September 21, 2016
There is one MLB pick tonight. Please scroll down to view the write-up.
In addition, two football picks have been released a day in advance, for Thursday!
Take Chicago White Sox (-155) on the ML against Philadelphia Phillies risking 4.65% to win 3%.
(Sale must start for wager to have action)
This 2-game interleague series comes to a finale tonight when the White Sox and Phillies battle it out. The hosts (Philadelphia) took the opener yesterday in a game that went right down to the wire but they didn't make it easy on themselves. They scored plenty of runs off of James Shields, who's become an extremely hittable pitcher but then nearly threw it all away in the 9th inning. They held a comfortable 7-3 lead going in the final frame before the Pale Hose crossed home plate 3 times in the ninth and final inning! Phillies barely held on to win the game 7-6 but it came at a price and we believe Chicago's late rally gives them some momentum in this subsequent matchup.
That's because the Phillies ended up having to use 6 different pitchers to record the necessary 27 outs! With yesterday's starter Jake Thompson only lasting 5 innings, the coaching staff had to use 5 different relievers to finish out the game including extensive work for setup-man Hector Neris and closer Jeanmar Gomez. The latter, was in fact quite shaky, and gave up 3 runs while recording just two outs. Ultimately Pete Mackanin had to call upon Michael Mariot to get the final out and record his first save of the season! It was a tough game for the Philies to get through and although they eventually got the win, it may have ill effects on their chances tonight. The bullpen is not as fresh tonight and with their closer having struggled, it remains to be seen whether they'll bring him into tonight's game, against a club that had no problem hitting him yesterday!
Chris Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball and a lot more difficult to score runs against than James Shields. The lanky southpaw is still in the Cy Young conversation and with a strong finish to the season can give himself a chance at the prestigious award! If nothing else, he'll be keen to match and then extend his career-best season-win total which was set last year with 17 wins! He's currently 16-8 on the year with an outstanding 3.03 ERA! One more 'W' would match his career-best of 17 and his teammates will no doubt be motivated to reward their 'Ace' with that milestone. Furthermore, what gives him a unique advantage in this matchup compared to most other teams he faces, such as American Leagues ones, is that the Phillies have never faced him before! The lack of familiarity with his release point and pitching style should have them guessing for the first couple of orders through the lineup. If the defense behind him can avoid making costly fielding errors, which are rare, Sale should be able to outduel Jerad Eickhoff and give the Southsiders an excellent chance to leave Philadelphia with a victory.
It helps that unlike the Phillies, Robin Ventura did not use his best relievers in last night's contest, meaning they are more fresh and ready to be called upon tonight. Of course, in the case of Chris Sale, he lasts longer than just about any starter anyway, having 6 complete games to his credit! He's also pitched at least 8 innings in six consecutive starts! To say he's been dominant, would be an understatement. Nonetheless, we actually don't believe he'll be at his best today but do think it'll still be enough to get the White Sox, who are in a bounce-back spot, enough ammunition to avoid the sweep. The visitors have far too many advantages in this matchup. Back the better pitcher at this reasonable and reduced price.
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