The Chicago White Sox seek a sweep over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday after another impressive showing for the White Sox yesterday. It’s been a tremendous start for the White Sox, who are pushing the rest of the division around in the AL Central. The Royals and Tigers appear to still be shaking off the winter cobwebs, and the White Sox have taken advantage of their slow starts, jumping out to a quick lead in the AL Central. The question is whether they will be able to parlay this start into a division championship or a place in the postseason. That is a long ways away, so much can change from now to then. All it would take if one bad week and the White Sox would be outcasts again.
Nevertheless, the White Sox look like a motivated bunch who have some workhorses in their barn for the mound. Chris Sale has asserted himself as an early Cy Young candidate, leading the White Sox with a 1.66 ERA and perfect 6-0 record. He is also getting some help from his fellow teammates as well. It’ll be Jose Quintana’s time on the mound on Sunday. Quintana has been flawless as well and is responsible for their blistering start to the 2016 season.
We expect Chris Sale to keep up at a healthy pace, but the prospects of Quintana and others keeping it up remain to be seen. Sale has some filthy stuff and the rest of the team will have to rally around him. In any event, Quintana is a nice weapon to have in the arsenal. Having a capable left-hander on your side is always a big plus. The combo of Sale and Quintana makes for a powerful punch for the White Sox. The Twins, a fellow AL Central competitor, looks like the lone team out. The White Sox, Royals, and Tigers all have legitimate chances of winning the division. Conversely, I think we can count the Twins out already in the month of May.
It was another ugly day for David Price yesterday. That was the first and probably last time I back him before he shows some velocity in his pitches. It just may be a case of old age. Are we ever going to see Price and top form again? A guy like Quintana looks like a much more attractive option than Price at this juncture.
Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox
Tyler Duffey (0-1, 1.74 ERA) vs. Jose Quintana (4-1, 1.40 ERA)
The White Sox are playing confident baseball right now, and Jose Quintana is not excluded from that equation. Quintana brings a record of 4-1 with a 1.40 ERA to Sunday afternoon. He’s been a consistent fixture in the White Sox rotation, a reliable option who wants to make a bigger leap in 2016. Quintana’s last three seasons have resulted in ERA’s of 3.51, 3.32, and 3.36. It can’t get much more consistent than that. The start of 2016 has been his best yet, allowing 0 runs twice and 1 twice. In his other start, Quintana allowed just 2 runs. He’s also been tough to solve at home, posting a 0.60 ERA and 0.67 WHIP in Chicago.
Tyler Duffey is in his first full year in the Twins’ rotation. Duffey appeared late last season when the season was out of reach already, getting ten starts near the end of the season. Maybe they should have started him somewhat earlier. Duffey earned a 5-1 record and 3.10 ERA, not bad for a guy who came in fresh from the minors in his first ever MLB stint. The only bad start Duffey has had in his career was the first, where he allowed 6 runs against the Blue Jays.
It’s been gravy since then, refusing to allow more than 3 runs in the next eleven starts. And note, he allowed 3 runs only once during that span. In 2016 he’s given up only 2 runs, 1 each in two games. This was against some pretty capable offenses too, the Nationals and Tigers. I’m pretty perplexed why this total is set at 8. In my opinion I would have expect a total of 7. With that said, I’m going to try and take advantage of the UNDER at 8.
PICK: UNDER 8 RUNS (-120)