MLB Odds & Picks for Tigers vs. White Sox: Expect Chicago’s Bats to Stay Hot in Windy City (Thursday, April 29)

Ron Vesely/Getty Images. Pictured: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodón.

Tigers vs. White Sox Odds

Tigers Odds +180
White Sox Odds -215
Over/Under 5.5 (+100/-121)
Time 5:10 p.m. ET
TV MLBTV
Odds as of Thursday morning via DraftKings.

Following a late April snowstorm in Chicago, Wednesday’s Detroit Tigers-Chicago White Sox game was postponed. They will make up that game Thursday as part of a doubleheader.

 

It’s a tale of two teams entering this matchup, as the Tigers have lost four of their last five games. In contrast, the  White Sox have won four of their last five outings. However, Detroit was able to steal the first meeting in this series behind a strong José Ureña pitching performance.

The first game of this twin bill features the right-hander Casey Mize facing lefty ace Carlos Rodón. The nightcap pits the left-handed Matt Boyd against righty Dylan Cease.

However, I don’t see much value in the second matchup, so I’m looking to target one of the teams in the early game.

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Detroit Tigers

The Tigers are having another rough season.

They rank dead last in most offensive metrics, including OBP, wOBA and offensive WAR. The two guys that were providing excitement in the Detroit clubhouse — Akil Baddoo and Wilson Ramos — are a combined 3-for-30 (.100 BA) in Detroit’s past five games.

The Tigers continue to rally around Miguel Cabrera, who is approaching 500 career home runs. However, he’s batting just .171 with a .646 OPS and battling injuries.

The starting pitching has been the only good thing happening in Detroit The Tigers rank 21st in FIP and 12th in WHIP among starting rotations, plus the starters have managed the fifth most innings pitched (128) in baseball.

Starting Pitcher — Casey Mize (RHP)

After two elite starts to begin the season, Mize has allowed 11 runs on 14 hits over his past two starts. He has an interesting five-pitch mix, headlined by his four-seamer, as well as a sinker and splitter. However, the general goal is to pitch to contact, as Mize rarely strikes guys out and has a very low whiff rate.

Yet this year, he’s allowing a .546 wOBA on the four-seam; a .530 wOBA on the sinker; and, a .329 wOBA on the splitter. The off-speed pitches (slider and curveball) have been more effective, but not enough to keep his overall numbers down.

Overall, Mize has a 5.23 ERA, 6.33 FIP and a 1.45 WHIP this season.

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Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are heating up.

While the team has won a lot recently, the most important development has been the lineup against right-handed pitching. After struggling all season against that side, Chicago hit .350 with a .900 OPS against righties over the past seven days. The White Sox knocked around guys like Kohei Arihara, Dane Dunning and Zach Plesac during that stretch.

This recent span of games has propelled the offense to its rightful place among the elite offenses. Chicago now ranks sixth in OPS (.743), fifth in wOBA (.328) and first in wRC+ (116) and offensive WAR (18.0) this season.

Combine the offense with a solid rotation and talented bullpen, and Kansas City should be closely watching their tail.

Starting Pitcher — Carlos Rodón (LHP)

By every statistical measure, Rodón has been one of the best pitchers in baseball.

He’s made only three starts, but posted a 0.47 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP in those games, while allowing just a .187 wOBA. He threw the no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, but has allowed a run and five hits in his other two starts. Plus, he’s struck out 24 guys to only nine walks this season.

Unlike both of the Tigers’ starters, Rodón likes to miss bats. He ranks in the top 14% of pitchers in fastball velocity, whiff rate and strikeout rate. His fastball-slider mix has been ridiculous in that regard, as he’s allowed a .180 wOBA on the combination with a 34% whiff rate on the fastball and a 51.4% whiff rate on the slider.

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Tigers-White Sox Pick

I’m targeting this matchup between Mize and the Chicago offense.

Perhaps the perception is that the White Sox are still struggling against right-handed pitching, because right now their run total is juiced toward under 3.5 total team runs.

However, as previously mentioned, the White Sox have been dominant against righties as of late. While the Chicago lineup managed only two runs against Ureña on Tuesday, Ureña has made three consecutive seven-inning starts where he’s allowed two runs or less. Mize has been much, much worse.

Plus, the White Sox should be able to mash Mize’s weak fastball. They rank 10th in weighted fastball runs created, and if he tries to sneak in a slider (his second most-used pitch), the White Sox should mash that as well, as they rank second in weighted slider runs created.

Finally, if Mize doesn’t last the whole seven innings, the White Sox will get to hit against a Detroit bullpen that ranks last in FIP and second to last in WHIP.

Right now, you can get Chicago over 3.5 runs at plus-money via DraftKings (+102), so I’m looking to play it at even money or better.

Pick: White Sox Team Total Over 3.5 Runs (+102 — Play to +100)

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