MLB action comes your way, as the Chicago White Sox will battle the Detroit Tigers in the second of a three-game AL Central divisional series Saturday afternoon from Comerica Park in Detroit.
The White Sox lead the season series by a 6-2 count after a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of this series.
Chicago is in 1st place in the AL Central with a record of 39-24. They have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games after winning the series against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tigers.
Detroit has been pretty putrid and is 26-37 on the season, good enough for 4th in the AL Central. They are 4-6 in their past 10
Key Players and Factors for Game 2 of This Series
Dylan Cease of the White Sox, who just beat the Tigers last week, will get the nod on the mound. The Tigers will counter the with veteran Jose Urena to continue this series.
Cease will be the starter for the 13th time of the year on Saturday. Cease just destroyed the Tigers last weekend, tossing seven brilliant shutout innings and striking out 10 batters in a 3-0 win. The right-hander has been very reliable and has a 3.36 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP, which has led him to a 4-2 record in 61.2 innings of work.
He has thrown 14 shutout innings against Detroit this season and over his career is 7-0 vs. the Tigers with a 1.91 ERA.
Jose Urena faced Chicago in his last start as well, throwing 5 innings and allowing 3 runs. That brought his record to 2-5 on the year with an ERA of 4.25. Not terrible for a 4th or 5th starter. But the Tigers haven’t needed much better recently, scoring 19 runs in their last 3 games versus the Seattle Mariners.
The Tigers overall have struggled to score runs and sit at 28th in the league in runs at 3.81 per game. Eric Haase has been great for the Tigers when he plays this season. The 28-year old slugger has hit an astounding six balls over the fence this month and has eight total homers with 13 RBI’s and a great .962 OPS in 22 games on the season.
Tim Anderson has been great for the White Sox this season as per usual and had a great season against the White Sox last week. He went 6 for 16 at the plate in that series with five RBI’s. He is batting .297 overall on the season with 23 total RBIs.
The White Sox are averaging 4.90 runs on the year, placing them at the opposite end of the runs list compared to the Tigers. They landed at fifth in the Major Leagues. The Chicago pitching staff and bullpen have also been great. They will be coming into this game with a team ERA of around 3.24 team ERA. That puts them fourth overall.
Both Nick Madrigal for the White Sox and Derek Hill for the Tigers remain out indefinitely.
Detroit has almost brought their home record back to .500, but with the loss yesterday, they now see themselves at 14-16 at Comerica Park this season.
The difference-maker stat in this one is the run differential. Chicago boasts an amazing +90 run differential compared to -55 from the Tigers. That puts them at first and last in the division.
The White Sox have been one of the most consistent teams in baseball and continue to win series, especially in their division. I expect this trend to continue into game 2 of this series. Chicago moneyline is placed at -179.
With the White Sox also being one of the best in the league in terms of run differential, it makes sense to take the chances on the run line at -112 for pretty good value.
As for the total, this game seems like a toss-up to me. If Dylan Cease can prove effective on the mound once again, this one is sure to go under the total of 9. However, the White Sox offense could explode for some garbage time runs on the Tigers bullpen, and maybe the Tigers continue their hot scoring stretch. The over may be the play here.
Final Picks: White Sox -1.5 (-112) Over 9 (-110). Consensus odds.