The 2021 Major League Baseball season gets underway, with plans for a full 162-game schedule after reducing the season to just 60 games last year. Teams missing two weeks of games last year was a regular occurrence. Fortunately when it comes to baseball, double headers are possible unlike other sports.
And yes, Major League Baseball is instituting a seven-inning double-header rule again. There will also be a runner on second base to open innings. I didn’t really care much for it at first, but it grew on me and I’ve turned into a fan of runners on second base in extras. Pitchers may not care for it, though it speeds things up and makes for some excitement.
The Chicago White Sox begin a season filled with high expectations in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels. The White Sox had a productive 2020 through the 60-game schedule. They finished a game back of the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central title. The White Sox posted a 35-25 record to put them in a tie with the Cleveland Indians.
When it comes to 2021, the White Sox will be expected to get over the hump and improve on what they did last year. An AL Central title and deep run in the postseason is what fans are expecting of the White Sox. There is a lot to like on this White Sox team, and can’t be underestimated by their opponents. I think the phase of taking the White Sox is well over, though.
The White Sox are in Anaheim for a four-game series against the Angels. They’ll head to Seattle following this series four a three-game series. The White Sox won’t hold their home opener until April 8 when they open divisional play against the Kansas City Royals. Expectations are high for the White Sox, while the Angels are trying to avoid being the biggest underachievers in the majors, again.
Mike Trout is making a lot of money, and the Angels look good on paper, but they must stay healthy and follow through. When you talk about health and the Angels, it begins and ends with Sohei Ohtani. He hopes to become a full-time two-way contributor on the hill and batter’s box, but injuries have played their toll on him. We’ll see how long he lasts in 2021. Dylan Bundy is scheduled to get the starting nod for the Angels in the opener. Head below for our free White Sox vs. Angels pick on April 1, 2021.
Chicago White Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels MLB Betting Odds:
White Sox vs. Angels Prediction:
The White Sox are expecting big things from an offense that has power up and down the lineup. They hit the deep ball better than most teams in the major leagues last season. Note that the White Sox averaged 1.60 home runs per game in 2020, up from 1.13 per game the previous season in 2019.
They were fourth in the major leagues at hitting the long ball, and should continue to rake at the plate. Overall, the White Sox scored an average of 5.03 runs per game for sixth in the country. Dylan Bundy will look to limit the White Sox bats to open the year at Angel Stadium. Bundy had a career season in his first year with the Angels last year.
After spending his career in Baltimore since 2012, failing to post an ERA below the 4.00 in any season, Bundy came to Anaheim last year with a fresh start. Bundy has a 4.54 ERA and 1.30 WHIP through 114 games in his career. He was coming off a 4.79 ERA and 1.35 WHIP before posting a career-high 3.29 ERA and 1.04 WHIP last season. It’s important to keep in mind that Bundy only pitched in 11 games, though.
At no fault of his own because of a shortened season, so we’ll see how things play out during a 162-game season. The approach could change for pitchers on the bump. This is more of a marathon than the sprint we saw in 2020. Chicago certainly has an offense capable of delivering against any pitcher in the majors, including Bundy. In four starts versus the White Sox, Bundy holds a 3.86 ERA and record of 4-0 with nice run support.
The Angels have done well against Lucas Giolito in the past. Giolito posted a reliable 3.48 ERA and 1.04 WHIP last season. Throughout his career, Giolito has recorded a career ERA of 4.44 and 1.23 WHIP. He hasn’t cared for playing the Angels, as they’re hitting .286 with a .396 OBP against Giolito in 63 at-bats. The Angels have 8 RBI against Giolito in that time. David Fletcher, Dexter Fowler, and Ohtani are all hitting better than .400 in 24 at-bats against Giolito. I think there is some value on the OVER at 8 runs.