First place in the AL Central will be on the line on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball betting action this week, as the Chicago White Sox take on the Detroit Tigers.
The White Sox have to feel the walls coming in on them. They are just a game up on the Tigers in the Central, and if they lose this game today, they wouldn’t just be out of the Central lead, but they would be out of the playoffs altogether. Chris Sale is going to get the ball from Manager Robin Ventura on Sunday night. This is going to be one of his biggest starts of the season. The lefty is going to hope to overcome a bad outing against the Baltimore Orioles in which he allowed four runs in four innings worth of work. Still, he is 15-5 for the year with a 2.81 ERA. He has struck out 155 batters in 157 innings of work. There is no doubt whatsoever that this is the man that is going to have to pitch Chicago into the second season, and this is the type of game that he is going to have to win.
The Tigers overcame a bad sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals in this series by taking the first two games, and a sweep would be monumental. It would get Detroit back into the lead in the AL Central, and it would possibly put it in front of the Tampa Bay Rays and within distance of the Baltimore Orioles for the last Wild Card slot. Detroit has played well at home, winning 41 games, and the best news is that Justin Verlander is on the bump on Sunday. Verlander is coming off of his worst outing of the season, as he allowed eight runs and 12 hits in 5.2 innings of work against the Royals, and he hasn’t won since August 6th. However, if you look at the splits that the righty has this year, you have to by impressed. Verlander has six complete games, two more than last year. He is on a pace to throw about 270 innings, 20 more than last year. He’ll allow basically the same number of hits, and probably about 10 more runs, and his home runs will be down from last year as well. In 2011, Verlander went 24-5. This year, he’s only 12-7.
This is a great price on Verlander, to be honest. We hate laying -160 at this time of year against a team that is going to win 90 games with a pitcher on the mound that might win 20 this year, but we still think that it has to be done. Verlander has to get back on his feet, and he is going to be doing so with what should be a strong effort on Sunday night. Detroit 3 – Chicago 1