White Sox vs. Mariners MLB Odds & Picks: Back the South Siders Against Lefty Starter (Tuesday, April 6)
Norm Hall/Getty Images. Pictured: Lucas Giolito.
- Death, taxes and the White Sox handling left-handed pitching.
- Chicago has raked against southpaw pitching since the start of last season, although the loss of James McCann and injury to Tim Anderson could hurt.
- Jeff Hicks breaks down where he sees betting value on Tuesday night between the White Sox and Mariners.
White Sox vs. Mariners Odds
|White Sox Odds||-139|
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday night and via PointsBet|
Lucas Giolito looks to continue to dominate hitters in his second start of the season against James Paxton and the Seattle Mariners. Seattle is implementing a six-man rotation, making this Paxton’s season debut. Despite their careers going in opposite directions in recent years, the two starters are playing for the teams where they have had their most success.
Speaking of success, the Mariners have looked better than the White Sox as we enter the first full week of the season and have been without one of their best players in outfielder Kyle Lewis. Chicago is bracing for Tim Anderson potentially warranting a stint on the injured list.
Will the loss of Anderson change Chicago’s outlook for Tuesday night?
Chicago White Sox
The loss of Anderson at shortstop for at least Monday saw super-utility player Leury Garcia start at shortstop and Nick Madrigal move to the top of the batting order. White Sox manager Tony La Russa has also decided to shuffle the order before Anderson’s injury in an attempt to get offensive consistency.
What the offense cannot do is throw the ball and miss opposing bats. Chicago has had a troublesome start to the year from the bullpen. Heading into Monday night’s game against Seattle, the White Sox bullpen saw three of eight relievers with an ERA under 4.00. Prized offseason acquisition Liam Hendriks was sporting a 12.47 ERA and half of the fly balls he allowed left the park.
Giolito looked like his 2020 Cy Young-worthy self against a healthy Los Angeles Angels lineup. A few too many balls were hit hard and in the air, but his fastball-changeup combination is one of the best in baseball. Seattle does not have nearly the same offensive firepower as the Angels but cannot be overlooked. A good Giolito means the White Sox have a chance.
Another thing that should help the White Sox is the handedness of Seattle’s starter.
James Paxton is exactly who the White Sox like to face: a left-handed pitcher. Individually, Anderson and the departed James McCann were top-five hitters against southpaws using Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+), in which 100 is average; Anderson had a 299 wRC+ last season while McCann checked in at 236.
As a team, Chicago led baseball in 2020 with a team wRC+ of 142. Entering Monday, the White Sox ranked fifth.
Paxton has seen his ERA, opponent slugging percentage, opponent OPS, walks, hits and home runs allowed per nine innings increase in each of the past four seasons. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has decreased each of the past four seasons, as well.
This could get ugly for Paxton if the Mariners offense cannot solve Giolito.
Seattle’s offense has been average to start 2021, but the one area that hitters have excelled at is generating walks (14.3% walk rate, third in MLB entering Monday). A walk, a bloop and a blast has been enough so far to get the White Sox pitching and defense out of rhythm.
White Sox-Mariners Pick
A strong offensive showing would be nice for both teams. Chicago needs to show why so many pundits liked the total team package and especially the offense, and the Mariners could make a lot of noise by knocking off the staff aces of two teams in the first week of the season. Losing Anderson is bad for the White Sox, especially with the way he sees lefty pitching, but the offense as a whole enjoys the challenge.
A White Sox loss Monday could get the moneyline more favorable for Chicago and in a short sample of bad play, I will continue to bet talent over a hot start.
Pick: Over 7.5 Runs (-109, bet to -125) and White Sox ML (preferred -130 or better)