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White Sox vs. Rangers Pick for April 8th

Chicago White Sox + 162 at Texas Rangers -172  (Total: 8.5)

Gavin Floyd (R) vs. Matt Harrison (L)

We’re off to another sizzling start here at the Sports Geek, winners of three straight baseball picks, and profiting a nice $247 on wagers of $100.  Winners without hiding behind cushy minus 200 lines; that’s what you can count on all season, an approach focused on taking solid value lines where an opportunity to profit without an exorbitant lay is required.

With that approach in mind, let’s dig into tonight’s Chicago White Sox versus Texas Rangers matchup on ESPN’s Sunday Night Game of the Week.  Texas enters the season with an enormous amount of hype.  They’ve been to two consecutive World Series and were mere outs away from winning the whole thing last year before allowing the Cards to creep back in Game Six and eventually win it in seven.  Much of the media thinks they’re going back a third time and handling their business this time.  However, aside from the loss of CJ Wilson, their team remained largely the same while the Angels, Tigers and Rays made some substantial upgrades.  And of course, the Yankees are the Yankees.  Don’t expect this season to be an easy one for Texas.

Tonight they throw their 27-year old left hander Matt Harrison who had a breakout season in 2011.  Prior to last year, the southpaw had never started more than 15 games in season.  Last year he started 31, going 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA.  They are expecting big things from him in 2012 to help account for Wilson’s departure.

The White Sox will counter with Gavin Floyd, who has been remarkable consistent the last three season, if not remarkable in results.  He has been a slightly below .500 pitcher with an ERA consistently at 4.00.  The pitching matchup favors Texas, but the recent history between these two team is interesting.

These two split eight games last year, and have split the first two in this series.  The year before, the Rangers won the season series 5-4.  In baseball, the great teams and the good ones are separated by ten games or so each season.  That comes out to about 6% of the schedule.  It’s a slim margin.  It is why I am always reticent to drop a large laydown like -170 on a team without a dominant ace starter on the mound or one facing a complete batting practice pitcher.  Neither of those situations are applicable to tonight’s game.

Texas has a slight edge, but +162 for a team with a reasonable starter on the mound and a team that has split with the opponent for the past two and a half years is a pretty nice value play.  I’m rolling the dice with the Sox tonight and taking the fat plus-line.

Free Pick:  Chicago White Sox to WIN +162