The Los Angeles Dodgers (38-30, 21-11 home) and the Chicago White Sox (30-39, 13-22 away) face off in the series rubber match on Thursday night in L.A. The three-game interleague series is knotted at one win apiece following Chicago’s 8-4 victory on Wednesday night.
The first pitch of the series finale is at 10:10 p.m. EST inside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles is the betting favorite (-155 moneyline), and the over/under total is nine runs.
What to Know – Chicago White Sox
The White Sox snapped a three-game losing skid with Wednesday’s victory and picked up their 30th win of the year. Chicago has struggled over the first two in a half months of the season but sit only 5.5 games back in the AL Central.
Right-hander Dylan Cease (3-3, 4.38 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) is the expected starter for the visitors. Cease has been brilliant in June, sporting a 1.59 ERA over a pair of starts. For the year, the 27-year-old has thrown 74.0 innings, allowing 36 earned runs on 65 hits, 34 walks, and striking out 81 batters.
On offense, Chicago is 22nd in the majors hitting .236 as a team and scoring 4.2 runs per game. The White Sox pitching staff is 24th in the league with a 4.58 team earned run average.
The White Sox offense has battled injuries all season but are starting to get healthy. Andrew Vaughn leads the team with 40 runs driven in, while Luis Robert Jr. has swatted a team-best 16 home runs. Jake Berger is next line with 15 homers, and Berger and Robert Jr. each have 35 RBIs.
What to Know – Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles suffered a rare loss at home and dropped to 3-7 over its last ten contests. The Dodgers find themselves trailing the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks by three games in the NL West.
Michael Grove (0-2, 8.28 ERA, 1.60) will try to pick up his first victory of the season’s seventh appearance on the mound. The 26-year-old has been knocked around pretty well in a majority of his starts this year. Over 25.0 innings of work, Grove has surrendered 23 earned runs, 32 hits, walked eight, and struck out 23 batters.
The Dodgers’ offense is 19th in the MLB with a .242 team batting average and plate 5.5 runs per contest. The pitching staff for Los Angeles is 21st in the league featuring a 4.49 team ERA.
One area L.A. doesn’t need to worry about is its offense. The Dodgers are led by All-Stars Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, and Max Muncy. Freeman is third in the majors with a .331 batting average, adding 13 home runs and 44 RBIs. After a slow start, Betts has seen his average rise to .263, swatting 17 home runs and driving in 43 RBIs in the process.
The Pick is In
If Grove can find his footing on the mound and hold the White Sox to a couple of runs, we like the Dodgers’ offense to get on top of Cease early and often. L.A. bounces back on Thursday night with a victory to close out the series.
The Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers ML