Moneyline: Tigers (-152) White Sox (+142)
Starting Pitchers: Tigers (Verlander) vs. White Sox (Peavy)
This is an absolutely crucial series for the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox entered this series two games under .500, but they knew they still had a very real chance of winning the division if they could get hot. The White Sox took care of business in the first game of the series, and they now sit just 3.5 games back of the first place Tigers. Tuesday night they’ll try to gain some more ground, but this time they’ll have to do it against Justin Verlander.
Verlander is a front runner for the AL Cy Young award at this point in the season. The White Sox actually beat Verlander just ten days ago, but the Tigers are still 7-1 in Verlander’s last 8 starts against Chicago. Verlander is 13-5 with an ERA of 2.24 so far this season. The most telling statistic is probably his WHIP, which is just 0.88 this year. Verlander simply isn’t letting anyone get on base. The Tigers has been improving of late as everyone has gotten healthy. Detroit has the fourth best team batting average in all of baseball. The acquisition of Victor Martinez in the offseason has been huge for this team.
The White Sox have plenty of talent, but it seems they have struggled all year to put it all together. Ozzie Guillen has had numerous rants throughout the year, and the fan base has been less than thrilled with their team’s performance. Having said all that, the White Sox are still right in the thick of the race. Paul Konerko has been the steady leader of this lineup, but there have been some notable highly paid players who haven’t performed well. Adam Dunn and Alex Rios are both having terrible seasons. Dunn is hitting a miserable .159 on the season. Carlos Quentin is a streaky hitter for this team, and he has really heated up of late. Jake Peavy has been inconsistent this year, and the White Sox will need a quality outing from him if they hope to top Verlander and the Tigers.
I don’t think either team will light up the scoreboard in this one. The under is 10-1 in Verlander’s last 11 starts at Chicago.
MLB Free Pick: Tigers/White Sox under 7.5
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