation. 

Perfect at home 

Washington improved to 5-0 (+500) at Nationals Park with Wednesday night’s three-run victory, while it has compiled a dominating 13-2 record in front of the home fans under manager Davey Johnson in April. 

The Nationals are 12-6 (+270) as home favorites of -150 to -175 since the start of the 2011 campaign, while there’s been no edge in wagering on the total in those 16 opportunities (8-8 Over/Under). 

Best work has been on the road 

Dylan Axelrod (0-0, 0.00 ERA) didn’t earn a decision in the White Sox 4-3 home victory over the Seattle Mariners last Saturday as +128 underdogs, as he allowed one unearned run and three hits over 5.2 innings of work. 

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA in eight career road appearances (five starts), which is definitely better than his 1-1 mark and 5.58 ERA in 11 games at home 

Axelrod will be making his first-ever start against the Nationals in this affair. 

Shaky 

Nationals starting pitcher Dan Haren (0-1, 13.50 ERA) lasted only four innings in suffering a 15-0 road loss to the Cincinnati Reds as +118 underdogs last Friday, as he allowed six runs and nine hits, while serving up six round trippers.

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.53 ERA in six career efforts versus the White Sox—issuing just eight walks and striking out 30 batters in 35.2 frames.

[gameodds]3/224508/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the White Sox as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve won 22 of their last 32 interleague road games, while the Nationals bullpen has a 6.31 ERA through eight contests. 

MLB Pick:  Chicago White Sox +147 at 5Dimes