Athletics vs. White Sox Odds & Pick 8/16/21
Oakland Athletics (68-50) vs. Chicago White Sox (68-50)
When: 8:10 p.m., Monday, August 16
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago
Moneyline: OAK -115/CHW -105 (Bookmaker)
Runline: Athletics -1.5/White Sox +1.5
Starting Pitchers: Frankie Montas (9-8, 3.98 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) vs. Dallas Keuchel (7-6, 4.51 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
Long Time Coming
Last year, this was the most competitive series in the American League wild card round, as it was the only one to go three games. However, these teams haven’t met since that series, as this marks the first time in 2021 that the White Sox and Athletics will meet.
With how things are going, there’s a better-than-average chance these teams could meet again in the playoffs. The White Sox are locked in as the AL Central champions, but they’re only three games back of Tampa Bay for first place in the American League and the top seed that would go with it. The Athletics sit 2.5 back of Houston for first place in the AL West, making this one of the most crucial series left on the schedule for either team.
When Frankie Montas takes the mound, you can usually count on a high number of strikeouts. The Oakland hurler has recorded six or more Ks in each of his past six starts, including three with double-digit strikeouts. At the same time, he’s mostly kept teams from doing much damage to his team on the scoreboard.
Over the past eight games, Montas has held opponents to three runs or less every time, giving up just two runs or less on six occasions. That’s held true whether or not he’s actually missing bats, as he’s had a couple of games in there where he only fanned five hitters or less and still did enough to keep his team in the game. For the most part, the under has been a reliable bet in Montas’ starts, cashing in six of his past seven trips to the mound.
Whether the K’s continue against the White Sox is anyone’s guess because Chicago is middling in terms of striking out. The White Sox rank 14th overall in strikeouts, fanning just under nine times per game.
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Dallas Keuchel has to be the stopper tonight for the White Sox after they finished their Field of Dreams series by losing to the Yankees twice in Chicago, but lately, he hasn’t really been much of a stopper. The Sox have lost four straight with him on the mound, and he’s taken the loss in three of those contests. Making matters more aggravating is that the Sox have been favored in all of those games but managed to lose each one by a single run to an AL Central rival.
However, the Sox have been dynamite in their series openers as of late, as they have won five straight Game 1’s, dating back to July 30. But for whatever reason, the Sox haven’t been able to follow up on their success: in three of their past four series, Chicago has followed up a series-opening win with two losses, just as they did against Oakland.
- The Athletics are 8-2 in their last ten games overall.
- The Athletics are 8-3 in their past 11 road games.
- The White Sox are 3-7 in their last ten against the AL West.
- The White Sox are 1-4 in their past five games overall.
- The under is 4-1 in the Athletics’ previous five against the AL Central.
- The over is 4-0 in the Athletics’ past four as a road favorite.
- The over is 7-3-1 in the White Sox’s last 11 home games.
- The over is 4-1 in the White Sox’s past five series openers.
- The Athletics are 17-5 in the last 22 meetings.
- The Athletics are 7-3 in the past ten matchups in Chicago
It should be a comfortable night in the Windy City, with temperatures at 74 degrees and humidity not playing much of a factor here. Wind is forecast to be blowing in toward the first base dugout at seven miles per hour.
The Sox just aren’t playing up to the standards they need to be at if they’re going to make any noise in the postseason. This looks like a team that isn’t really ready for what it has coming up and seems to think the job is done just because they have the division under lock and key.
The Athletics are the hungrier team because they’re in a tight playoff race, and they’ve got a lengthy history of success against the White Sox. I know the White Sox have done the job well in their past few series openers, but I don’t see it happening again here. Give me Oakland.