CHICAGO WHITE SOX (71-56)
at BALTIMORE ORIOLES (70-57)
First pitch: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. EDT
Line: Chicago -140, Baltimore +130, Total: 8
Two 70-win teams will playoff hopes square off in the second game of a four-game set on Tuesday night when White Sox ace Chris Sale looks to even the series with the surging Orioles.
Baltimore won Mondayís game 4-3 and giving it four wins in five games against the White Sox this season. The Oís have now won six of eight, but the White Sox are also hot, winning six straight contests before Mondayís loss. Chicago still sits atop the AL Central and will look to regain its footing with its ace on the mound. Sale has a 2.66 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 15-4 record as a starter in 2012 with 149 strikeouts in 152 innings. Heís whiffed 29 batters in his past three outings, a span in which he is 2-1. On Tuesday, he faces Chris Tillman, who has a solid 3.71 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 2012, but is far worse at Camden Yards where he has a 4.56 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. And in Tillmanís last start against the White Sox last season, he didnít even make it out of the third inning, when he allowed six earned runs while recording just eight outs. With their dominant ace on the mound, itís surprising the Sox arenít favored more in this one. Play on CHICAGO to even the series on Tuesday.
This FoxSheets trend also favors the White Sox:
CHICAGO WHITE SOX are 28-14 (66.7%, +14.6 Units) against the money line vs. a good bullpen that converts on 75%+ of its save opportunities this season. The average score was CHI WHITE SOX 6.0, OPPONENT 3.9 - (Rating = 2*).
Chicagoís six-game winning streak included a three-game sweep of the Yankees. That gives them seven wins in their past nine games against AL East foes. Sale has yet to face the Orioles in his career as a starter, but he has a 5.06 ERA in 5.1 career relief innings versus them. Even if he struggles, which seems unlikely given his dominance this season (Sox are 15-7 when he starts), he should have no dearth of run support, with the Chicago offense that has averaged 5.6 runs per game in its past seven contests. And going 6.9 innings per start this season, he wonít put too much of the game in the hands of Chicagoís bullpen that converts just 63.8% of its save opportunities in 2012, carrying a subpar 3.82 ERA.
Unlike the White Sox, the Orioles have excelled at finishing off games with an AL-high 44 saves in 56 chances (79%). Tillman may need to make use of that bullpen (3.04 ERA, 6th-best in majors), with an 8.21 ERA and 2.48 WHIP in two career starts against the White Sox. Heís also given up five home runs in his past three starts (6.35 ERA), which does not bode well against Chicagoís big boppers who are second in baseball with 170 long balls. At the same time, the Oís have excelled versus AL Central foes, winning 21 of 35 (.600) games this season.