MLB Betting: White Sox at Twins Odds
By Steven Wisner
If you’re not wagering with BookMaker Sportsbook then you’re just another square bettor. Shop for MLB lines where the pros do so register for your own betting account at BookMaker now! The ballgame pitting the Chicago White Sox versus the Minnesota Twins will commence Sunday, July 31, 2016, at 2:10 p.m. ET at Target Field. The game will be televised live on WGN.
Chicago will look to use this three game series against the Twins as a catalyst to get back to, or over, .500 with the final game of the series set for Sunday afternoon in Minnesota.
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It’s been a very bad season for the Twins. There’s no way around that. After a surprising year last year, many had Minnesota taking another step forward, but the rotation hasn’t allowed that nor as the bullpen or offense both of which have regressed.
Minnesota has been marginally better at home than on the road, but that shouldn’t factor in much here with the Twins since only 20-31 at home.
One positive, however, is the ChiSox are 22-27 on the road and while the Twins have been trending upwards, the White Sox have regressed.
Minnesota is actually posting a winning month here in July, it would be the team’s first such month in 2016. Chicago, on the other hand, is 10-12 this month—their third straight sub-.500 month after a 17-8 April.
Assuming he’s still a Twin on Sunday, Minnesota is planning to send Ervin Santana to the mound.
Santana’s been rumored to be a target of a few different teams and if he’s been dealt or a deal is close, he’ll be scratched from this start. For the moment, however, he’ll be on the hill.
Santana is the Twins’ ace, but is probably better suited to be a No. 3 starter on a good team.
He’s just 3-9 this year, but has pitched to a 3.78 ERA and 1.242 WHIP. He’s also not outpitching his peripherals as his walk and home run rates are reasonable and his FIP is 3.98.
The 33-year old right-hander is throwing the ball well as the deadline approaches and has allowed three runs or fewer in seven straight. He’s also coming off a complete game where he threw nine innings, allowing two runs in seven innings while taking the loss. It was his second complete game in four starts, the other was a shutout against Oakland.
Over his career, Santana has pitched to a 3.95 ERA in 20 games against Chicago, but has two losses against the Sox this year, allowing six runs on 14 hits in 10 1/3 innings.
Speaking of the Sox, they too have a pitcher on the trading block lined up to make the start on Sunday: James Shields.
Chicago acquired Shields themselves this season from the Padres when they were in the hunt, but they’ve recently slide out of contention and are likely sellers.
It wasn’t long ago that Shields’ value was negative, but veteran right-hander has pitched very well lately.
He’s still got a 5.17 ERA since joining the Sox, but he’s now thrown six straight quality starts, pitching to a 3-3 record and 1.71 ERA. The last time out, he held the Cubs scoreless over seven and two-thirds in route to a win.
Interestingly, the last time Shields faced the Twins was the start of that stretch of games. He pitched six and two-thirds and allowed only one run.
Part of Minnesota’s better record in July is due to an offense that’s starting to hit the ball better.
The Twins have scored the third most runs in baseball in July and have hit 26 home runs in the month while batting .271 as a team. On the other side of the field, the White Sox have scored the third fewest runs and are hitting .253 as a team.
Both teams could see attrition in their lineup as well by Sunday though that’s likely a bigger factor for the Sox.
Chicago’s lineup has much better names than Minnesota’s but haven’t been able to produce up to expectations. Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera and Adam Eaton could all be attractive targets for contending teams. Meanwhile, if everyone stays, you’ve still got a team that’s outscored just two teams this month.
As for the Twins, Eduardo Nunez is the most likely offensive player to go, that would leave Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier and others. Minnesota’s also gotten a nice surprise from youngster Max Kepler who has a .800 OPS since his promotion driven largely by his extra base hits given his .237 average.
Look for a close game with two quality starters—who each may be traded by Sunday—and a whole bunch of additional questions on each side.
The Twins are at home so that’s a great sign for them, but their bullpen is porous. Brandon Kintzler has stepped into the closing role and Fernando Abad, another trade candidate, is having a strong year, but there aren’t many other options. Of course, on the other side of the field David Robertson is having a down year with a 4.35 ERA.
The Twins are at home, the Sox struggle on the road. Take the Twins in a very close contest as both teams are likely to look different with the trade deadline looming.
MLB Odds: Twins 6, White Sox 5