The Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox meet on Saturday for the second game of their weekend series at Comiskey..err, Guaranteed Rate Field. The name for this ballpark ranks up there with PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Like the name of their stadium vs Wrigley Field, the White Sox are playing second-fiddle to their inner-city friends.
The Cubs are fresh off a World Series win, while the White Sox are trying to get back to 2005 form when they won it. What a time it’d be if the White Sox and Cubs end up playing each other in the World Series one day. The Cubs have gotten off to a relatively slow start, but a lot of other teams have as well, so their 25-21 record is still good enough for 1st in the NL Central.
In the AL Central, where the White Sox reside, nobody has been able to pull away from anybody yet, either. The White Sox have a rather lackluster record of 20-25, but are still only 5.5 games back of 1st place. I’m not suggesting that the White Sox are going to fly up and win the division. However, it’s a reflection of how clumped up most divisions are thus far. The only two teams who have a commanding lead are the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.
The White Sox play host to the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are ahead of the White Sox by 1.5 games in the AL Central, with a record of 22-24. Considering the ammunition this team has pumped into their lineup and rotation over the years, it’s safe to say that they’ve been major underachievers.
Michael Fulmer has been a bright spot for them since the mid-way point of last season, though. He was breaking rookie records, and his solid play has carried over into 2017. Fulmer and Derek Holland get the party started on Saturday. The Tigers put forth an awful effort last night. Bad pitching, bad offense, bad effort. Note that there is a double-header today, this pick is for Game 1. Head below for our Tigers vs. White Sox pick.
Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox Pick
Michael Fulmer (5-2, 2.55 ERA) vs. Derek Holland (4-3, 2.47 ERA)
The long time Texas Rangers, Derek Holland, has found a new home in Chicago with the White Sox. His career was in jeopardy due to injuries, but he’s been able to avoid the injury thus far in 2017. Holland holds a 4-3 record with a 2.47 ERA and hopes for his best year since 2013, where he posted a career-high ERA of 3.42.
It unravelled the following season. After a 1.46 ERA in six outings, Holland was removed from action with a shoulder injury. The following two years he never regathered himself to match 2013. He posted ERA’s of 4.91 and 4.95, but is responding nicely with a 2.47 this season. We’ll see if it holds up through the summer.
Fulmer will get the nod for the Tigers, a guy who has been the best pitcher in their rotation for a year now. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs per start, and has terrific numbers on the road with a 2.06 ERA. In his last three outings, Fulmer yielded a 2.14 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.
I think a lot of people are going to take a look at the ERA of both pitchers and make an auto-play on the White Sox as underdogs at home. Their numbers are similar, so why not go with the better price? I’ve seen this before from the bookmakers, playing the trap game and reeling their victims in. After such an uninspiring performance last night from the Tigers no less. I look for the Tigers to get one back, and our MLB pick on Saturday afternoon for Game 1 of their double-header.
PICK: TIGERS (-140)