Friday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: White Sox vs. Tigers Betting Preview (April 8, 2022)
Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Luis Robert
- The White Sox are a short favorite over the Tigers as both teams open their 2022 seasons on Friday afternoon.
- D.J. James is laying it with Chicago, counting on its success against lefties from last season to continue.
- Get his full White Sox vs. Tigers preview and pick below.
White Sox vs. Tigers Odds
|White Sox Odds||-130|
|Time||1:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Detroit Tigers host the Chicago White Sox on their Opening Day of the 2022 season. Eduardo Rodríguez will be the starter for the Tigers and Lucas Giolito will throw for the White Sox.
This is a pretty underrated matchup, considering how Rodríguez’s standard stats at the end of last year did not necessarily tell the whole story of his 2021 campaign.
The White Sox, however, have thrived against left-handed pitching over the last couple of seasons. They will be without Tim Anderson thanks to a suspension he was given at the end of last season. Yoán Moncada has landed on the injured list with an oblique strain. He will be sidelined for a couple of weeks.
Jake Burger is a power-hitting righty taking Moncada’s spot, while utility man Leury García will handle the shortstop duties. Even without two of their stars, the additions of Josh Harrison and A.J. Pollock bolster an already strong lineup.
White Sox Dealing With Early Injuries
The lineup for the White Sox is a bit depleted, and the team suffered some late-spring injury woes with Lance Lynn and Garrett Crochet both landing on the injured list, — the latter for the season with Tommy John surgery.
That does not change the fact that the best starter on the team is pitching. Giolito is on the short list of favorites for this year’s AL Cy Young. He posted a 3.27 xERA over 178 2/3 innings. He mainly features a four-seamer/changeup combination, but last year he did throw his slider more than 20% of the time.
When he has all three pitches going, he’s among the best in the league. What jumps off the page is he posted similar splits against both righties and lefties, with a 1.17 WHIP against southpaws and 1.06 WHIP against right-handers. This says he can battle from both sides of the plate.
To complement Giolito’s arsenal, the White Sox have one of the best bullpens in the league, when at full strength. To add to the multitude of injuries, though, Joe Kelly and Ryan Burr will start the season on the IL as well.
After Giolito leaves the game, look for Aaron Bummer and Liam Hendriks to get some innings. Reynaldo López will come in long relief if needed. Kendall Graveman and Kyle Crick are options, too, for Tony La Russa. Outside of lefties, they have a significant amount of depth.
Last season, the White Sox had a 113 wRC+ against lefties. Harrison and Pollock both posted even better numbers off of southpaws last season. They did have a tendency to pound the ball into the ground, but Eloy Jiménez and the other power hitters should improve upon that in the new season.
Tigers Improving, But Still a Step Behind
The Tigers struggled last season against right-handers. They had a collective wRC+ of 90, which ranked 22nd in the MLB. They did make some significant improvements to their lineup, though. Javy Báez, Austin Meadows and Tucker Barnhart will likely start in the series. However, only Meadows will enhance this lineup against righties.
To the Tigers’ credit, though, they did have four starters post a .380 xwOBA or higher off of right-handed changeups. That said, Giolito might have the best changeup in the league, so take those numbers down a notch. He will also carve up the bottom of the lineup, as there will be a significant drop-off for the Tigers in the lower-third of the order.
Rodríguez will need to force the ball on the ground to have success, and he has done a solid job of doing so in his career. His ground ball rate sat around 43% last season and if the Sox continued to have the same consistent issues of not elevating the ball enough, this could come into play. The White Sox lineup will be entirely right-handed, however.
Tony La Russa announces tomorrow's #WhiteSox Opening Day lineup:
— Slavko Bekovic (@SBekovic) April 7, 2022
E-Rod posted a 3.64 xFIP against righties compared to a 2.68 xFIP against lefties. He also walked batters at a higher rate (7.9% vs. 3.6%). The Sox maintained the fourth-best walk rate in the league last season, so expect them to take advantage of Rodríguez’s mishaps.
Gregory Soto and Michael Fulmer are the best relief options for Detroit. The Tigers’ bullpen will obviously be rested, but it’s not an elite unit.
White Sox-Tigers Pick
The White Sox crush lefties, and they are fortunate to face one in the first game of the season. Giolito’s changeup will give the bottom of the Detroit lineup a litany of issues and the back-end of the Chicago bullpen is elite.
Take the White Sox at -130, and play to -145.
Pick: Chicago White Sox -145 or better.
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