Many teams are playing interleague series this week around baseball but that’s not the case from the South Side of Chicago as the White Sox host AL Central rival Minnesota on Wednesday night in Game 2 of a three-game set. The Twins are coming off a 3 game series this past weekened against the Boston Red Sox, which they lost 1-2. For the White Sox, it was a terrible series against the Baltimore Orioles, losing every game in the series. The Pale Hose should be baseball betting favorites.
Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox MLB Preview & Game Info
FINAL: Red Sox 17, #MNTwins 6.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) May 7, 2017
When: Wednesday, May 10, 8:10 PM ET
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago
Probable pitchers (away/home): Phil Hughes/Derek Holland
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: Minnesota / Chicago
Opening MLB Lines: White Sox favored by TBA
Why Bet On Minnesota?
Will the Twins have second baseman Brian Dozier for this series? He has missed the past few games with a sprained ankle. An X-ray and ultrasound test showed no structural damage in Dozier’s badly swollen ankle as he deals with what has been classified as a mild sprain. Dozier, who had an MRI on his right knee last month, was admittedly scared this latest injury might be more severe. Dozier was brilliant last year offensively but is 2 for 21 (.095) with runners in scoring position this year; overall, Dozier is hitting .229 with four homers through 105 at-bats.
Outfielder Miguel Sano has been one of the AL’s best hitters in 2017. Sano is currently sporting an unseemly .356 isolated power percentage. He rarely put the ball on the ground before, but his groundball rate is now a measly 29.4 percent. His average launch angle is 19.7 degrees, the highest of his career. Sano was already a flyball hitter, but now, everything goes in the air. Sano’s 56.9 percent hard-hit rate is second-highest in all of baseball. His average exit velocity is 100 miles per hour. Sano’s 2016 struggles were driven mainly by hamstring, elbow and back injuries. He never really played at 100 percent. He is now.
It’s veteran right-hander Phil Hughes (4-1, 4.32) on the mound. He gave up one run over 6.1 innings with four strikeouts and two walks in a no-decision against Boston on Friday. Hughes left with a lead, but Brandon Kintzler blew his first save chance of the season, though the Twins rallied to win in the bottom of the ninth inning. It may have been Hughes’ best outing of the season. He has kept the Twins in the game in all but one of his starts, but he has just a 4.9 K/9 and his average fastball velocity has fallen below 90 mph.
Hughes’ first start of 2017 was at the White Sox on April 7. It was one of his best outings of the year, getting the win in allowing one run and five hits over six innings with no walks.
Why Bet On Chicago?
Could the Sox call up top prospect Yoan Moncada soon? On Monday, Moncada was named the International League Batter of the Week amid a continued tear at the plate. Moncada batted .500 with two homers, four RBIs and eight runs in six games this past week, and he’s hitting .352 with six homers, 11 RBIs, 24 runs and a .427 on-base percentage in 27 games this season. He was acquired in the Chris Sale trade with Boston.
One line of thinking is that Moncada could be called up mid-May or shortly thereafter. That would delay Moncada’s service time clock enough to ensure the White Sox control him through 2023, as opposed to 2022 had he made the team’s Opening Day roster.
Chicago’s Anthony Swarzak has been one of the AL’s top relievers. Toting a 95-mph fastball and a dominant slider, Swarzak has allowed three hits in 14 2/3 scoreless innings to start the season. He has walked one and struck out 17 batters. Opponents are hitting .067 against Swarzak, who has set down the last 15 hitters he has faced and 33 of 34 overall. Not only are hitters having trouble with the fastball, they’ve got a .100 average against his slider. That mark is well below his previous best against the slider (.253) in 2014.
It’s lefty Derek Holland (3-2, 2.02) on the mound. He turned in another gem Thursday at the Royals, allowing one earned run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings. The effort raised Holland’s K-rate to 20.2 percent, his highest mark since he finished the 2013 campaign at 21.1. Last season, Holland finished with a career-low 14.5-percent strikeout rate.
Since joining the club, Holland has suggested he's as healthy as ever after three years of dealing with injuries. The veteran lefty said all spring he was excited to work with pitching coach Don Cooper — that being here had Holland best positioned to regain the form that produced 8.6 f-Wins Above Replacement from 2011-13.
Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox MLB Pick: Chicago White Sox
Holland pitched well in a loss to Minnesota on April 7 and he’s going great right now.