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September 27, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take the UNDER 8 total runs in Tampa Bay Rays vs. Chicago White Sox for 3% of the bankroll.
(Sale and Cobb must start for wager to have action)

This should be a fairly low-scoring game due to a number of different reasons. You have two excellent pitchers on the mound going up against two offenses that leave a lot to be desired. While the Rays and White Sox both regularly put men on base, they rarely make the most of them. Both have posted some pretty abysmal numbers when hitting with runners in scoring position and it wouldn't surprise us if Alex Cobb, Chris Sale and the relievers were able to strand a good portion of base-runners.

Alex Cobb may not be a household name or a Cy Young candidate like Chris Sale is but that's largely due to injury problems. He was scheduled to be the opening day starter for Tampa before requiring Tommy John surgery. He missed the vast majority of the season on the D/L list before returning a few weeks ago. He actually put up sharp numbers in his first 3 starts, giving up a total of only 6 runs before getting roughed up in his last outing against the Yankees. We believe that was a rare off-game from a talented pitcher that Chicago hitters have little experience against and he should be able to bounce back with a quality start and finish the year on a high note.

Chris Sale will be on the hill at U.S. Cellular Field for the hosts and should be fired up to go. That's because the Pale Hose 'Ace' is coming off a very uncharacteristic start, one in which he gave up 6 runs and worked only 4 innings! To put that into perspective, consider the fact that the lanky southpaw had pitched at least 8 innings in six consecutive previous starts! Sale will want to put that last game against Philadelphia behind him and the best way to do that is to get back to being his normally dominant self. He'll lack no motivation to do so given that he still has an outside chance at the presitigious American League CY Young award.

One of the few Rays to have had any success against Chris Sale is Kevin Kiermaier but he's not in the starting lineup. He's dealing with a bruised wrist and will be on the bench. The rest of the gang has hardly done much against the tall left-hander and that includes their best hitter, Evan Longoria who has only 1 hit in 18 at-bats against Sale! Tampa Bay batters saw the ball coming out of James Shields' hand yesterday and will have to make a big adjustment to do well against Chris Sale given that they have completely different pitching styles and release points. Sale is a lefty, much taller and throws harder. Shields is past his best these days and doesn't have the same velocity nor command that he used to and yet of course even he got the best of this often anemic offense. We believe Sale can bounce back with a typical 'quality start' and keep this game low scoring. If the bullpens don't give up a bunch of runs late in the game, we believe the two starters will do their part.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Sale has struck-out 70 Rays in just 48 career innings against Tampa!
  • Three of the 4 meetings between these two clubs has gone 'Under' this season.
  • Nine of 12 Tampa games have gone 'Under' when they were +150 to +175 road underdogs!

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