It took two games, but the White Sox offense decided to join the action in their series with the Angels last night. Since they were able to secure the win, Chicago can force a series split tonight with a win, and we’ll preview the game before going over which team I’ll be backing for the first five innings.
Reid Detmers and Shohei Ohtani were nothing short of dominant to start this series, but as the team looked for another quality start, they could not get it from Jaime Barria. The right-hander was run out of the game after three innings after allowing five earned runs on seven hits. With a start like that, it was no wonder the Angels' offense couldn’t mount a comeback despite home runs from Hunter Renfroe and Brandon Drury.
Following the 11-5 loss, Los Angeles still has the opportunity to win the series tonight, and it will be up to left-hander Patrick Sandoval to get the team back on track. Sandoval is coming off a rough start in Colorado, where he allowed ten hits in five innings. In total, the lefty has made 14 starts, and across his 75.7 innings, he has pitched to a 4.16 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 30 walks.
Sandoval will face a White Sox lineup tonight that went from having a combined 12 hits in the first two games to 17 in last night’s win. Chicago scored at least one run in the first five innings and at least two runs in four of the nine innings. The White Sox were able to do that because three players recorded three hits, and three more recorded two hits. Seby Zavala left the yard twice, while Luis Robert Jr. hit his 23rd of the season.
With the series split on the line, the White Sox will send Lance Lynn to the mound for his 17th start. The right-hander has proven that he can still rack up strikeouts this season with 109 in 90 innings, but he’s been unable to keep runs off the board. Lynn has allowed three or more runs in his last five starts which has his ERA sitting at 6.40.
Last night’s win was certainly impressive from the White Sox, but inconsistency has been the name of the game for them this season. To put it in perspective, Chicago is 9-25 in their last 34 games following a night in which they scored five or more runs. That said, I’ll be taking the Angels F5 run-line of (-.5), which is priced at (-106). The Angels rank 4th in average runs per game in the first five innings, and Lance Lynn has consistently allowed runs early in games.
Over the last month, the Angels rank 14th in OPS and wOBA and 7th in hard hit percentage against right-handed pitching at home. Now they’ll face a starter in Lance Lynn, who is in the 41st percentile in hard hit percentage, 36th percentile in expected batting average, and 30th percentile in xERA/xwOBA. Lynn also has a 3.77 ERA or higher in each of the first five innings.
The White Sox offense is hitting .225 and ranks 21st in OPS against left-handed pitching on the road. Their matchup tonight, Patrick Sandoval, has a .217 batting average the first time through the order and is currently in the 77th percentile in hard-hit percentage. Between Chicago’s inability to carry momentum from the night before and Sandoval’s high-ground ball and low fly ball percentage, I like LA to be on top after five.
Los Angeles Angels F5 (-.5)(-106)