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|Team||Run Spread||Money Line||Total|
|Tampa Bay Rays||-1.5 (+175)
|O 7.5 (-112)
|Chicago White Sox||+1.5 (-210)
|U 7.5 (-109)
|These are the hardest games to pick because both teams are so good and just figure out ways to win baseball games. In the end, we’re going to go with Chicago simply because Lance Lynn has been too good to bet against. The under has been consistent on the south side too, so we’re going White Sox money line and the under.|
Garcia’s 2021 record: (26-19-2)
|Tampa Bay Rays vs Chicago White Sox Information|
|Teams||Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White Sox|
|Location||Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois|
|Time||Monday, June 14, 8:10 p.m. EST|
|How to Watch||NBC Sports Chicago, MLB.TV|
It might only be the middle of June, but it’s never too early to think about what kind of an exciting matchup this could be in the postseason.
The Rays and White Sox have the two best records in baseball and come into this series fresh off of sweeps and playing their best baseball. Chicago just discarded the Tigers in a relatively trivial fashion — outscoring their AL Central rival 24-7 in the series.
The White Sox have dominated all year, they’ve scored more than 100 more runs than their opponents — the largest gap in all of baseball. That’s despite missing two key pieces to their lineup — Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert — for the vast majority of the season.
Chicago has scored the second-most runs and given up the second-fewest in all of baseball — as good of a winning combination as it gets.
Meanwhile, like Chicago, Tampa Bay is 6-1 in its last seven and comes off a sweep of a struggling division foe (Baltimore). The Rays have been nearly as good as Chicago all year — their run differential of +84 is fourth-best in the majors and it’s because they too are dominant on both sides of the ball.
The Rays are tied with Chicago as the second-highest scoring team in baseball and they’ve given up the fifth-fewest runs defensively … the only two teams to rank in the top five in both categories in the MLB.
If you are someone who bets (you are), it might be worth taking a look at some futures for one of these starting pitchers to win the AL Cy Young award.
Let’s start with the newest member of Chicago’s staff — the one who might just put this team over the top and to a World Series title — in Lance Lynn. Lynn has been dominant, ranking in the top 10 in all of baseball with a 6-1 record (T-6th), 1.23 ERA (2nd) and 0.88 WHIP (9th) all while having a strikeout to walk ratio of better than 4:1.
Lynn hasn’t had a bad game this season — holding his opponents scoreless in six of 11 starts, to two runs or fewer in 10 times and three runs or fewer in all 11.
Toeing the rubber for the Rays is one of the best strikeout pitchers in the game in Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow is 5-2 overall with a 2.57 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 117 strikeouts — the second most in all of baseball.
Perhaps the most eye-opening part of the season for Glasgow if you’re a Rays fan has been the last five games. He’s finally pitching deep into games, going seven innings or deeper in four of the last five after having done that just four times in his previous 20 starts.
With a lineup as loaded as Chicago’s, it’s hard to identify anybody as an x-factor. It’s hard to choose someone like Jose Abreu considering he won the MVP just last season, although he is one to watch — going 8-for-19 his last four games with five doubles and 3 RBIs.
However, the person we’re going to pick is Leury Garcia. The left fielder is one of the weaker hitters in the lineup though he’s been hot the last few games — Garcia is 4-for-7 in his last two games with five RBIs, three walks and two runs scored.
For the Rays, we’re going to go Joey Wendle and it’s because he’s their best bat against right-handed pitchers. Wendle is hitting .331 with a .381 OBP and .972 OPS against righties this season. It also helps he’s been hot of late, going 4-for-10 the last week with a home run and three RBIs.
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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