MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: White Sox vs. Blues Jays Betting Preview (Aug. 23)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images. Pictured: Lance Lynn.
- The White Sox and Blue Jays begin a four-game series north of the border on Monday.
- Both teams send two of the game's best pitchers to the mound as Lance Lynn faces Alex Manoah.
- Mike Ianniello explains below why he thinks both pitchers should silence the strong opposing offenses.
White Sox vs. Blue Jays Odds
|White Sox Odds||+110|
|Blue Jays Odds||+100|
|Time||7:07 p.m. ET|
The Chicago White Sox are undoubtedly one of the best teams in all of baseball. They currently have the third best odds to win the World Series at +650. That being said, you have to wonder how much fuel is on their fire as they go through the dog days of summer.
Currently holding a 10-game lead in the weak AL Central, Chicago is the only team in the division above .500 and has sat atop the division standings since May 4. With a postseason birth all but locked up, it’s understandable that a team could throw it into autopilot for stretches during the long season. The White Sox have played just average baseball, going 18-18 since the All-Star break.
For the Blue Jays, they do still have a fighting chance at a playoff spot. While not probable, as FanGraphs currently gives them just an 11.4% chance to make the playoffs, they currently only sit 4.5 games out of the final wild-card position, although they would need to jump three teams.
After a long “road” trip to Florida and Buffalo over the last two years, the Blue Jays finally returned to Toronto, and it has given them a big boost to be back in front of their true home fans. The Jays have gone 10-4 at Rogers Centre since their return.
Chicago will head up to Canada for a four-game series in Toronto beginning on Monday. It is always hard to factor motivation into a handicap. It is clear these games are more important for the Blue Jays, but is that where the value lies on Monday?
Cy Young Favorite, Lynn, Starts for White Sox
Current American League Cy Young favorite, Lance Lynn (RHP), will get the start in Game 1 of the series. In 22 starts this year, Lynn has gone 10-3 with a 2.26 ERA, the best mark of his career. He ranks third in the league among all pitchers with at least 100 innings, and leads the AL.
Lynn is a very unique pitcher, in that his arsenal really just relies on three variations of a fastball. He throws a 4-seamer, a cutter and a sinker, and all three have been dominant for him. He has allowed just one run or fewer in 15 of his 22 starts. Teams are batting just .188 with a .250 wOBA against him this year.
The good news for White Sox fans is that Lynn should be a little extra rested after he got himself ejected after just four innings in his last start for throwing his belt at the umpire during a substance check.
The White Sox lineup ranks sixth in the league in runs per game this season. The powerful lineup is seventh in wOBA and tied for third in wRC+ over the full season.
But as mentioned above, they’ve been a bit on cruise control. Since the All-Star break, Chicago is just 17th in wOBA and 15th with a league average 100 wRC+.
Two players not on autopilot, are Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. The two sluggers recently returned to the lineup in the last two weeks and have been mashing the ball. In the last two weeks, Robert is batting .349 and Jimenez is hitting .345.
Blue Jays Send Young Ace to Mound
Toronto hopes that they have a future Cy Young candidate in Alek Manoah (RHP). The 23-year old was the 11th overall pick in 2019 and entered the year as the Blue Jays No. 7 prospect.
Standing 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, Manoah is an intimidating presence on the mound. He throws a great slider, fastball and sinker and uses them all about 30% of the time. Manoah has posted a 5-2 record with a 3.34 ERA, although it was at 2.59 before his worst start of the year in his last outing. Still, opponents are batting just .197 against him this year.
Clearly not shy of a big moment, Manoah made his MLB debut this year on May 27 at Yankees Stadium, and all he did was toss six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven batters. The kid was dominant from the beginning, becoming the first pitcher in MLB history to begin their career allowing four hits or fewer in 10 straight starts.
Much like the White Sox, Toronto has one of the best offenses in the league. They rank fourth with an average of 5.12 runs per game. The Blue Jays are tied for the best wOBA in the league and sit second in wRC+.
The Blue Jays lineup is deep with young talent, led by Vlad Guerrero Jr. Guerrero is second in the league in OPS and trails only Shohei Ohtani with 36 home runs. George Springer is back on the injured list again, but they still have Marcus Semien, Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez who are all having excellent seasons.
White Sox-Blue Jays Pick
These are two of the best offenses in the entire league. They both rank in the top 10 of the league in wOBA and wRC+ and have a lineup full of All-Stars and MVP candidates. So why am I going to back the under here?
Both of these pitchers have been dominant this season. Manoah has made just 12 starts but is already doing things no pitcher in history has done, and Lynn is likely to win the AL Cy Young award.
These two pitchers faced off back on June 9 and were excellent. Manoah allowed one earned run and four hits in five innings, while Lynn allowed one run and four hits over seven innings. They combined for 13 strikeouts.
When these two high powered offenses played a three-game series earlier in the year, the under was 3-0. Toronto’s bullpen can be really shaky at times, and the fewer at bats for the big guns on these teams I have to sweat the better.
I do like the full game under as well, but I prefer to play the first five under and back these two starting pitchers to continue to dominate.
Pick: First Five Under 4.5 (-115)
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