Pittsburgh, somehow, is just 3-9 for Francisco Liriano this season. Nonetheless, the lefty and his Pirates are heavily favored by MLB odds makers over the White Sox on Monday.
White Sox-Pirates Monday Betting Odds
As of early Monday morning the best line we could find on Pittsburgh and Francisco Liriano was the -174 offered at GT Bets, while BetOnline was giving Chicago and fellow lefty Carlos Rodon +164. And the total on tonight's game sat at seven runs.
Chicago had crept to within two games of the .500 mark last week with a sweep of Houston, but just got swept itself over the weekend three games at Tampa Bay. Sunday staff ace Chris Sale took a lead into the bottom of the seventh, but gave up a two-run homer, and the Sox eventually lost 2-1.
Chicago is just 1-3 in its last four series, and 5-7 over its last 12 games. At 28-33 the Sox sit 5.5 games off the pace in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, just swept three games from Philadelphia over the weekend, winning Sunday 1-0 in 11 innings. The Pirates are now 5-1-1 over their last seven series, and 17-5 over their last 22 games.
At 35-27 Pittsburgh trails division-leading St. Louis by six games in the NL Central, but leads the National League wild-card race.
The Pirates have also played seven UNDERS in a row, because while the pitching has been great – including three shutouts in the last four games – the bats have had problems just scratching out three or four runs.
This is the first time these two teams have met since 2010.
Monday's Starting Pitchers
Liriano (3-5, 3.25) is nine-for-12 on quality starts this season, including a current run of four in a row. Last Tuesday he allowed three runs through eight innings against Milwaukee, and over his last four starts, covering 27 innings, he's allowed a total of just five runs. On the season Liriano has given up just 50 hits through 74 2/3 innings, with 26 walks and 87 strikeouts. Pittsburgh is only 3-9 in Liriano's starts, but that's not all his fault, for sure.
Before placing your MLB picks, note that this will be the first time Liriano has started against the White Sox since 2012, when he was with Minnesota.
Rodon (2-0, 2.66) is five-for-six on quality starts this season, working on a string of four in a row. Last Tuesday he tossed six scoreless innings against Houston, and over his last four starts, covering 24 1/3 innings, he's allowed a total of just three earned runs. On the season Rodon has allowed 39 hits, just one homer, through 40 2/3 innings, walked 24, which is a few too many, and struck out 40. Chicago is 4-2 in Rodon's starts.
This will be Rodon's first-ever start against Pittsburgh, which could give him an edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
Monday's Batting Splits
Chicago ranks dead last in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a pathetic .253 team OBP.
Pittsburgh hasn't been much better against lefties, ranking 27th with a .298 OBP.
Sox-Pirates Monday Free Picks
Liriano has been pitching in some tough luck so far this season; perhaps he's in line for a change of fortune. But today's MLB odds are a bit steep. So we'll take a chance with the home team against the run line. Also, both these lineups struggle against LHP, so we're thinking UNDER.