Athletics vs. White Sox Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Bet the Total in Chicago (Tuesday, August 17)
Jason Miller / Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Bassitt
Athletics vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-108|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday morning and via FanDuel|
The Chicago White Sox took the first game of this series at home against the Oakland Athletics last night by the score of 5-2.
The White Sox were led offensively by strong performances from Luis Robert, Tim Anderson and Seby Zavala, all of whom had multi-hit efforts in the victory. Robert’s line included a solo home run in the 8th inning, while Zavala added two runs batted in of his own.
The Athletics, meanwhile, managed just six hits, including a home run from Matt Chapman that accounted for one of their two runs. Mark Canha and Jed Lowrie each also contributed two hits in the loss. The offense struggled overall with runners in scoring position, finishing just 1-7 in that category on the night.
Can the Athletics even the series on the road with a surging Chris Bassitt on the mound, or should we expect the home team to take their second game in a row on Tuesday night?
Chris Bassitt will take the hill tonight for the road team in what will amount to his 25th start of the season. He’s been extremely effective so far, pitching to a 12-3 record, 3.36 FIP and retiring batters at a strong 9.2 K/9 clip. That last number is particularly impressive when you consider the fact that he averaged just 7.9 K/9 last season.
Bassitt has also been successful in limiting hard contact, as evidenced by his low 27.3% Hard Hit rate and 6.9% Barrel rate. Not only has that keep his overall numbers strong, but it has helped him limit the long ball. Over 150 innings pitched, he’s allowing just 0.90 HR/9.
Tonight, he’ll take on a White Sox team that has been one of the better teams in the league so far this season against right-handed pitching, collectively hitting to a .323 wOBA on the year.
That said, Bassitt has been tough to hit of-late. Over his last 20 innings pitched, he’s allowed just one earned run while striking out 21 batters.
Once Bassitt exits, manager Bob Melvin can confidently hand the ball over to a bullpen that resides just outside of the top-10 this season with a 4.11 FIP this far. That number is good for 11th-best amongst all teams.
Chicago White Sox
Reynaldo Lopez will get the start for the White Sox in the second game of this series at Guaranteed Rate Field. Lopez has started the season incredibly strong – over his first 20 innings pitched, he’s compiled a 1.35 ERA and is striking out batters at a 9.9 K/9 clip.
He hasn’t been with the big-league club long this season but has made a strong impact. His first appearance of the season was out of the bullpen on July 16th, and he’s spent his time since then both as a starter and reliever.
While his 1.35 ERA is strong, Lopez has been a bit lucky so far to have kept that number so low. His 3.68 FIP, while still solid, is more than two full runs higher than his ERA, indicating that we’re likely to see some negative regression coming during the second half of the season.
He’s also yet to pitch more than three innings in any outing this year, so it’s very likely we’ll see five innings or less from the veteran pitcher tonight. In fact, Lopez has only made two other starts this season, so the leash will not be very long should he get into any trouble.
When he exits, the White Sox will turn the ball over to a bullpen that has also been relatively solid so far this season. Over 379 innings pitched, they’ve compiled a 4.05 FIP and have retired batters at an impressive 10.2 K/9 clip. Their team FIP is good for 10th-best amongst all teams, while the strikeout rate is second to only the Milwaukee Brewers.
Athletics-White Sox Pick
Despite being on the road, the Athletics are favored in this one with Bassitt on the mound and a likely bullpen game for the White Sox on the horizon.
While a home underdog is always tempting – and there can certainly be a case made that there is value on Chicago here – I’m going to steer away from the money line and target the total.
Bassitt has been absolutely lights out of-late, allowing just one earned run in his last 20 innings pitched, while Lopez and the Chicago bullpen have more than enough firepower to limit the offensive attack on the other end.
When Bassitt exits, the Athletics bullpen has also proven more than capable of throwing up zeroes on the backend. In fact, they’ve been one of the better units in baseball lately, recording a 3.58 FIP over 45 2/3 innings this month.
Given the above, I’ll be looking to the under here. I’m comfortable playing it at the current total of 9 runs, but I would look elsewhere if the total shifts any lower than that.
Pick: Under (9)
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