White Sox vs. Mariners Odds
|White Sox Odds||-125|
|Time||Monday, 10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via PointsBet|
Two southpaws who enjoyed differing 2020 seasons square off on Monday night when the White Sox open a series against the Mariners.
Carlos Rodon was non-tendered after injuries brought his once-promising career to a halt, but he earned his way back in the South Siders’ rotation after re-signing on a one-year deal and having a great spring. On the other side, Justus Sheffield took a step toward becoming the pitcher who was once the Yankees’ top pitching prospect just a couple years ago.
In this matchup of southpaws, let’s see where the betting value lies.
Chicago White Sox
Rodon was drafted in 2014 and made 26 big-league appearances in 2015. He had a 3.90 ERA and 3.95 FIP in his first two seasons and looked like he was going to be a staple in the White Sox rotation for years to come.
After making 51 starts in those first two years, though, Rodon made just 41 in the past four seasons. Injuries with his throwing arm cost him durability and efficiency, and he was non-tendered after throwing just 7 2/3 innings in 2020 coming off Tommy John surgery in May 2019.
The southpaw had a 1.32 ERA in 13 2/3 innings this spring and looked more like the young version of himself.
The White Sox lineup had the second-highest OPS in MLB against left-handed pitching in 2020, although that was with Eloy Jimenez breaking out. Andrew Vaughn will be a capable replacement in the lineup, and the rest of the lineup will look relatively similar without catcher James McCann starting every other game.
In relief, setup man Evan Marshall and closer Liam Hendriks have struggled early this season, although the duo has a strong enough track record that it shouldn’t be a concern. Chicago ranked seventh in MLB last season in bullpen ERA, and Hendriks should be able to replace Alex Colome well, as good as the now Twins closer was in 2020.
Sheffield was the key piece in the deal that sent James Paxton to the Yankees, and now the Mariners have both southpaws.
There’s reason to believe Sheffield could help carry the Mariners’ rotation in 2021. Walks haunted him in 2019, issuing 18 free passes in 36 innings. Sheffield walked just 20 in 55 1/3 innings in 2020, and the results were much, much better.
Sheffield registered a 3.58 ERA and 3.17 FIP last season in 10 starts, lowering his hits, home runs and walks allowed per nine innings. His strikeouts went down a bit, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio went up, which is good news.
Offensively, Seattle is going to look much different in two months with Jarred Kelenic and Kyle Lewis in the lineup. For now, though, Kelenic is at the Mariners’ alternate site, and Lewis is on the injured list.
There is a lot of uncertainty with the top two in the Seattle lineup: Mitch Haniger and Ty France. Haniger only played 63 games in 2019 due to a ruptured testicle (you read that correctly) and sat out all of 2020. He appears to be finally healthy and is off to a strong start this season.
France has hit at every level of the minors and was off to a great start last season with the Padres before getting shipped to the Pacific Northwest at the trade deadline. The move didn’t stop him, though, and he finished with an .836 OPS over 43 games in 2020.
White Sox-Mariners Pick
Given the uncertainty of Rodon and Sheffield coming off a strong season, I see value on the Mariners here.
While the White Sox were strong against southpaws last season, shortstop Tim Anderson left Sunday night’s game against the Angels with hamstring tightness. I am not anticipating him being in Monday’s lineup. That takes away some of the South Siders’ pop against lefties, and they were already facing a promising starter.
The Mariners started 2-1 against the Giants and will face a stiff test against a White Sox club that hopes to contend in 2021. Back Seattle to take the opener.
Pick: Mariners +105 (play to -110)
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