Tonight’s national telecast on ESPN will feature two big-name teams from big-time major markets that have one other big thing in common; they are MAJOR disappointments in 2013 through six weeks of the season. Let’s dig inside the matchup of have-nots tonight and see who can get a win their team so desperately needs.
Los Angeles Angels +119 at Chicago White Sox -128 (Total: 7.5)
C.J. Wilson (3-1, 3.86 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (3-2, 3.42 ERA)
It is surprising that in a game that features a matchup of two teams a combined 14 games under .500 through just 35 played both starting pitchers have winning records. With Jered Weaver on the disabled list, C.J. Wilson, who was brought in to be a top of the rotation pitcher, has even more pressure to anchor the staff. So far, the results have been mixed. Yes, he is 3-1, but his 3.86 ERA is far from ace-worthy, and his WHIP is over one and a half and his team is just 4-3 in games he’s started.
For Chris Sale, he is expected to be the anchor of this otherwise suspect pitching staff. The lefty had a fantastic breakout year in 2012 and has given the team more promising signs so far in 2013. The Sox are 5-2 in games Sale has pitched and his 1.10 WHIP ranks him in the top 10 in the American League.
Three days ago when the Angels fell 11 games below .500, it was STILL tough to see them floundering forever and being a 65-70 win team. Despite all their struggles, this is still a team with post-season level talent, both offensively and on the mound, and it felt like sooner or later things would start to click. Perhaps they finally have. The Angels enter with three straight wins, all on the road, and are looking to sweep a road series for the first time all season.
However, they might find things tough going tonight against Sale. The 24-year old lefty has been sharp in his last four outings, lasting at least seven innings in each and allowing two or less runs. I expect a similarly solid outing tonight. As long as his defense backs him up (which has been a huge question mark this season for the Sox – they committed another three errors last night), I like him to earn his fourth win of the season.
Give me the White Sox to avoid the sweep behind a good effort from Chris Sale and exploiting CJ Wilson’s struggles at the plate.
Free Pick: Chicago White Sox to WIN -128