Chicago White Sox (59-44) +105, 8 1/2 at Minnesota Twins (57-47), 8 pm Eastern Monday
by Zman of Predictem.com
The top two teams in the American League’s Central Division hook up when the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins begin a four-game series Monday night at the Metrodome.
Baseball bookmakers are listing Minnesota and starting pitcher Kevin Slowey (6-7, 4.41) as 115 home favorites for Monday’s game, with a total of 8 1/2, while Chicago and Mark Buehrle (8-8, 3.56) are getting +105 as road underdogs.
The White Sox are 5-4 since the All-Star break after taking two of three games from Detroit over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Twins are 4-5 since the break, but did manage to take two of three games in Cleveland over the weekend.
So going into this series, Chicago leads the AL Central by 2 1/2 games over second-place Minnesota.
Chicago is 24-28 on the road this year, 21-24 as underdogs, and 58-44 vs. the run line.
Minnesota is 34-19 at home this season, 21-8 as favorites, and a profitable 65-38 vs. the run line.
The Sox have taken seven of 11 games from the Twins so far this season, with the totals going 7-4, as the games have averaged a healthy 11.3 total runs per.
Last year, these two teams split 18 games, with the totals going 10-6-2, as the games averaged 11.1 total runs.
Over his last three starts, including a one-run, 7 1/3-inning outing vs. Texas last Tuesday, Buehrle has allowed four ER and 18 baserunners (hits + walks) in 21 2/3 IP. Chicago is 10-11 in Buehrle’s starts this year, the totals also 10-11.
Buehrle started twice vs. the Twins last year, and has started twice vs. Minnesota so far this season. Over those four games, Buehrle allowed 12 ER and 40 BR in 27 2/3 IP. The Sox won three of those four games, with the totals going 3-1.
Over his last three starts, including a rough stint vs. the Yankees last Tuesday, Slowey has given up 15 ER and 25 BR in 15 IP. Minnesota is 8-7 in Slowey’s starts this year, the totals 6-6.
Slowey has started two games this year vs. Chicago, and made one start last year vs. the Sox. Over those three games, Slowey allowed 12 ER and 19 BR in 15 IP. The Twins lost two of those games, with the totals going 1-2.
Offensively, Chicago ranks 11th in the majors this season in team BA at .265, 10th in team OBP at .339, 2nd in team slugging at .446, and is averaging 5.0 runs per game.
Minnesota ranks 3rd in batting at .278, 12th in OBP at .335, 18th in slugging at .408, and is averaging 4.9 RPG.
Over the last five games, the Chicago bullpen has allowed six ER and 19 BR in 13 2/3 IP.
Over its’ last five games, the Minnesota pen has given up 11 ER and 27 BR in 17 IP.
On the injury front, Chicago 3B Joe Crede is on the DL with a bad back.
The totals are 47-53 in White Sox games this year, but eight of their last 10 games have gone over the totals, because the Chicago offense has scored at least six runs seven times over that span, and the pitching staff allowed at least six runs seven times over that same span.
The totals are 55-47 in Twins games this year, and 26-26 in games played at the Metrodome, which are averaging 8.9 total runs this season.
Zman’s Pick: Take the over 8.5 runs!