|White Sox Odds||-127|
|Time||9:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday morning and via DraftKings.|
The White Sox and Angels have played a fun opening series, combining for 27 runs over the first two games.
After the Angels stole Thursday’s game late, they made a comeback again yesterday after trailing early. But the White Sox lineup proved to be too much, as they poured on five more runs in the top of the ninth to even the series.
Who has the edge in the third of this four-game series? It’s tough to pick a side, but I’m definitely expecting the bats to stay hot.
White Sox Lineup as Advertised
The White Sox lineup has been as advertised through its first two games.
Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson and Adam Eaton have all hit homers. Yoan Moncada had a two-hit night on Thursday and Yasmani Grandal drove in two runs yesterday.
Additionally, rookie Yermin Mercedes got his first major league hit last night, and then followed it up with four more on his way to a five-hit night.
Not to be overlooked, the White Sox went 5-for-13 with RISP and had eight two-out RBIs last night.
Starting Pitcher: Lance Lynn
Before getting traded to Chicago in the offseason, Lynn spent two seasons with the Texas Rangers. As a division rival, Lynn saw a lot of the Angels.
Lynn was productive against the Angels, too. He started six games against the Angels as a Ranger, posting a 2.79 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP over 38 and 2/3 innings. He also struck out 29 guys in those starts.
Lynn performed even better in his two starts at Angel stadium. He went seven innings in both games while allowing just five total runs on 12 total hits. The Rangers did lose both games, however.
Plus, Lynn has been great against this iteration of the Angels lineup. Today’s projected roster has had 152 plate appearances against Lynn and have only generated 30 hits and 13 walks, per Baseball Savant. Even the great Mike Trout is only slashing .231/.285/.462 against Lynn.
Trout Starts Hot
Trout already looks in mid-season form.
Through the first two games of this series, Trout has three hits, four walks and two RBIs on just nine PAs. He’s also scored twice himself.
Albert Pujols has been an unlikely hero in this opening series. He’s only gotten on base twice but has driven in four RBIs, including the go-ahead score on opening day.
However, the pitching was the issue last night. After Andrew Heaney got lit up for seven runs, three relievers allowed five total runs in just the ninth inning.
Since the Angels only trailed by two runs entering that frame, that is a bad look for Joe Maddon.
Starting Pitcher: Alex Cobb
Cobb is making his first start for the Angels since being traded by Baltimore.
He pitched relatively well last year for a terrible Baltimore team. Cobb started 10 games, posting a 2-5 record, a 4.3 ERA and his lowest WHIP since 2014, at 1.24. Cobb also ended the season strong, allowing just three runs over his final 13 innings.
However, his underlying statistics were horrific. His xERA was a full two-points higher than his actual ERA, and he finished in the bottom 10% of qualified starters in xwOBA, xBA and xSLG, per Baseball Savant.
Cobb has all-but abandoned his fastball, and now only throws three pitches — a sinker, a splitter and a curveball. He’s also not a strikeout guy, as his career strikeout rate is well-below 20%.
Instead, Cobb tries to force weak contact. That didn’t happen last season, as he finished in the bottom 4% of qualified pitchers in hard-hit balls allowed, per Baseball Savant.
Cobb should see some regression early this season.
White Sox-Angels Pick
It was predictable that the White Sox would tee off against Heaney yesterday, as this lineup mashes left-handed pitching. However, I believe they’ll be able to score again tonight.
Cobb has to face a more-dangerous version of the team he’s struggled against, and his underlying metrics have not been good.
In the other dugout, the Angels offensive numbers jump against right-handers, especially at home. Against right-handed pitchers at Angel Stadium last season, the Angels finished sixth in OPS (.845) and wOBA (.359) while finishing fifth in wRC+ (130).
Tonight, instead of facing an ace in Lucas Giolito or a southpaw in Dallas Kuechel, the Angels will hit off Lynn and a bullpen that only features two lefties.
All-in-all, we have two explosive offenses, two starters due for regression and one that has gotten crushed by the White Sox in the past.
This all points to an over play. I’m expecting double-digit runs again, so I would play this up to 9.5 (-110).
Pick: Over 9 (-107) | Play to 9.5 (-110)