Tigers vs. White Sox Odds & Pick: Bet Chicago to Crush Division Rival (June 5)
David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito.
- Lucas Giolito and the Chicago White Sox take on the Detroit Tigers in Saturday's Major League Baseball action.
- The White Sox are leading the AL Central, while the Tigers are in fourth place with a 23-33 record.
- Kevin Davis explains below why he's backing the White Sox in a rout.
Tigers vs. White Sox Odds
|White Sox Odds||-225|
|Time||2:10 p.m. ET|
This weekend, the Chicago White Sox host the Detroit Tigers in an American League Central divisional matchup. Unsurprisingly, the White Sox are expected to be heavily favored in every game.
Chicago is in first place in the AL Central, boasting a 34-22 record while Detroit is in fourth place with a 23-33 record. However, the Tigers should be in last place as they have a -55 run differential that equates to a 21-35 Pythagorean record.
Unlike Detroit, Chicago deserves to be in first place as it has a +82 run differential, which is the best in the American League. Even though the White Sox have won 60.7 percent of their games, they should have won 62.9% of them because of their run differential.
On Saturday, Chicago ace Lucas Giolito faces off against a struggling Tarik Skubal of Detroit. In addition to having a decisive edge in starting pitching, the White Sox have a much better bullpen and lineup. The question is whiter or not Chicago deserves to be such a big -225 favorite. Let’s take a look:
It is hard to argue what the biggest Achilles heel for the Tigers is at the moment. A strong argument could be made that Detroit’s biggest weakness is its lineup, which is averaging only 3.66 runs per game. That’s the lowest in the American League. Currently, the average team is at 4.32 runs per game.
What’s scary about Detroit is there is not much room for immediate improvement. The lineup has a wRC+ of 85, meaning it should score 15% fewer runs than the league average or 3.76 runs per game. When looking at Detroit’s lineup, only outfielder Robbie Grossman is having an above-average offensive season.
With a weak group, the way the Tigers can win is with good starting pitching. Unfortunately, Detroit must rely on Skubal in this spot. Skubal has a 2-7 record with a 4.59 ERA, 4.88 xFIP and a -0.2 WAR this season. Detroit could have replaced Skubal with a “replacement-level” pitcher in his 49 innings this season, and it would have lost two fewer games.
Chicago White Sox
Giolito has the fortune of facing this woeful Detroit lineup. Over the last three seasons, Giolito has been the rotation’s ace. This season, Giolito has a 5-4 record, 3.73 ERA and a 3.53 xFIP.
Additionally, he’s averaging more than 5 2/3 innings per start, which should decrease Detroit’s chances to put runs on the scoreboard. Even if Giolito does not last long on the mound, the Tigers will have a tough time against a White Sox group that has a 3.49 xFIP, which is the lowest in the league.
Backing Giolito up is a group of hitters that has done very well this season. Currently, the Chicago is averaging 4.93 runs per game, which is fifth best in the league. Built around infielders Yoán Moncada and José Abreu; outfielder Yermín Mercedes; catcher Yasmani Grandal; and, infielder Nick Madrigal, the White Sox should do well against Skubal.
Tigers-White Sox Pick
Chicago is the obvious favorite against Detroit. Usually, I don’t like betting on favorites, but my model gives a slight edge to Chicago on the moneyline. However, at -225 odds, it’s not worth betting on the White Sox unless they’re at -210 or better.
Instead after simulating this game 10,000 times, my model found the White Sox covered their -1.5 run line 56% of the time. At -115 (53.5% break-even odds), I would bet Chicago’s run line up to -120 in this contest.
Pick: White Sox RL -1.5 (-115 — play up to -120)