White Sox vs. Twins Odds, Preview, Prediction: Division-Leading Chicago Faces Minnesota (Wednesday, August 11)

White Sox vs. Twins Odds, Preview, Prediction: Division-Leading Chicago Faces Minnesota (Wednesday, August 11) article feature image
Credit:

Ron Vesely/Getty Images. Pictured: José
Abreu (left) and Yoan Moncada.

Editor’s note: Lance Lynn has been scratched from this start. Reynaldo López will start in his place.

White Sox vs. Twins Odds

White Sox Odds -190
Twins Odds +160
Over/Under 9
Time Wednesday, 1:10 p.m. ET
TV YouTube
Odds as of Wednesday and via DraftKings

The Minnesota Twins took the first game of this division series against the Chicago White Sox at home on Tuesday night, 4-3.

The Twins were led offensively by strong performances from Willian Astudillo and Miguel Sano, each of whom drove in two runs. Astudillo had a big two-run home run in the sixth inning off White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel, which proved to be the difference.

The White Sox, meanwhile, managed just six hits and went 0-3 with runners in scoring position. Adam Engel and Jose Abreu each homered in the loss.

With Lance Lynn on the mound on Wednesday afternoon, can the White Sox even the series this afternoon on the road, or can we expect to see the Twins seal a series win with rookie Bailey Ober on the mound?

South Sixers Turn to Ace

Lynn is putting together a dominant season in his first season in Chicago. Over 114 2/3 innings, he’s compiled a 10-3 record, 2.04 ERA and is striking out batters at a strong 10.23 K/9 clip. That last number is especially impressive considering it’s nearly a full strikeout better than his 2020 total (9.54 K/9) and the third best of his 10-year career.

While his 3.00 FIP is nearly a full run higher than his ERA — and does point to some potential negative regression in the near future) — it’s still quite impressive, particularly given the powerful American League lineups he’s faced this season. Lynn’s underlying metrics — a 6.4% Barrel rate and 35.8% Hard Hit rate — also don’t raise any red flags concerning substantial regression in his remarkable season.

Tonight, Lynn will face a Twins lineup that has been just slightly above league average so far against right-handed pitching, collectively hitting to a .321 wOBA and combining for a 104 wRC+. Lynn has also been giving the Twins distance of late, pitching at least six innings in six of his last seven starts.

Even if he does not last quite that long, manager Tony La Russa will have no hesitation turning the ball over to a bullpen that has strong overall so far this season. Over 358 innings so far, Chicago’s ‘pen pitched to a 3.94 FIP, the 10th-best mark in all of baseball.

Ober Not Pitching Uber-Well

Ober will take the hill for the Twins in what will amount to the 13th start of his rookie season. Based on the results so far, it evident that he’s still adjusting to big league hitting. In 52 1/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 5.18 FIP, allowed an average of 2.24 HR/9 and is striking out batters at a 9.6 K/9 clip.

Per Statcast, he’s not fooling very many hitters either. Ober’a 40.9% Hard Hit rate is troubling to say the least, and his 8.1% Barrel rate is a well above the MLB average.

Part of the issue can be attributed to Ober’s off-speed repertoire. While he does mix in a slider, changeup and cutter, the current mix has not been effective enough to protect his run-of-the-mill fastball, which comes in at an average of just 92.1 mph. He’ll need to improve upon his approach substantially if he wishes to stay at professional level for much longer.

Tonight’s matchup won’t make things any easier on him. He gets the unenviable task of taking on a White Sox team that has been one of the better teams in baseball against right-handed pitching, collectively hitting to a .327 wOBA. That’s good for the sixth-best mark In the majors. Chicago has also been extremely hot offensively of-late, averaging seven runs per game over its last five.

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White Sox-Twins Pick

This is another situation where a road team moneyline, despite being above -150, is the correct play.

The White Sox have the advantage in all aspects of the game and will have a substantial advantage in the starting-pitching department with Lynn on the mound.

Chicago’s red-hot offense will also have a premium matchup against a struggling rookie starter and Twins bullpen that currently ranks in the bottom-third of MLB with a 4.44 FIP this season.

While it’s never comfortable taking a road team at this price, the White Sox are the best play on the board.

Pick: White Sox (-190)

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