Thursday’s MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction: White Sox vs. Tigers (June 3)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images. Pictured: Casey Mize.
- The Tigers and White Sox begin a four-game set on Thursday in Chicago between two sides on the opposite ends of the AL Central.
- Detroit sends its prized pitcher Casey Mize to the mound who has had a much better year than his debut season in 2020.
- Despite their difference in records, Matthew Trebby explains below why he's fading the South Siders.
Tigers vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-205|
|Time||Thursday, 8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday and via FanDuel|
The Tigers and White Sox open a four-game set on the south side of Chicago on Thursday night, and it features a very good pitching matchup of thriving right-handers.
Casey Mize will start for the Tigers opposite Lance Lynn, who is looking like an American League Cy Young Award candidate so far this season. Mize, meanwhile, is the first of many promising young pitchers in the Tigers organization who gives Detroit faithful hope for the future.
Books have made the first-place White Sox a big favorite for this game. Let’s break down where the value lies.
Mize Has Had Promising Season For Tigers
Mize looks like a former No. 1 overall pick so far this season. He’s averaging 5 2/3 innings per start this season, and he was at 6.2 per outing in May, during which he thrived.
In five May starts for Mize, the Tigers went 4-1. The right-hander had a 1.74 ERA, allowing just six total runs against the Red Sox, Royals (twice), Mariners and Yankees.
After a shaky seven-start cameo last year, Mize has lowered his walks and home runs allowed per nine inning by more than 1.00 each. He has a 3.28 ERA, although 4.20 xFIP says he might not be that good over the course of an entire season.
In addition to Mize’s success over the past month, he has thrived away from home this year. He has a 2.61 ERA away from Comerica Park and 4.58 mark at home, which is odd since the ballpark in Detroit is known for being a pitcher’s park.
Mize faced the White Sox earlier this season on April 29. He tossed a quality start, allowing three earned runs over six innings in a 3-1 win for Chicago.
The Tigers’ lineup ranks among the worst in baseball over the course of the season, but it’s 14th over the past two weeks in the majors in OPS.
Jonathan Schoop is leading that offensive charge with a 1.051 OPS over his last 13 games, while Robbie Grossman and Jeimer Candelario have been solid on-base options atop the lineup throughout the season. The lack of pop is holding Detroit back, though, as neither Grossman or Candelario have great power, and Miguel Cabrera is a shell of his former self.
Detroit has won four of its last five, which includes a three-game sweep of the Yankees at home before splitting a brief set in Milwaukee.
Lynn Could Be Due For Regression With White Sox
Lynn has been exactly the starter that the White Sox wanted when they acquired him during the offseason.
Aside from missing the 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery, Lynn has been a reliable starter throughout his big-league career. Since becoming a full-time starter in St. Louis back in 2012, he appeared in at least 30 games in every season until the shortened 2020 campaign, during which he started 13 times.
So far, Lynn is averaging about 5 2/3 innings per start through his first nine appearances and has thrived. He is just short of enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, but he’d be third in MLB and first in the American League if he did.
Lynn’s 1.20 ERA is stellar, but a 3.98 xFIP indicates that number is going to go up, as does Lynn’s past. Lynn did register 3.67 and 3.32 ERAs in his two seasons with the Rangers, and his xFIPs were 3.85 and 4.34, and it’s incredibly difficult to have an ERA that low and have the advanced metrics back it up.
The keys to Lynn’s success have been a 0.68 home runs per nine innings rate, which would be his lowest since returning from Tommy John in 2017, and a career-low .222 BABIP.
Offensively, Chicago is thriving even without five-tool outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert.
Chicago ranks sixth in MLB in OPS even though it’s just 23rd in home runs. Yoan Moncada has been red hot of late, and Jose Abreu and Yermin Mercedes are having solid seasons behind him in the lineup.
Later in the season, once Jimenez and Robert are healthy, the South Siders’ lineup will be an even more difficult task for opposing pitchers than it is now. Abreu’s numbers aren’t anywhere close to his MVP season from 2020, while Tim Anderson has been in the midst of a cool spell atop the lineup.
For now, though, they’re doing enough to remain one of the best teams on the Junior Circuit.
Tigers-White Sox Pick
This is a very big number on the White Sox, and there is definitely value on Detroit with a red-hot starting pitcher. Lynn’s ERA is not going to sit under 2.00 throughout the season, while Mize is riding a strong wave at the moment. The Tigers’ lineup is an average offensive unit right now, as well, which could be enough to finally get to Lynn.
Pick: Tigers +172