Chicago evened up its road trip at 2-2 with a 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night at Rangers Ballpark. The lineup is currently hitting .284 on the trip with the pitching staff compiling a 3.97 ERA. The White Sox have won 13 of their last 16 games and 17 of 21. The team has outscored its opponents by 45 runs in the last 21 games, after posting a -4 run differential before this recent run. Much of the team’s success can be attributed to the starting rotation, bringing a 13-4 record and 2.57 ERA to the table over the last 22 games. Offensively, outfielder Carlos Quentin is leading the charge with a .348 average and blasting five home runs over his last 14 games.
White Sox starting pitcher John Danks is 7-6 with a 3.62 ERA in 15 starts this season (-90) and he looks to bounce back after having his three-game winning streak snapped last time out. In that start, he allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings of work in a 8-6 home loss to the Chicago Cubs. The left-hander is 3-2 with a 4.50 ERA in six road outings, allowing just two home runs in 36 frames. Danks has gone 1-2 with a 4.38 ERA in four career starts against the Rangers (-20), including a 0-1 record and 4.76 ERA in two outings last year. He stands at 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA over 27 career starts against Western division teams (AL/NL). The offense has provided him with 5.29 runs per game this season (57), scoring three runs or less nine times.
Texas finished June with a tremendous 21-6 record, but have returned to Earth in dropping its first two games of July (-300). The Rangers bullpen was unable to hold a 3-1 lead on Friday night, which isn’t causing panic out of manager Ron Washington. “We just didn’t stop them from scoring runs. In the ninth, we had the right guy in there, and they got us,” he said after the game. Washington’s club hasn’t lost three straight games since a four-game stretch from May 26-30. Texas is still a dominating 28-13 at home this season (+770), with the team scoring the most runs per game (6.1) and highest team batting average (.304) of any team in the majors at home.
Rangers starting pitcher Tommy Hunter is a perfect 4-0 with a 2.15 ERA in five starts this year, with the team winning all five games by a dominating 40-11 margin (+540). All four of his victories have come at Rangers Ballpark, allowing just a single home run in 27 innings. In 16 career home outings, Hunter stands an impressive 10-4 with a 3.67 ERA compared to a 3-4 record and 6.29 ERA in 11 starts on the road. The right-hander has tallied a 3-0 record and 2.66 ERA in four nighttime starts, issuing eight walks and tallying 13 strikeouts. He began the 2010 campaign with 18 consecutive scoreless innings.
Bettors must respect the road team’s ability to get up for games on the weekend, bringing a 40-24 record on Saturdays the past three years (+1,500). The White Sox are 3-5 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season (-160). Texas is 15 games over .500, but most of those wins have come against lesser opponents. The Rangers are 7-16 against opponents with a winning record (-1,180).