White Sox Road Woes To Continue As Verlander Lead Tigers In Early Game

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 12:51 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 12:51 PM UTC

We have a great pitching matchup in the AL Central matinee, and our MLB handicapper likes the value afforded the home team as he makes his Wednesday MLB Pick.

Chicago White Sox vs Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers look to continue the White Sox road woes this year as they host the White Sox in a Wednesday afternoon matinee at Tiger Stadium. The White Sox were 10 games under .500 on the road on the season coming into Tuesday night’s game, while the Tigers were about that amount above .500 on the year. The home team has the advantage in the books as well, with the Tigers opening as -123 Moneyline favorites at 5Dimes. The O/U total has been posted at 7.5 runs across the MLB odds board, with no books taking a lean one way or another with the juice.

Starting for the White Sox in this game is Chris Sale, who I had the pleasure of watching in person last Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field against Felix Hernandez and the Mariners. In that game, he struck out 14 batters, walked nobody, and incredibly lost the game after pitching a complete game while allowing 3 earned runs on 5 hits. It was the 5th game in a row that Sale had made it into the 7th inning or later, although he just has one winning decision in his last seven starts. On the season, Sale has put up his typical numbers posting a 3.14 ERA, 179/38 K/BB rate, 1.00 WHIP, and .214 batting average allowed. He has 15 wins on the season, which is pretty incredible when considering the long string of no-decisions he has had lately.

Sale has done a fantastic job of keeping the ball in the yard after the All-Star Break. After giving up 17 home runs in 125 innings before the break, Sale has just given up 2 home runs in 52.2 innings pitched after the break. One of those home runs I saw last week, as Franklin Gutierrez took Sale deep to right center field.


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Starting for the Detroit Tigers is Justin Verlander, who is a bit of a hot streak of late. After a disastrous dud of a game to end June, Verlander has posted a 1.69 ERA in July and 2.41 ERA in August, all while posting a 69/13 K/BB rate and .167 batting average allowed. That is straight dominance, and in 10 of his last 11 starts Verlander has given up 2 earned runs or less, and the 11th start he gave up 3 earned runs with his defense putting up a bunch of errors in the game. Unlike Sale, Verlander’s success has paid dividends, with the tall right-hander racking up 7 winning decisions over those last 11 starts.

While much has been made of Verlander’s loss in velocity over the last few seasons, he has been able to adjust by starting to throw one of the best sliders in the game. This pitch is thrown instead of his changeup, which has lost effectiveness because of, you guessed it – his loss in velocity.

The sale will have to go deep in this game to keep the White Sox bullpen out of action, as they carry a bad 4.80 ERA on the road with a 1.57 WHIP. Verlander has a little more wiggle room if he needs it, as his bullpen holds a much better 3.39 ERA and 1.18 WHIP at home.

Although I like both pitchers here, I’m going to have to take the home team Tigers as the value picks in this game. Their offense averages 4.4 runs per game against lefties and it won’t take that many runs to beat Sale just like the Mariners did last week, who won 3-1. Take the Tigers on the Moneyline at -125 at JustBet as your Wednesday MLB Pick.


Free MLB Pick: Tigers -125
Best Line Offered: at JustBet

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