Starting Pitchers: Cleveland (Masterson) vs. Chicago (Danks)
Date/Time: May 3, 8:10 PM EST
Television: MLB Network
MLB Betting Odds from 5Dimes
Moneyline: Chicago (-115) Cleveland (+105)
At the start of the season, there wouldn’t have been many people who would have predicted these two teams to be first and second in the AL Central. After winning last night the Indians took a one-game lead in the division, while the White Sox sit in a second-place tie with the Detroit Tigers. Who will win the rubber match of this series?
Both pitchers going in this game started on opening day, and both have been a pretty big disappointment so far this year. Justin Masterson had a breakout season in 2011, but he is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 2012 thus far. John Danks has allowed at least three earned runs in every start this year, and in his last outing he allowed seven. You have to assume that these guys will pick it up over the course of the season. Masterson has an impressive 2.31 ERA in 74 career innings against the White Sox. Danks is just 4-7 with a 4.90 ERA in 14 career starts against the Indians.
Cleveland started quickly last year, but the team fell off in a big way through the summer. The Indians are hoping to have a little more staying power this season. Cleveland is getting solid offensive production from a multitude of players so far this year. Travis Hafner is looking a little more like he did a few years ago, and Carlos Santana has pushed his average much higher than it was last season. The Indians have committed just 13 errors all year, so they are definitely helping their cause on defense.
The White Sox struggled badly last year primarily because guys like Adam Dunn and Alex Rios had awful seasons. Rios is hitting .293 so far this year, and Dunn leads the team with six homers. Paul Konerko is hitting the cover off the ball as he has done so many times for the White Sox. Konerko is hitting .352 and he has an on-base-percentage of .418. The White Sox have gotten terrific starting pitching so far this year. The team’s pitching staff is second in the majors with a stellar 1.10 WHIP.
The Indians are just 8-20 in their last 28 games against the White Sox. Cleveland is 7-3 in their last 10 road games.
The White Sox are 3-7 in their last 10 home games. They are also just 1-5 in John Danks’ last 6 home starts against the Indians.
The over is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings between these two at Chicago.
MLB Free Pick: Indians ML
Masterson has been great against the White Sox in his career, and getting him at plus money seems like a good value here.