Chris Sale (12-11, 3.48 ERA) and Alfredo Simon (13-11, 5.18 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Chicago White Sox (74-85) and the Detroit Tigers (73-85) at U.S. Cellular Field. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 2 and can be seen on CSN+ and FSDT.
Sale pitched 7.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering three runs, striking out eight and walking one in a 3-2 defeat to the Yankees. Jose Abreu (.292, 88 Rs, 30 HRs, 101 RBIs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Simon went 8.0 innings, surrendering four runs, striking out four and walking one in a 6-2 defeat to the Twins in his most recent start. J.D. Martinez (.284, 92 Rs, 38 HRs, 101 RBIs, 3 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Tigers, going 3 for 4 Wednesday with one run.
This one isn't expected to be close when Chicago, a big -194 favorite, takes on Detroit. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently seven runs. The White Sox have an overall money line of -1,270 and a record as the favorite of 34-35. Chicago has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 13-21 and 30-42 as the favorite and SU respectively. The White Sox have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 2.6 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 3.9 runs per game. Chicago's pitching staff has been doing better against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, only allowing an average of 3.1 runs per game, well under their season average of 4.3. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the White Sox, who rank third in the AL in strikeouts per game with 8.4.
As for their opponent, Detroit is coming in with an overall money line of -940 and a disappointing record of 36-55 as the underdog. They played poorly as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 1-5 record, and a 4-6 record SU. The Tigers capitalize on their at-bats at a high percentage, leading the league with a .271 team batting average.
The Tigers lead the season series, 9-7. The White Sox have a 55-67 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Simon takes the mound. Sale (LHP) will be on the hill against the Tigers, who have a 20-16 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - CWS, O/U - Under
The White Sox hold a 30-43 record this season against teams in the AL Central Division. The Tigers' record in these matchups is 40-32.
The White Sox managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Tigers who are coming in with a 27-19 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Tigers are 8-58. The White Sox have a 12-65 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 26th in home runs, Chicago has hit 136 this season. Detroit ranks 18th with 149 home runs.
Ranking first in hits, Detroit has earned 9.45 per game this season. Chicago ranks ninth with 8.61 hits.
Ranking 27th, Chicago is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.692). Detroit ranks in the top five at second with an OPS of .751.
When the Tigers allow at least one home run, they are 36-68, well-matched with the White Sox who are 37-65 when allowing at least one homer.