John Danks (3-6, 5.29 ERA) and Jeff Locke (3-3, 4.90 ERA) take the hill in the first of a two-game series between the Chicago White Sox (28-35) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (37-27) at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox come into this series hoping to extend a five-game losing streak. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jun. 17 and can be seen on ROOT-PIT and CSN-CHI+.
Danks pitched 5.1 innings in his most recent start, surrendering four runs (one unearned), striking out three and walking one in a 7-5 defeat to the Rays. Jose Abreu (.283, 33 Rs, 12 HRs, 40 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday. Locke went 6.0 innings, surrendering zero runs, striking out two and walking one in a 1-0 defeat to the Phillies in his last outing. Starling Marte (.286, 36 Rs, 12 HRs, 45 RBIs, 13 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Pirates, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one run and two stolen bases.
Pittsburgh takes on Chicago as a -122 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at eight runs. The White Sox have recorded an overall money line of -819 and have shown a weak performance as an underdog this season with a record of 12-21. Chicago has recorded a disappointing 1-4 record as the underdog over its last 10 games. The White Sox have seen an uptick in scoring against teams in the NL, averaging 4.4 runs per game. They average 3.6 runs per game on the season. Chicago's pitchers fall apart when National League teams are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game rises to 5.7 against NL teams, compared to its 4.6 season average. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the White Sox, who rank fourth in the AL in strikeouts per game with 8.2.
Over in the other dugout, Pittsburgh is coming in with an overall money line of +432 and an impressive record of 30-15 as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 7-2 record, and a 7-3 record SU. The Pirates are tough outs for opponents, ranking fourth in the NL with 8.9 hits per game. The Pirates are an excellent base stealing team with 51 stolen bases, ranking fourth in the MLB. Pittsburgh's pitching staff is one of the top in the NL, with a 2.80 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Pirates are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.19 for the season. The Pirates have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.2 strikeouts per road game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Pirates have the edge in the season series, 2-0. The White Sox have a 5-7 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Locke takes the mound. Danks (LHP) will be on the hill against the Pirates, who have a 6-4 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - PIT, O/U - Over
After last game's shutout win against the Chicago White Sox, the Pirates now have eight shutouts this season. The White Sox have been shut out in six games this season.
When the White Sox play into extra innings, they have a 4-2 record. The Pirates are 2-6 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Pirates are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The White Sox have a 15-28 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the White Sox are 6-28. The Pirates have a 6-18 record when opponents outhit them.
Both falling near the bottom of the league based on total home runs this season, Chicago ranks 28th with 45 homers and Pittsburgh is 23rd with 52.
Ranking 11th, Chicago is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.16 per game. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five at fourth with 8.92.
Ranking 29th, Chicago is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.641). Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom half at 19th with an OPS of .701.
When the Pirates allow at least one home run, they are 9-18, well-matched with the White Sox who are 14-25 when allowing at least one homer.