With all of the talk going on right now in the AL East, we tend to forget that there is a crucial series going on right now in the AL Central for MLB betting fans as well, and that series continues on Thursday night between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox.
Very quietly, Detroit has taken the first two games of this series, and now it has a chance to get back in a first place tie in the AL Central if it can win this game. To make matters even better, the squad’s best pitcher, Justin Verlander is going to be on the bump. Verlander has been absolutely shelled in two of his last three starts, and we are starting to wonder if all of these innings that have been logged on his arm over the course of the last several years are starting to catch up with him. It’s hard to complain about a man that is 13-8 with a 2.91 ERA on a team that went through some awfully iffy stretches this year, but in the end, Verlander, a year after winning 24 games, has just one win since August 6th. That won’t cut it to say the least. That being said, he already has 212 strikeouts this year, and batters are still hitting just .216 against him, but when you look back at last year and see that men hit .192 against him, you have to at least raise an eyebrow and ask some questions.
Chicago knows that this is a game that it really has to win here at home to try to save its season. Manager Robin Ventura probably knows that he doesn’t have the better of these two teams, and the likelihood of getting into the second season is starting to look gloomy if this one is lost, knowing that the AL Wild Card leaders are starting to drift too far away from the teams in the AL Central. Chris Sale is going to get the ball for the 27th time this season for Ventura and the Pale Hose on Thursday night, and this is his most important start of the year. The righty is 16-6, and he has thrown 169 innings thus far. Again, we have to wonder whether all of these innings are going to prove to be harmful at the end of the year, as over the course of his last three starts, the lefty has made it just a total of 16 innings and is 1-2 to show for his work. Still, he has just as many strikeouts per inning as Verlander does, and batters are hitting just .225 against him.
This just doesn’t feel good right now for the Sox. We don’t think that they have the better team, and though they do have a pitcher with comparable numbers on the mound, they don’t have the better arm in clutch situations. As long as Verlander’s arm isn’t literally falling off, the Tigers should finish the sweep and get back into a first place tie. Detroit 5 – Chicago 2