The Tigers expanded their lead on the White Sox in the lackluster AL Central division race last night as they took game one of this series. We’ll preview tonight’s matchup before going over why I’ll be targeting the total in this one.
Lucas Giolito and his inconsistency this season were on full display in game one of this series as his seven walks, six hits, and four earned runs allowed knocked him out of the game after 3 ⅔ innings. Detroit got to Giolito in the fourth inning as Akil Badoo left the yard for a solo shot, and then the floodgates opened with Javy Baez and Spencer Torkelson picking up RBI singles in the inning. That 4-1 lead became too much for the White Sox to overcome, as they were held at bay by Alex Faedo.
Looking to get another strong pitching performance, the Tigers will send lefty Joey Wentz to the mound. In nine starts and 38.7 innings, Wentz has pitched to a 7.45 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 14 walks. The left-hander is coming off a rough start in Washington, as he lasted just two innings after allowing six earned runs on ten hits, including two home runs.
Wentz will face a White Sox lineup that managed just four hits yesterday while striking out 13 times. Chicago got a solo shot from Gavin Sheets and RBI single from Tim Anderson, but aside from that, the game was entirely controlled by the Tigers. The inconsistency with Giolito I mentioned earlier is similar to the inconsistent nature of this White Sox lineup, so it is hard to know which version of the team will show up each day.
Getting the ball for Chicago tonight will be Lance Lynn, as he is set to make his 11th start of the year. In 57.3 innings, Lynn has a 6.28 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 19 walks. It’s been a less-than-ideal season, but he has turned in two consecutive impressive starts that have warranted wins.
The total for the first five innings is currently set at 4.5, and I’ll be taking the over for my play in this one. Detroit has been one of the league's most profitable F5 over teams in the league this season, and Chicago has a 2.70% ROI on F5 over bets as well. The White Sox are allowing an average of 3.19 runs per game in the first five innings on the road, while Detroit has been allowing an average of 2.71 runs in the first five innings at home.
The White Sox have the 4th best wRC+ and wOBA, to go along with the 7th best BAbip against left-handed pitching on the road this month. Those numbers are strong as it is, but tonight they will face a starter in Joey Wentz, that is in the 25th percentile in barrel percentage, 11th percentile in expected batting average, and 10th percentile in expected slugging percentage.
Chicago will roll out a starter in Lance Lynn, that has struggled early in game, as he has a 10.80 ERA in the first inning and a 4.82 ERA in three out of the first five innings. Lynn also has a 6.35 ERA on the road and is in the 36th percentile in hard-hit percentage.
F5 Over 4.5