Chicago White Sox -101 at Cleveland Indians -105 (Total: 7.5)
Jake Peavy (3-1, 1.99 ERA) vs. Jeanmar Gomez (2-1, 2.82 ERA)
Jake Peavy is due for a break. The White Sox are 1-2 in his last three starts and he is 1-1 individually, yet his ERA has been a spectacular 1.40 with a WHIP of a microscopic 0.70. He has struck out 17 batters and walked only four. In short, he has been nearly perfect. But the team behind him? Not so much.
The Indians meanwhile have an less-likely lights-out starter on the mound, Jeanmar Gomez. Big things were expected of Gomez as he moved through the Indians’ minor league organization, but a sub-3.00 ERA from the 24-year old is an even better start than anyone imagined. The biggest difference this season versus the prior two, where he started eleven games in each, has been a remarkable improvement in control. This year, Gomez is around a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio; in the past two seasons it was close to 1.5:1. That is a marked improvement, and a big reason why his WHIP is down nearly a full point and his ERA is down nearly a full two runs.
The White Sox were swept in a doubleheader Monday, but bounced back last night and have a chance today to even the series at 2-2. Although they are just 2-6 in their last eight games, they haven’t had a ton of trouble scoring runs. They have scored three or more runs in every game, and scored just three in only two of them. In their other six games they have averaged 5.2 runs a contest. If they can maintain a similar output tonight, that should be enough run support for Peavy.
The Indians have been one of the more pleasant surprises in baseball so far this season, but have been largely overshadowed thanks to the blistering starts in Baltimore and Washington, and to some extent, the Dodgers. However, at 17-12 the Indians lead the AL Central and have the third best record in the American League. Their run differential is a little troubling though. At +2, they should be more like a .500 ballclub than a team leading the billion-dollar Tigers.
Meanwhile, the White Sox at an even run-differential, have had some tough luck. Just ask Jake Peavy.
These two teams are remarkably even, and the pitching matchup is a huge plus in the Sox column. Getting them at even money is a good bargain. Give me the Sox to split the series and grab a big road win over the division leaders in Cleveland.
Free Pick: Chicago White Sox to WIN -101