Thursday MLB Angels vs. White Sox Odds, Preview, Prediction: Runs Should Be Tough To Come By In Series Finale (Sept. 16)
Ron Vesely/Getty Images. Pictured: Reynaldo Lopez
- The White Sox are favored in Thursday's series finale against the Angels in Chicago.
- Alex Cobb takes the mound for Los Angeles and will be opposed by Reynaldo Lopez.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown and betting prediction from this game.
Angels vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-190|
|Time||2:10 p.m. ET|
The Angels and White Sox meet in the rubber match on Thursday afternoon in Chicago. Los Angeles squeaked out a 3-2 win Wednesday after getting crushed 9-3 in the series opener.
The White Sox are on a cruise control, just waiting for their playoff matchup. Meanwhile, the Angels are slumping but get a boost to their rotation today.
The wind is blowing straight in at Guaranteed Rate Field today, and I believe that’s where we’ll find the value in this matchup.
Angels’ Offense Slumping
The usually dangerous Angels offense hasn’t seen much success recently.
Since August 1, the Angels are 18-22 while scoring just under four runs per game. The lineup ranks dead last in OPS (.649) and second-to-last in wRC+ (79) during that time, and they’re striking out at the fourth-highest rate.
You could blame the absences of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, but they’ve been hurt all season. Instead, their superstar player hasn’t been producing at his normal rates.
Since August 1, Shohei Ohtani has posted just a .197 BA and a .729 OPS. He’s hit seven home runs, but he’s knocked just three extra base hits and has struck out 47 times in the 35-game stretch. He’s clearly cooled off from his torrid pace, and no longer leads the league in home runs.
Ohtani is still pitching well, but he’s been scratched from this start in favor of Alex Cobb, who’s finally healthy after being shelved in late July.
Starting pitcher: Alex Cobb (RHP)
Cobb is expected to rejoin the rotation full time, and this rotation could really use his arm. Andrew Heaney plays for New York, and Dylan Bundy, Patrick Sandoval, and Griffin Canning have all taken stints on the IL.
Cobb was plenty productive before his injury. He posted a 3.82 ERA and a 3.89 xERA in 15 starts this year, but his FIP is down at 2.63 and his xFIP is down at 3.18.
That’s most likely in response to a high strikeout rate (9.73 K/9) and low home run rate (0.35 HR/9). Plus, he allowed a .327 BABIP while stranding just 63% of his runners in the first half, suggesting that Cobb is due for a lot of positive regression.
Cobb has an interesting mix. He re-worked his arsenal in 2017, ditching his four-seam fastball and replacing it with a splitter. His arsenal is now headlined by a sinker (42.1%), curveball (16.3%) and splitter (37.3%).
All three pitches are slight pluses, with each having an xwOBA below league average (about .320).
White Sox Cruising Toward Postseason
The White Sox are mostly on cruise control, playing ho-hum baseball with a 13-game lead in the AL Central. They’ve gone 6-5 this month, but recently took two of three in an exciting series with the Red Sox.
However, the offense has still been raking. The White Sox lineup has posted a .775 OPS over the past 30 days, pairing that with MLB’s fourth-highest wRC+ during that stretch, at 115.
The leader of the offense right now is Yasmani Grandal. Grandal had a big pause in play due to an injury, and he’s only played 77 total games this season. However, since re-entering the lineup on August 27, he’s 20-for-47 with six home runs and 11 walks to just seven strikeouts. The numbers add up to a 1.413 OPS and a 269 wRC+ during the stretch.
Starting Pitcher: Reynaldo López (RHP)
For most of the season, López has been an effective part of the best relief core in MLB. However, he’s made a spot start here and there, compiling six in total, and this will be his third straight start without a relief appearance.
Here are López’s last two starts:
- 9/4 @ KCR: 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB
- 9/9 @ OAK: 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 K, 3 BB
It’s worth mentioning, however, that both of those starts came on the road. López has been a much more effective pitcher at Guaranteed Rate Field. He’s posted a 0.90 ERA and a 0.55 WHIP in seven home appearances this season, while posting a 3.00 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in nine road appearances.
López will make his second home start of the season after tossing five scoreless, one-hit frames against the Athletics back on August 17.
Considering the Angels’ offensive production recently, we might be in for another home gem from López in this one.
Angels-White Sox Pick
I really like the pitching matchup in this game.
Cobb was a very effective pitcher before his injury, and I believe he might be slightly undervalued in this matchup. Meanwhile, López has been unhittable in Chicago, and I think he continues that trend against an underperforming offense.
We’ve tracked some sharp money coming in on the under, and that’s where I see value in this game. I’ll take the under 8.5 currently being offered at -110 on DraftKings.
Pick: Under 8.5 (-110)