Date/Time: July 6th, 7:15 PM ET
Probable Starters: Sale (Chicago) vs. Moore (Tampa Bay)
Moneyline: Rays -135
The Tampa Bay Rays are still trying to get back into contention in the AL East as the All-Star Break draws near. They’ll be in for a challenge against the Chicago White Sox in MLB betting action on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.
The Sox are in trouble this year, and they are certainly going to break this team up at the trade deadline. One of the key components that will likely be departing is that of Saturday’s starter, LHP Chris Sale. Sale really has done nothing wrong this year, but you wouldn’t know that from his 5-7 record. The southpaw actually has splits that suggest he could be the Cy Young Award winner, and it certainly isn’t his fault that his team hasn’t given him more than five runs of support in a game even one time all year long. Sale has a 2.79 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP, and batters are hitting just .202 against him. His strikeout tally is once again awfully high at 114, and he has only walked 24 batters against that. Sale has at least 10 strikeouts in three of his last four starts, and he has struck out at least 12 three times already since May 17th. Two of those three starts came on the road. Sale faced these Rays earlier this year and allowed four hits and two runs over seven innings with seven strikeouts, enough to get the victory.
Tampa Bay is trending the right direction, and the club is now seven games above .500. There’s a chance today to get back above the break-even point for bettors as well, a mark that Manager Joe Maddon and company have not reached since April. The Trop is becoming the haven for the Rays once again, as they are 26-18 in this building this season, a sturdy number for a team that is used to taking advantage of its surroundings. Tampa Bay is 19-5 in LHP Matt Moore’s last 24 starts, and the hope is to build upon that in this one. Moore though, isn’t a pitcher that we like all that much in spite of his 11-3 record. Sure, Moore will be in the All-Star Game this year, and he has only allowed four runs in his last three starts combined, each of which have been wins, but his control is killing us. Moore has walked 51 batters in just 93.2 innings of work this year, and he very well could finish out the campaign with at least 100 walks. Batters are only hitting .220 against Moore this season, and if that doesn’t stay the case throughout the rest of the year, we could see his ERA rise well into the 4.00s in a hurry.
That’s why we like the White Sox in this one. Chicago has a lousy club, but it has a great arm on the mound in this one, and that’s going to make all the difference as long as the offense stays relatively patient at the plate and works some walks.
Chicago White Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays Pick: Chicago White Sox +129
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.