Friday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Tigers vs. White Sox: Back Detroit as an Underdog (June 4)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Turnbull.
- Spencer Turnbull looks to stay hot against the AL Central-leading White Sox and Dallas Keuchel on Friday night.
- The Tigers have mostly disappointed this season, although their starting rotation has been a sign of optimism for the future.
- Tanner McGrath breaks down this matchup in Chicago, delivering his betting analysis and best bet for the game below.
Tigers vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-156|
|Over/Under||8 (-118 / -104)|
|Time||Friday, 8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Friday at 4 p.m. ET and via FanDuel|
Casey Mize and the dreadful Tigers couldn’t take down the mighty White Sox last night. However, given the pitching matchup tonight, there may be value in the Tigers, despite their awful roster.
The Tigers’ starting pitching staff has been very effective pitching to contact, but Spencer Turnbull faces a difficult test tonight against the first-place White Sox.
Let’s dive into where the value is between the Tigers and the White Sox tonight.
The Tigers are one of the worst teams in baseball, 10 games under .500 with the second-worst run differential in the American League. The Detroit offense has been terrible, the defense is subpar and the bullpen is the worst in the league.
However, the Tigers’ starting pitching staff has been a bright spot. Detroit’s rotation is league average in FIP (4.15) and WHIP (1.24), and while they don’t strike out many batters (20%, 25th in MLB), the staff induces a lot of ground balls (45.7%, sixth in league).
The Tigers’ starting staff pitches to contact, and the amount of weak contact they’re forcing has produced results. Today’s starter is no different.
Starting pitcher: Spencer Turnbull (RHP)
Fresh off a no-hitter, Turnbull’s most recent stretch has been quite impressive. The Tigers are 3-1 in Turnbull’s last four starts, during which he’s thrown 27 innings and allowed just five total earned runs.
More impressively, Turnbull has allowed just 16 hits in those starts — all singles! That’s good for a .172 BA and a .172 SLG, as well as an impressive 1.67 ERA and 0.85 WHIP.
Turnbull mixes it up with a six-pitch arsenal that is headlined by a 94 mph fastball, and hitters are just not barreling the ball. He’s among the top 15% of qualified pitchers in both barrel percentage (4.6%) and hard-hit percentage (33.8%). Plus, he’s posted the lowest average launch angle since 2016 (7.6 degrees).
Good luck hitting for power against Turnbull, because he has not been allowing it recently. But like the rest of the Tigers pitching staff, he pitches to contact and strikes out very few batters.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox are arguably the best team in the American League.
After Thursday night’s win, the White Sox own the AL’s best run differential, at +82. They’re now 7-3 in their last 10 games and 21-9 at home.
Chicago’s lineup has been the catalyst of its success. All season long, the White Sox have ranked among the top-five teams in the majors in average, OPS and wOBA. Specifically, Yoan Moncada has been raking recently. The South Siders’ third baseman is working on a seven-game hit streak, during which he’s batting .478 with a 1.338 OPS.
But the whole White Sox lineup has been good during the recent stretch. Over the past seven days, the White Sox rank among the top 10 teams in OPS (.756), wOBA (.330) and wRC+ (114).
Chicago’s bullpen has been even more impressive recently. Over the past seven days, the White Sox lead MLB in reliever WHIP (0.39) and FIP (1.24), although the bullpen has pitched just the sixth-fewest innings (18) during this stretch.
Starting pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (LHP)
I’m selling all my Keuchel stock.
He’s had a below-average season so far and has been one of the luckier pitchers in the league. He’s allowed a .331 wOBA but has a .380 xwOBA, and he’s posted a 4.53 ERA but a 6.11 xERA.
Additionally, Keuchel’s last four starts have been disastrous. He’s posted a 5.82 ERA and 1.57 WHIP while allowing a .908 OPS in those starts, spanning 21 2/3 innings. Luckily, the White Sox have bailed him out with run support, as the lineup scored a combined 40 runs in the starts and Keuchel was gifted a 3-0 record.
Keuchel manages to keep the hard contact down and has posted a low average exit velocity (86.6 mph), plus his launch angle is incredibly low (3.2 degrees). However, he doesn’t strike out anyone (12% of batters faced, lowest of his career) and has allowed a high barrel percentage (10.5%). It results in a lot of hard-hit outs and high variance, hence his high expected statistics.
Tigers-White Sox Pick
Between Turnbull’s recent success and Keuchel’s recent struggles, I think the Tigers have value tonight.
Keuchel hasn’t had great success against the Tigers in the past and given the Tigers have a 104 wRC+ over the past month, I like their chances of posting some runs tonight. Additionally, since May started, the Tigers are sixth in MLB in weighted changeup runs created (3.4), which is Keuchel’s second-most-thrown pitch.
The White Sox bullpen has been one of the best recently, and the Tigers bullpen is one of the worst in the league. But I like Turnbull and Detroit to keep things close in the first few frames.
Therefore, I’m looking to avoid the bullpens and play Turnbull and the Tigers F5 +0.5.
Pick: Tigers F5 +0.5 -102 (play to -110)