Well baseball has not been kind to me the last two weeks like it was much earlier in the year (made the most ever in my gambling career in April) but I refuse to go away. I have been mostly betting on tennis (now 20-4 in my last 24 wagers with two big wins this morning) and so the cash is there to be lost in bases. Well no more losing in bases, it's time to really get to work on picking more winners. Here we go:
Chicago White Sox ML -109
You know...with all the sweeps and the three games series leads we witnessed last week, I really consiered taking the Twins in this spot without even looking at a piece of paper. However, I completely changed my mind and decided to investigate this game a bit more when I saw the starting lineups released by both teams this afternoon. We'll talk about that a bit later on. With their loss last night and their loss in the opener of this series, the White Sox have now dropped three straight games, dropped four of their last five but they are still a good team and good teams don't let this stuff go on forever. This game actually kinda reminds of early April when they were facing yet another sweep at the hands of the Indians and playing at the Jake...well the Sox did just enough to win that game and avoid the sweep. On the mound this afternoon for the White Sox is John Garland who is 3-3 on the year but who has pitched well enough to have better than that. I don't know what the reason is but the White Sox don't seem to give him many runs of support and that has hurt his chances to win games. However, in his three road starts this season he has been lights out, going 1-0 with an ERA of 2.05 and a WHIP of 0.95. Like I mentioned before, this is a very weak Minnesota starting lineup today without their catches Mike Redmond and without Luis Castillo to lead things off which makes a huge difference because their two replacements are nowhere near capable of doing what they have done this year against right handed pitchers. If you combined the starting nine batters for Minnesota in the lineup today, they are batting only .258 lifetime versus right handed pitchers which is a given edge to Garland and the way he has piched away from home. On the flip side of the mound, Scott Baker is back for another starts and surprisingly enough, the team is 2-0 when he starts this season. However, his only two opponents have been rather weak lineups versus right handed batters (Brewers and Blue Jays) so the White Sox are a huge test for him. Baker has never pitched well in the MetroDome as he is 3-5 in 13 career starts in him home ballpark with a pathetic 5.45 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. I think the oddsmakers have completely missed out on the fact that he does not pitch well in this ballpark and the fact that the starting nine batters for the White Sox today are batting a lifetime combined .274 versus right handed pitchers which gives them a huge advantage over the starting lineup for Minnesota. So there is no doubt in my mind that the White Sox can continue to hit .301 versus right handed pitchers like they have the last 10 games they played and I think Baker is overrated in this spot and the line is bad. Definitely expect some Home Runs from the White Sox today as Baker has allowed 15 HR's in 13 career home starts. The only question mark for the White Sox is their damn bullpen because it has been atrocious as of late. However, Garland is the kind of pitcher that gets you quality innings of work. In his 9 starts this season, Garland has pitched 7 or more innings in 7 of those 9 starts and has pitched 8 or more innings in two of those starts. Seeing how this is a very weak Twins starting lineup today, don't be shocked if Garland can take this baby to the 9th inning, meaning the bullpen would not see any work in this one. I don't know what it is but the White Sox are 17-4 in the last 21 games when Garland starts on the road against a team with a winning record. That means Garland is lights out on the road against good opponents. Not much else can be said here guys. You have the perfect matchup of a White Sox team that loves to crush righties, that has struggled and that is sending a dominant road pitcher to the mound this afternoon. On top of that, the White Sox have won 6 of their last 7 starts versus Minnesota when Garland pitches. On the other side you have the Twins who don't have their full regular lineup, that have a starting pitcher who sucks at home and that have somewhat overachieved in recent games. Gimme some of that yumm yumm cash money. GO WHITE SOX!