The 4th of July means hot dogs and baseball all day long. During the day there will be baseball, and a hot dog eating contest to wager on. Don’t laugh, I’ve made some decent money over the years on the hot dog eating contest on the 4th of July. For the purposes of this article, we will not be talking about the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, instead, we’re going to go to Chicago where the Yankees and White Sox do battle. This is a pitching matchup that would have been the class of baseball a few years ago. A matchup featuring an ace going up against another ace. Times change, and boy have they changed for CC Sabathia and James Shields. While Sabathia has saved his career with his strong start to 2016, he still isn’t the dominant force we once knew. Conversely, Shield has been an absolute mess with the White Sox. In what looked like a quality signing for the White Sox, has turned into a disaster. Shields looks like he left his heart in San Diego. The Padres may have saw the writing on the wall, as he was doing adequate, but regressing with a 4.28 ERA before coming to Chicago.
A 4.28 ERA for Shields would have been good with the White Sox, he isn’t even close to there. Shields was an integral part to the resurgence of the Royals. As a Royal he posted an ERA of 3.15 in 2013 and 3.21 in 2014. That was about par for the course for Shields, but it’s been all bogeys and triple bogeys since then. Quadruple bogeys is probably more like it in Chicago. Meanwhile, Sabathia looked like he fine-tuned some things in the offseason, bringing his ERA considerably in 2016. His career looked over, but thanks to the way he’s been pitching, I think he might stick around for another few years, whether it’s in the bullpen or as a starter. CC needs to keep it together though, because he hasn’t been so great in his past few starts. This is a pretty big start for both of these pitchers. Shields needs to show he is capable of getting an out, and Sabathia has to show that his potent start wasn’t a fluke. To Chicago we go on the 4th of July this afternoon.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox
CC Sabathia (5-5, 3.17 ERA) vs. James Shields (3-9, 5.85 ERA)
So the Padres are looking pretty smart right now departing ways with James Shields. Shields has an ERA of 5.85 on the season, but his numbers with the White Sox have been horrid. As a member of the White Sox, Shields has posted a 11.07 ERA. His first three starts with the White Sox went something like this: 7, 6, and 8 runs allowed. He allowed 10 runs in his last start with the Padres, so in four games he allowed 31 runs. His WHIP and OBA have been through the roof as well, with a 2.51 WHIP and .464 OBA.
His best start of the season came against the Twins last outing, a 1 run affair in 6.2 innings pitched. But he did get out of some jams, as he allowed 8 runs in that span. Sabathia has started out fine with a 3.17 ERA, but in his last three starts he yielded an ERA of 6.23. He’s allowed 11 runs in his last two starts. Are the wheels going to fall off for Sabathia? I for one didn’t think he was going to keep that pace up. I expect him to ultimately regress to around a 4.00 ERA. The OVER looks like an option worthy of a bet this afternoon.
PICK: OVER 9.5 RUNS (+105)