Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox Preview and Pick – Miner vs. Vazquez

Detroit Tigers (55-58) +130, 10 1/2 at Chicago White Sox (63-49), 8 pm Eastern Thursday
by Zman of

Divisional rivals mop up a three-game series when the first-place Chicago White Sox go for the sweep of the third-place Detroit Tigers Thursday night at US Cellular Field.

Baseball bookmakers are listing Chicago and starting pitcher Javier Vazquez (8-9, 4.66, 1.35 WHIP) as 140 home favorites for Thursday’s game, with a total of 10 1/2, while the Tigers and Zach Miner (5-4, 3.77, 1.42) are getting +130 as road underdogs.

The White Sox have taken the first two games of this series, by scores of 10-8 and, last night, 5-1. So while Chicago has won four of its last seven games, Detroit has lost six in a row.

So going into Thursday’s play, the Sox lead the AL Central by one game over the second-place Minnesota Twins, while the Tigers sit in third place, 8 1/2 games out of first.

Detroit also trails the Boston Red Sox by 11 games in the AL wild-card race.

Detroit is 26-36 on the road this year, 13-28 as underdogs, and 54-59 vs. the run line.

Chicago is 37-16 at home this season, 41-21 as favorites, and 64-48 vs. the run line.


The Sox have taken nine of 14 games from the MC Kitties so far this season, with the totals going 7-6-1, as the games have averaged 9.9 total runs per.

Over his three starts this season, all of which have come in the last couple of weeks, including a mediocre performance vs. Tampa Bay last Friday, Miner has allowed five ER and 20 baserunners (hits + walks) in 17 1/3 IP. Detroit is 2-1 in Miner’s starts this year, the totals 1-1.

Miner has started once vs. the White Sox this season, giving up two ER and five BR in six IP of a 6-4 Tigers win 10 days ago.

Over his last three starts, including a winning outing vs. Kansas City last Friday, Vazquez has given up 11 ER and 26 BR in 20 IP. Chicago is 12-9 in Vazquez’ starts this year, the totals 12-8.

Vazquez has started six times this year and last vs. Detroit, allowing 19 ER and 52 BR in 42 2/3 IP. The White Sox won four of those six games, with the totals going 4-2.

Offensively, Detroit ranks 6th in the majors this season in team BA at .276, 6th in team OBP at .342, 7th in team slugging at .440, and is averaging 5.0 runs per game.

Chicago ranks 10th in batting at .266, 10th in OBP at .337, 3rd in slugging at .447, and is averaging 5.0 RPG. And the recent addition of Ken Griffey shouldn’t hurt those numbers any.

Over the last five games, the Detroit bullpen has allowed 11 ER and 27 BR in 19 IP.

Over its’ last five games, the Chicago pen has given up nine ER and 29 BR in 22 2/3 IP.

The totals are 53-53 in Tigers games this year, but six of their last eight games have gone over the totals, as Detroit pitching has allowed 61 runs over that span.

The totals are 54-56 in White Sox games this year, but six of their last eight games have gone over the totals, as those games have averaged nearly 13 total runs per.

And the totals are 28-24 in games played at US Cellular Field this year, which are averaging 9.9 total runs.

Zman’s Pick: Going with the hot hand here at a nice price -140. (White Sox).