MLB Picks: Underdog White Sox To Edge Twins In Nail-Bitter Rubber Match

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, July 31, 2016 3:05 PM UTC

Sunday, Jul. 31, 2016 3:05 PM UTC

The White Sox and Twins have split the first two of a weekend series that wraps up with a rubber match this afternoon. Let's review the MLB odds and pick the sharp side in this series finale.

Swinger’s MLB Record: 58-29, +28.07 units
I have not released my MLB picks since Thursday morning when I spied the American League's  best pitcher, Chris Sale, getting a generous +120 from the MLB odds makers. Sure enough, I pounced and though Sale pitched like an ace, so too did his counterpart, John Lackey. Ultimately the White Sox bowed 3-1 and the minor momentum we took from two covers the day before was derailed with the loss. I have ridden out the weekend in silence until now and hope that a little time on the shelf will give me a new perspective.

Though we have cooled off over the past week, we are still hitting over 66 percent on the season. As we dance one final tango in July I look forward to a bright future in August. Let's take a look at this matchup between these two AL Central rivals and get back on track with another cover today.


Rodon Returns
The 23-year-old southpaw Carlos Rodon (2-7, 4.50 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) will return to action after being placed on the 15-day disabled list after suffering a wrist injury. Rodon's last appearance came at home against the New York Yankees on July 5th when he was drilled for six runs (five earned) on 12 hits in five innings of work. The White Sox wound up losing that game 9-0 with Rodon taking his seventh loss of the season.

Rodon has fared a bit better on the road than at home this season. The young lefty has a 1-3 record and 3.89 ERA away from U.S. Cellular Field. He has faced the Twins twice this season and his club won both games. In his last outing at home, he lasted five-plus innings, allowing four runs on five hits in a 6-5 White Sox victory. In his previous performance against the Twins on April 13th, he dazzled, allowing only three hits and no runs through six innings of work in a 3-0 White Sox win over Minnesota at Target Field.


Betting Analysis
These teams have battled into extra innings in their first two contests of this weekend series and this afternoon's matinee could be another nail biter. Ervin Santana has been a name bandied about as the trade deadline looms but so far the Twins have held firm. It appears as though Santana will stay put and finish out the season with two more years remaining on a $55 million deal.

Though Santana has pitched well in the month of June with a sizzling 1.96 ERA, his overall ERA of 3.78 on the season is emblematic of the mercurial nature of the veteran righty. Santana has always been the kind of pitcher that appears to be on the verge of an elite in some of his outings but then looks pedestrian in others. He is a good, solid No.3 starter on most teams but he is the second man in a thin Twins' rotation. In other words, his latest efforts don't have me convinced and I will not lay the lumber on a team that owns the second-worst record in all of baseball and a 22-31 record (-9.3 units) at home.

Though Carlos Rodon has not been a world-beater for the White Sox, he has shown flashes of brilliance and in both of his appearances at Target Field he has allowed a combined two runs on eight hits in 12 innings of work. Rodon is 1-1 in all starts against Minnesota with an ERA of 3.06 and a WHIP of 1.245. His team's record is 2-1 (+1.0 units) in these starts. Conversely, his opposing number Ervin Santana is 6-9 when starting against White Sox with an ERA of 4.27 and a WHIP of 1.263. His team's record is 9-11 (-3.9 units) in his 20 career starts against Chicago.

Let's watch Santana regress to the mean and fade the Twins. In this spot, we are actually getting the juice instead of paying it to bet against arguably the worst team in baseball. We will grab the road dogs here.

Free MLB Pick: White Sox +110 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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