White Sox vs. Athletics Odds, Preview, Prediction: Can Offenses Feast Against Underwhelming Pitching? (September 7)
Mark Blinch/Getty Images. Pictured: Starling Marte
White Sox vs. Athletics Odds
|White Sox Odds||+115|
|Over/Under||9 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||9:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here|
Tuesday will see the coming together of two playoff hopefuls in different situations.
On one side you have the Chicago White Sox, who have the AL Central all but locked up with 10-game lead over Cleveland. On the other side is the Oakland A’s, who are fighting hard for a place in the postseason, 3 1/2 games back of a wild-card spot.
Is the hungrier team the play here with a decently even pitching matchup, or should we target the total? Let’s dig into this one.
White Sox In Cruise Control
Chicago, as just mentioned, is in cruise control at the moment. It has a 10-game lead over Cleveland, and has just done enough over the last 10 games to not lose any ground, with six wins over that time frame. The White Sox can afford to give their stars a rest, and while the core has remained in the lineup sans Tim Anderson, there have been a hefty bunch of injury stays in the rotation.
That’s where Jimmy Lambert comes in. The 27-year-old is getting his second taste of the big leagues this season, and it’s been a bit of a struggle. He’s allowed eight earned runs in eight innings, with an even higher xERA than that 9.00 ERA he’s recorded.
While he racked up nearly 12 strikeouts per nine in Triple-A this year, we haven’t seen that strikeout prowess translate to the bigs yet with just a 19.5% punchout rate, and he’s thrown a very hittable fastball.
Behind Lambert, the White Sox have a bullpen which has pitched to a 5.06 ERA over the last two weeks, which puts them in the bottom third of the league. With missing starters, this bullpen has been taxed and probably can’t be trusted to dominate, especially against an offense as capable as the Athletics’.
Oakland Offense Is Dangerous
Speaking of that offense, it has ranked eighth all year in wRC+ and 12th over the last two weeks, seeing a surge following a miniature slump which decreased the likelihood of a postseason berth. This improvement, which has featured a lower 21.7% strikeout rate, should not go understated. We know this team has a wealth of offensive talent, and now it is once again seeing the results.
One area Oakland normally dominates is in the pitching department, but that’s been far from the case lately. The bullpen’s 6.44 ERA over the last two weeks ranks dead-last in baseball, and now even some of the A’s starters have begun to struggle.
James Kaprielian had been one of the sturdiest arms on the staff for Oakland, but has now begun to slip a bit in production. He has allowed 10 earned runs over his last two starts, which spanned nine innings, allowing a whopping five home runs.
That’s not exactly what you want to hear when you’re gearing up to face one of the best power-hitting teams in the game, but his 9.7% barrel rate for the year at least inspires some confidence that it won’t be a sustained issue.
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White Sox-Athletics Pick
We have the team with the top wRC+ in baseball over the past two weeks in the Chicago White Sox, a team finding itself offensively again in the A’s, and two bullpens that have been dreadful lately. While the A’s at least feature the better starting pitcher, the totality of both staffs is probably pretty even here with how bad the A’s bullpen has been.
I’m a believer in both lineups, and think the deal we’re getting on the over at plus money is one which must be taken.
Pick: Over 9 (+100)