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As the Toronto Blue Jays begin to cool off, they are set to battle with the White Sox again on Thursday. Toronto’s home stand hasn’t gone quite as planned, with some close games and some blow outs, all of which resulted in Blue Jays losses. Thursday’s pitching matchup is interesting, with Freddy Garcia facing Dana Eveland. Garcia is a Phillies castoff who dominated in Seattle, but that was many years ago. These days, Garcia is on a warpath to regain his status as one of the league’s elite pitchers. Despite a phenomenal first outing in 2010, Garcia is likely to end with an ERA around 4 in 2010, though he could surprise with a Javier Vasquez-esque (2009) season.
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Eveland is the reason that the Jays have gained bettors’ interest. He had an incredible start to his 2010 season, giving up zero runs in over 7 innings pitched. What is lost in this, however, is the fact that he was facing a struggling Baltimore Orioles squad. The Orioles haven’t been able to hit the broad side of a barn in 2010, so this accomplishment seems much more impressive than it really was. Eveland, in all reality, is a mediocre pitcher.
The offensive edge is a bit murky in this game, though the White Sox bats are on fire. The Blue Jays will need Adam Lind, Travis Snider, and Vernon Wells to hit early if they want to win. The Jays bullpen is far from a bright spot, so an early lead would be huge for Toronto’s chances on Thursday. Chicago has a lot of weapons who have broken out over the past weak. Carlos Quentin, Gordon Beckham, Alex Rios, and Alexei Ramirez lead the way for the White Sox. Each team has their fair share of offensive shortcomings, but the pitching edge should be clear.
The offensive consistency, combined with the deep pitching staff, should allow for Chicago to earn another win on Thursday. There is no telling whether Eveland or Garcia will blow up, but at +110 on the money line, Chicago is the clear pick. At the absolute worst, the White Sox are even money in this game, so any edge over even money should be taken.