The Tigers got a break they needed last night, as the Twins blew the Indians out of the water as sizable underdogs. It’s imperative for the Tigers to jump on it and make up a game tonight with a win against the White Sox. We are less than two months away from the end of the regular season, believe it or not, and every game is being put under a microscope now. If a loss like last night kills the Indians’ confidence, the Tigers might be able to slip right in and steal this division. It is an important night for the Indians as well, they cannot afford to lose two in a row as big favorites.
Carlos Carrasco gets the call tonight, so the Indians have another glorious chance for a win. If they lose back-to-back games against the Twins, and end up losing the AL Central, we can look back at this series as their own undoing. Danny Salazar looks terrible, absolutely atrocious. The Indians have to be at least a bit concerned with how he has been pitching over the last month.
Anibal Sanchez will go for the Tigers tonight on the hump. Who knows what Sanchez has in store for us, I don’t think management is too confident in what awaits his start tonight. Due to injuries, Sanchez has been thrust back into a starting role. If he can somehow get hot, the Tigers chances of coming back to catch the Indians are going to be fairly easy. He was just out there pitching against the White Sox on July 24th, allowing 4 runs and 10 hits scattered across 6 innings. And you know what, the Tigers are going to be slightly content with that production.
I don’t think we can expect much more out of him at this stage in the game. What the Tigers don’t want to see is 6 or 7 runs allowed and giving the offense no chance of saving his back end. Sanchez will be opposite of James Shields of the White Sox tonight. After a disastrous start to his career in Chicago, Shields has settled down and has looked like the old pitcher we saw with the Royals. We break this game down more underneath and seek out a winner.
Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers
James Shields (3-5, 5.17 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (5-11, 6.56 ERA)
Getting destroyed is probably an understatement for James Shields first few starts as a member of the White Sox. His balls were flying all over the yard, ultimately allowing 7, 6, and 8 runs in his first three starts. Shields last start in San Diego was a 10 run outing. Career over? Not so fast, after that awful spurt, Shields has been on fire. On fire quietly, without too much attention about his recent resurgence finding the press. Shields hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since June 23rd, six starts in a row where he’s given up less than 3 runs per start. Across his last three outings, Shields has posted a 1.25 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.
Sanchez enters with a 6.56 ERA and 6.75 ERA in his last three starts. He’s been consistently bad. After the first two innings, there is no telling how he is going to be pitching. More often than not, it’s not going to be very pretty for Sanchez. In three of his last four starts he’s allowed 4 or more runs. The price in this game is pretty tantalizing. No way should Sanchez be around a -150 favorite against Shields. Sanchez shouldn’t be that much of a favorite against much of anybody these days. The White Sox look like they are worth a play tonight.
PICK: WHITE SOX TO WIN +130