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MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for White Sox vs. Yankees: Can Chicago Avoid Series Sweep in New York? (Sunday, May 23)

MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for White Sox vs. Yankees: Can Chicago Avoid Series Sweep in New York? (Sunday, May 23) article feature image

David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Dallas Keuchel.

  • The White Sox look to avoid a sweep in the series finale at Yankee Stadium.
  • A pair of struggling starting pitchers in Dallas Keuchel and Jameson Taillon will toe the tubber, with both offenses seemingly poised to break out.
  • Tanner McGrath breaks down the betting value on Sunday in the Bronx below.

White Sox vs. Yankees Odds

White Sox Odds +105
Yankees Odds -125
Over/Under 9
Time Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Saturday and via PointsBet

Entering this series at Yankee Stadium, the White Sox were rolling.

The South Siders had the best record in the American League and were firing on all cylinders. On Sunday, they’ll look to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Bronx Bombers, having already lost the best record in the AL to the Red Sox.

The Yankees, meanwhile, have been one of the best teams in baseball. They’re on a five-game winning streak and don’t look like slowing down soon.

A sweep would be monumental for the Yankees and catastrophic for the White Sox. Therefore, this is a massive game for these two. Let’s dive into where the value lies.

Chicago White Sox

It’s been a disappointing trip to New York for this Chicago team.

In the series opener, the White Sox — and Tony La Russa in particular — wasted an amazing start from Carlos Rodón. Then in Game 2, Dylan Cease got lit up for five runs in just 4 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and four walks in the process.

For some reason, the powerful White Sox offense has been anemic at Yankee Stadium. The lineup failed to exploit a very exploitable left-handed pitcher in Jordan Montgomery, marking just the second loss to a left-handed starter since the start of the 2020 season. Gerrit Cole pitched another gem on Saturday, but the White Sox should’ve been able to score a run off three hits and three walks through the first five innings.

We’ll see if the White Sox offense, which is still one of the best in the league, can get something going today. And hopefully the southpaw sinker-baller on the mound can muster a good start for them.

Starting pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (LHP)

Keuchel isn’t pitching well this year. The two-time All Star has one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball paired with one of the highest expected batting averages.

While he is managing to keep exit velocity down (86.6 mph, 82nd percentile), he’s producing a lot of contact. His 4.44 ERA and 1.22 WHIP aren’t awful, but his .261 BABIP should regress back to his .290 career average, so I’m expecting more hits and runs.

But the White Sox are 6-3 in Keuchel’s starts this season, so Southside fans should be happy he’s giving them a chance to win. But they should also be upset that he isn’t the pitcher he used to be.

Keuchel still primarily relies on his sinker, but his most effective pitch this season has been the changeup. It’s traveling less than 80 mph and producing just a .190 batting average and a .241 wOBA.

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New York Yankees

As mentioned, the Yankees have won five straight games. Amazingly, the pitching staff has allowed just five runs in the process. New York’s pitching has been immaculate.

The @Yankees starters are shutting it down 🔒

— MLB (@MLB) May 22, 2021

The offense managed to get things going on Saturday, but it’s still struggling with consistency. The Yankees have posted just a .672 OPS over the past two weeks, and they’re 18-27 to the over this season.

Over the past two weeks, the Yankees’ starters are fourth in WHIP (1.04) and third in FIP (2.63). Over the course of the season, Yankees relievers, meanwhile, pace the league in WHIP (1.03) and are second in FIP (3.31). If the Yankees hope to compete for a title in 2021, it’s the pitching staff that will get them there.

Giancarlo Stanton is still injured but should be returning soon. Aaron Judge has returned to MVP form, entering this game on a five-game hit streak.

Starting pitcher: Jameson Taillon (RHP)

At the minimum, Taillon has been a reliable starting arm for a rotation that’s still missing Luis Severino. He’s thrown 37 2/3 innings over eight starts this season and has pitched at least five innings just three times.

Between his 5.73 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and the fact the Yankees have gone just 3-5 in his starts, though, he’s been mostly lousy.

Additionally, Taillon is allowing a fairly high average exit velocity (89.9 mph) and barrel percentage (12.6%), and he has predictably had trouble keeping the ball in the park with a home run rate that is more than double his career average.

But there’s also reason to believe Taillon could be due for some positive regression. His xERA (3.59) and xFIP (3.86) are much lower than his actual numbers, and his strikeout rate is way up (28.7% in 2021, 19% in 2019). The whiff rate on his fastball and changeup are way up from his numbers in 2019, as well.

I think the problem is just consistency. He’s posted just two high-quality starts this season, although they were against the Orioles and Tigers, and he’s walked nine batters over his past 20 innings.

White Sox-Yankees Pick

This has been a very unexpected series. The White Sox offense has stalled, and the Yankees’ questionable starting rotation (outside of Cole) has been incredible. Additionally, I didn’t expect New York to shut down Chicago in Game 2.

Therefore, I’m looking for regression to the mean in this game. The first two matchups went under, and I’m hoping the bats will wake up in the series finale.

Keuchel has very questionable underlying statistics, while the Yankees are one of the better sinker hitting teams in baseball (1.20 wSF/100 pitches, ninth in MLB). I’m looking for the Yankees offense to stay hot and would double down on this bet if I knew Stanton was returning.

Meanwhile, the White Sox lineup might have looked pathetic in this series so far, but they’re due for some runs against a pitcher that isn’t all that … good. Taillon throws primarily a four-seam fastball, and the White Sox rank seventh in MLB in weighted fastball runs created.

I’m looking to play the over at 9 runs at even money or better.

Pick: Over 9 +100

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