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|Team||Run Spread||Money Line||Total|
|Chicago White Sox||-1.5 (+140)
|O 8 (-104)
|Cleveland Indians||+1.5 (-167)
|U 8 (-118)
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Neither team is playing as well as they can, but both find themselves within a game of .500 as we slowly approach the second month of the season. These teams split their series last week and you get the sense this could be a big series as they try to somehow get some early distance from the Twins. It’s almost impossible to follow up a big performance like a no-hitter, plus the Indians will be rested.
Garcia’s 2021 record: (13-4)
|Chicago White Sox vs Cleveland Indians Information|
|What||Chicago White Sox vs Cleveland Indians|
|Where||Progressive Field, Cleveland, Indiana|
|When||Tuesday, April 20, 6:10 p.m. EST|
|How to Watch||NBC Sports Chicago, Bally Sports Great Lakes, MLB.TV|
It’s rare you have two pitchers going into the same game with such wildly different levels of confidence. On the one hand, you have White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, who comes off the best pitching performance of his entire life.
Rodon threw a no-hitter last time out against this same Indians team. He barely missed a perfect game — hitting a batter with one out in the night on a two-strike slider as the first and only base runner he allowed all day.
Toeing the slab against Rodon that day was Zach Plesac who had arguably the worst outing of his entire career. The 26-year-old right-hander didn’t make it out of the first inning as he allowed six earned runs on seven hits.
His previous two starts had been against the Detroit Tigers and both times he’d been outstanding. He gave up just two total runs over 13 innings in those games, going 1-0 with 10 strikeouts and two walks in that span.
The key to this game is how each of these pitchers responds. Plesac isn’t going to be as bad as he was last time out and Rodon won’t be as dominant, as always, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The key will be who doesn’t get too worked up based on their performance six days prior but instead focuses on the task at hand.
It’s not often you can only see one team’s score and know who won the game — and while that’s not exactly true here, it’s not far off when it comes to Cleveland.
The Indians are 8-3 when they hold their opponent to three runs or fewer and are 0-4 when they give up four runs or more. The Indians are tied for the fewest runs allowed in baseball (other than the Mets who have played 11 games instead of 15) and it’s that dominant staff that has kept them in games.
However, four runs shouldn’t be too many for you to overcome and it’s a sign of how cold this offense can get. Their 57 runs scored are the third-fewest in the American League and tied for fifth-fewest in all of baseball. Of course, nobody has to remind them how cold they can get — they were no-hit by this very pitcher less than a week ago.
And while that’s never a good thing, the Indians should have a pretty good idea of what he’s featuring. Not to mention these are professional athletes, who will certainly take what happened last time personally.
The White Sox were picked by so many to win the American League Central and be a dark horse World Series candidate because of the depth of their lineup. Tim Anderson. Jose Abreu. Luis Robert. Nick Madrigal. And so on.
But almost nobody prior to the season mentioned the name Yermin Mercedes and he’s been the south sider’s best player so far this year. The 28-year-old who had just one major league at-bat entering this season is in the top 15 in almost every major category including batting average (.404), home runs (4), RBI (12), OBP (.443), and OPS (1.127).
For Cleveland, nobody has been close to that. That’s part of the reason the offense is struggling — there’s no one person who is really clicking on all cylinders. Put it this way — Josh Naylor leads the team with a .250 batting average. We will look at Franmil Reyes as the x-factor. For a team that doesn’t string a lot of hits together, you have to get in the long ball when you can to score your runs. Nobody on this team has more power than Reyes, which makes him one to watch in a game where runs likely will be at a premium.
Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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