White Sox vs. Twins Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Back Chicago as Heavy Favorite (Monday, August 9)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Tim Anderson.
- Chicago travel to Target Field to take on Minnesota on Monday night.
- The teams have had polar opposite seasons, with the White Sox all but a lock to win the AL Central.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the matchup below and why he thinks it could be a blowout.
White Sox vs. Twins Odds
|White Sox Odds||-170|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
The White Sox continue their quest for the number one seed in the American League when they take on the last-place Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Chicago has the American League Central all but wrapped up, as they have a 10-and-a-half game lead with a little under 50 games left in the season. Now they are in a battle with Tampa Bay and Houston for the best record in the league, which is a close one at the moment. They’ll hope Lucas Giolito can continue his good form and lead off the series with a win.
The Twins are well out of the playoff picture and were forced to become sellers at the deadline, shipping off Nelson Cruz to the Rays and Jose Berrios to the Blue Jays.
Minnesota’s starting rotation and bullpen have been abysmal this season and are the reasons for the massive regression from 2020. However, their offense has been above average, and they’ll need it to be clicking on all cylinders Monday if they are going to hit Giolito and the White Sox bullpen.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox have been one of the best lineups in baseball, mainly due to the fact they hit both right- and left-handed pitching well. Against righties, they rank eighth with a .324 wOBA and 108 wRC+, plus they’re also the seventh-best team against fastballs.
So, they’re going be a very difficult matchup for former first-round pick Beau Burrows, who is making his first career start on Monday and is mainly a fastball pitcher.
Chicago has dealt with a lot of injuries this season, but things are starting to come together, as Eloy Jimenez recently came off the IL, and it was announced yesterday that Luis Robert will be returning to the lineup on Monday, which will be a big boost for this White Sox offense.
The Twins became sellers at the trade deadline since they are out of the playoff picture. They dealt one of their best hitters in Nelson Cruz to the Rays, but even though Cruz is gone, this Twins lineup is still pretty deadly.
Minnesota has a .322 wOBA against right-handed pitching and absolutely crushes fastballs. They’re the second-ranked team in baseball against fastballs with a +50.1 run value. However, they have negative run values against every other pitch type, so I would imagine Giolito will rely on his changeup and slider more often tonight.
Starting Pitching Matchup
Lucas Giolito vs. Beau Burrows
2021 Stats (via Fangraphs)
White Sox Starting Pitcher
Lucas Giolito, RHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Lucas Giolito has been solid all season long for the White Sox, and it’s kind of crazy to say he’s their third best starting pitcher, but that just goes to show how good Lance Lynn and Carlos Rodon have been. Giolito’s 3.18 xERA is a tad bit of a dropoff from last season, but he still has a really high K/9 rate at 10.12, and he’s lowered his BB/9 rate to 2.72. However, he has one big problem: He’s giving up too many home runs. His HR/9 rate is up at 1.53, which is his highest mark since 2017.
Gioito mainly uses a fastball, changeup, slider combination, and while his fastball hasn’t been that effective (allowing a .350 xwOBA to opposing hitters), his changeup and slider have, allowing under a .240 xwOBA and producing over a 35% whiff rate. He’ll have to utilize those two pitches quite often against the Twins, since they are one of the best fastball-hitting teams in baseball.
Twins Starting Pitcher
Beau Burrows, RHP
Burrows was once a first-round pick of the Detroit Tigers back in 2015, but he has never showed that he is worthy of being their first overall pick. He spent four years in the minors before getting the call up to the bullpen, but his short stay in the big leagues has not gone well. He’s only pitched a total of 15 innings in the majors, and while it is a small sample size, he was an ERA over eight and an xFIP over seven.
Burrows is mainly a fastball pitcher, and it’s his four seam that got him to the majors, but scouts have continually had question marks about his off-speed pitches, and so far he’s shown that they do not work at the big league level.
The bullpen matchup is a huge advantage in the White Sox favor. Chicago has potentially the best bullpen in baseball after adding Craig Kimbrel and Ryan Tepera at the trade deadline, while the Twins are bottom five in ERA, LOB%, and hard hit % allowed. So, this game could get out of hand in the White Sox favor when we get to the later innings.
White Sox-Twins Pick
With the White Sox clicking on all cylinders right now and starting to get their lineup healthy again, I think this one is going to be a blowout. Burrows has no business starting on the mound, let alone being in the majors, after the performances he’s put up, so I think the White Sox offense is going to shell him earlier and get into a weak Twins bullpen.
Since I have the White Sox spread projected at -2.01, I think there is some value on the White Sox run line of -1.5 at -105 odds and would play it up to -112.
Pick: White Sox -1.5 (-105)