The Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels took a split through the first two games of the regular season. The White Sox offense was silent on Opening Day. We heard all offseason how scary this offense was going to be, but it didn’t show up, at least on the first day of the regular season. It just took another day for the White Sox to warm up. After dropping a close one by a score of 4-3, the bats came out to play for the White Sox last night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Highlighted by a Jose Abreu grand slam, the White Sox went off for 12 runs.
They scored 7 runs between the 3rd and 4th inning, and then added 5 insurance runs in the top of the 9th to pull ahead for a 12-8 win. The 5 runs were needed, as the Angels scored a couple of runs to close out the game. Dallas Keuchel was fine on the hill for the White Sox. He pitched 4 innings with 5 hits and 3 earned runs allowed. I say fine instead of good, because that’s what Keuchel was in his first start of the 2021 season. He is capable of being better than we saw in his first attempt of the new year. The White Sox certainly need a strong Keuchel to make a deep run in October.
Along with Keuchel pitching well this season, they’re going to need newly acquired Lance Lynn to contribute like he did for the Texas Rangers. The Rangers had the option of trading Lynn last season before his contract expired, but opted to grant his wish of staying in Arlington. Now the Rangers are left with nothing, and Lynn left for greener pastures in Chicago to play for a World Series contender. Lynn earned the right to do what he wanted after two productive seasons with the Rangers. He posted a 3.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 2019, and then followed up with a 3.32 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 13 games last year.
After a rocky year in Minnesota and the Bronx, Lynn looked more like the consistent hurler we saw in St. Louis for six years. We’ll see if it carries over to Chicago. The White Sox need him to stay consistent in the middle of the rotation. He’s a key piece to their chances of finding success in 2021. The pressure is on for Lynn starting tonight in Anaheim. Alex Cobb, who has battled through injuries throughout his ten-year career, is expected to receive the greenlight for the Angels on the hill in this one. The former Ray looked like a Cy Young candidate in 2013 and 2014, but has been derailed by the injury bug. Head below for our free White Sox vs. Angels pick on April 3, 2021.
Chicago White Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels MLB Betting Odds:
White Sox vs. Angels Prediction:
A lot depends on what Lance Lynn the White Sox are getting this season. If Lynn pitches how he did last year, then the White Sox are going to be in serious business. There will be some nice depth to this rotation. Lynn posted one of the best seasons of his career last year. He finished with an ERA of 3.32 and 1.06 WHIP. Opponents were hitting just .206 against Lynn in 2020. Again, it was a small sample size during a shortened season, but we can only talk about what he was able to accomplish.
In a full season in 2019, Lynn yielded a 3.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in his first year with the Rangers. He has been sharp against the Angels in past starts. The Angels are hitting .188 with a .295 OBP against Lynn through 127 at-bats. They’ve recorded 13 RBI against Lynn during that time. Lynn likely won’t have to be perfect tonight to get a win out of this outing. Alex Cobb against this White Sox offense doesn’t evoke much confidence.
This current group of White Sox have beat Cobb up for a .456 average and .497 OBP through 24 at-bats. In just 24 at-bats, the White Sox have registered 10 RBI. Five White Sox in the line are hitting .400 or better against Cobb, with four out of those five going for better than .500 at the dish. Cobb hasn’t really been consistent since dealing with his shoulder problems in 2016. He hasn’t had an ERA below the 4.30 mark since 2017 with the Rays.
In his last three years, all with the Orioles, Cobb posted an ERA of 4.90, 10.95, and 4.30. In his most recent campaign, he had a 4.30 ERA and 1.34 WHIP through 10 starts. The fact he stayed healthy and serviceable enough was a win for Cobb. It enabled him to sign a new contract with the Angels for the 2021 season. My confidence in him getting off to a fast start against a team he’s historically struggled badly against isn’t too high. The White Sox got into a groove last night, and should be able to keep it up versus Cobb on Saturday night. I like the White Sox again in the third game of this four-game series.