Cardinals vs. White Sox Odds, Preview, Prediction: Can Chicago’s Bats Get On Track vs. St. Louis? (Monday, May 24)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: José Abreu
- The Cardinals and White Sox open a series on Monday night (8:10 p.m. ET, ESPN) on the South Side of Chicago.
- Both teams had rough weekends, with St. Louis dropping a series to the Cubs and the White Sox getting swept by the Yankees.
- How will this one play out? Kenny Ducey breaks it down below.
Cardinals vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-175|
|Over/Under||8.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday afternoon and via BetMGM.|
Coming in as losers of four games in their last five, the White Sox need a win in a bad way, and have their sights set on the struggling and wounded Cardinals.
St. Louis has fallen into a bit of a rut, losing a third key bat on Sunday in Dylan Carlson, who is currently day-to-day and it just lost a big series to its division rival Cubs.
Is there any value in betting on the White Sox to right the ship here, or should a matchup between two struggling teams be a little more evenly weighted? Let’s dig into the numbers to find out.
A Rough Weekend Behind Cardinals
This past weekend was poised to be a promising one for the Cardinals, coming in off of two wins against Pittsburgh and facing the struggling Kyle Hendricks in the first game of the series. Well, things didn’t go exactly as planned. St. Louis’ bullpen blew it on Friday night, after a good fight from the offense to keep things interesting, and after a close triumph on Saturday, the bats went cold again versus another struggling starter in Zach Davies. Simply put, this lineup failed, in a quite puzzling scene, to beat two weak starters and instead won the one game it shouldn’t have.
That about sums things up for the Cardinals’ offense, which has posted a pedestrian 91 wRC+ over the past week and lost another bat in Carlson along the way. The youngster was scratched on Sunday with a back issue, and his status for Monday is up in the air. With Tyler O’Neill and Paul DeJong already out, this order gets easier to handle with each passing week.
The perplexing Kwang Hyun-Kim gets the ball today for the Cardinals, and his season just keeps on getting weirder. He’s continued to keep his ERA at a sparkling 2.73, and by all accounts has been effective in May with just three earned runs in 12 2/3 innings. He’s begun trading his strikeouts in for walks, however, and never seems to be without traffic on the basepaths.
The lefty has been great this year at inducing soft contact, and at times can look like he’s absolutely shoving. Then, in an instant, he can lose you the game. That’s exactly what happened last Sunday against the short-handed Padres; Kim allowed four runs and started walking everybody, even though only one was earned in the end.
Lynn, White Sox Offense Look To Stop Skid
On the other hand, there’s been nothing confusing about Lance Lynn this season. All he’s done is dominate. The righty has his strikeout rate back up near 28%, and his shining 1.55 ERA is backed by a 2.64 xERA. Even at 34 years of age, he’s still pumping his four-seamer in at an average of 94 mph and getting more whiffs on the pitch this season — 5% more, to be exact. The fastball has been more effective this season despite a slight dip in spin rate, and it’s been by far the biggest thing going for him.
Offensively, the White Sox have to be the lock of the season to score at least a few runs here. There have only been five offenses better over the past two weeks, over which Chicago has hit 17 homers and slashed .252/.348/.446, and over the course of the season no team has been better against left-handed pitching. The White Sox have a mighty 135 wRC+ against lefties, and have struck out at just a 23% clip, which is just outside the bottom third of the league. It’s nearly impossible to get anything by these bats from the left side, with a charge led by the reigning AL MVP José Abreu.
With all of that said about the matchup, the White Sox need a win in a bad way. After winning six straight, splitting with the Royals and taking two of three in Minnesota, Chicago went to New York and was swept by a dominant pitching staff. Getting Lynn, their stopper, on the hill will be important, as will getting runs up early.
Cardinals-White Sox Pick
The matchup here is overwhelmingly great for the White Sox offense, and on top of that you have the added security of Lynn toeing the rubber. That’s why Chicago is currently the biggest favorite on the slate, and I think it’s well deserved.
I rarely take run lines, but in this case I don’t think the game will be particularly close. Chicago should continue mashing lefties, facing one who’s a bit lost and surely due for some negative regression. It’s also worth noting that on the other end, the Cardinals have been one of the worst offenses in baseball against the fastball with -0.15 weighted runs per 100 pitches, ranking 24th. Lynn should dominate, as should this lineup.
Pick: White Sox -1.5 (+115)