The White Sox are coming off a sweep, while the Red Sox are coming off an offensive explsion, heading into the opener of a Sox squared four-game series at Fenway Park Monday night. How are we betting tonight's game?
White Sox-Red Sox Monday Betting Odds
Most of Monday's MLB betting market opened Boston and Joe Kelly at around -135 over Chicago and John Danks, then dropped that price about a dime in the early betting. As of this writing the best line we could find on the Red Sox was the -124 offered at YouWager, while the White Sox were getting +123 at BetOnline. And every book on the board listed a total of nine runs on tonight's game.
Boston just took two of three games at home from Detroit over the weekend, winning Sunday night's rubber match 11-1, with help from two homers and seven RBI from Big Papi. But a victory Friday night snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Red Sox.
At 44-55 Boston occupies last place in the AL East, 12 games behind the first-place Yankees. The Red Sox are also 8.5 games off the pace in the AL wild-card race.
Chicago, meanwhile, just swept a four-game series in Cleveland over the weekend, outscoring the Indians 26-5. But just before that the White Sox had lost four in a row. So the Southsiders are 5-5 since the All-Star break.
At 46-50 Chicago trails first-place Kansas City by 12.5 games in the AL Central, but still only trails Minnesota by five games in that battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
This is the first meeting between these teams this season; last year the Red Sox took four of seven games from the White Sox, with the UNDERS going 4-3.
Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Kelly (2-6, 5.74) is just four-for-15 on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last four. Last Wednesday, in his first start back in the Bigs after a month-long stint down a Triple-A Pawtucket, he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings against Houston, allowing three dingers. And over his three starts before the demotion he gave up 11 runs through 14 2/3 innings. On the season Kelly has allowed more hits, 87, than innings pitched, 80, walked 32 and struck out 66.
Boston is just 5-10 in Kelly's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER by an 8-7 margin.
This will be Kelly's first-ever start against the White Sox, which could give him a much-needed edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
Danks (5-8, 4.66), by our strict standards, is just seven-for-18 on quality starts, but two for his last two, against the best teams in each league. Last Wednesday he threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings against St. Louis, and just before that he tossed six scoreless against Kansas City. On the season Danks has allowed more hits, 119, than innings pitched, 104, walked 29 and struck out 73.
The White Sox are 8-10 in Danks' starts, with the totals tilting UNDER 11-6.
Last year Danks started twice against Boston, allowing four runs and 11 hits through 11 2/3 innings; Chicago split those two games, and both games played OVER.
Monday's Batting Splits
Chicago ranks 21st this season against right-handed pitching with a .249 team batting average, and 24th with a .304 team on-base percentage.
Boston, meanwhile, ranks 24th against left-handed pitching with a .235 average and 25th in team OBP at .303.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Fenway Park this season are 25-21 on the UNDERS, even though they're averaging 9.2 runs per, sixth-most among all ML ballparks. Apparently, oddsmakers have been posting some large totals on Boston home games.
Boston is playing without spark-plug Dustin Pedroia, who's back on the DL with that bad hamstring.
Sox-vs.-Sox Monday Free Picks
When deciding on our MLB picks, we'll give Danks the edge in the pitching match-up, and with most other factors equaling out we'll back Chicago on the side tonight. Also, we could easily see this game getting to 6-4, so we're thinking OVER.
MLB Picks: White Sox +125 and OVER nine runs (-103) at Pinnacle