Oddsmakers are calling the Friday April 2nd White Sox at Angels matchup a close one, listing LAA as the slight -113 favorites (CHW +103). These two teams definitely battled on Opening Day, with the Angels getting a couple late runs to score the 4-3 upset as +106 underdogs.
These two teams put up 7 runs with their two top pitchers on the mound Thursday, and bats can often be rusty in the first game of the year. Does that mean there’s about to be some runs scored on Friday night, as the total has jumped 1/2 a run to 8.5?
Keuchel Follows a Giolito Gem
Chicago starter Lucas Giolito seems like he pitched well enough to win in the season opener. The Sox ace hurled 5.1 IP allowing just 2 hits. Giolito retired the first 11 Angels batters he faced, but got into some trouble when the middle of the Angels order saw him the second time through. Giolito allowed a run in the 4th, and then another in the 5th on a Max Stassi HR.
It will be Dallas Keuchel’s turn in the April 2nd White Sox at Angels contest. He’s coming off a stellar debut season with Chicago, going 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA last year. Los Angeles lost 4 of their last 5 vs. a LH starter last season, giving the White Sox some value at +103 here. Keuchel didn’t face the Angels last year with baseball’s regional play.
The Chicago offense could always play better than they did on Thursday night, since they lost. The first four in the order all had a hit though, including Adam Eaton who belted his first HR of the season. Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert also added doubles. Robert and Leury Garcia each left 3 men on base hitting in the 6th and 7th spot though.
Middle of Angels Lineup the Key
Los Angeles proved they still have a very tough middle of the order in Thursday’s win. Batters 2-6 all had a huge contribution in the season opening win. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon walked to start the 4th inning rally and Justin Upton singled to score Trout. Upton also drew an 11-pitch walk in the 8th, bringing up Albert Pujols who hit a high chopper that scored Shohei Ohtani for the game winning run.
If that’s the type of contributions Joe Maddon can count on all season, the Angels will contend in the AL West. Scoring runs wasn’t LAA’s problem last season though (top 10 in 2020) it’s stopping the other team from scoring. Dylan Bundy was OK on Thursday, but the mistake to Eaton cost him.
Andrew Heaney gets the ball on Friday night in a battle of left-handers. Chicago has won 26 of their last 36 vs. a Southpaw over the past two years, and Heaney has some work to do after posting a 4.46 ERA last season. Chicago batters haven’t faced Heaney a ton (36 AB) but they’ve collectively hit .306 against him with an OBP of .366. Jose Abreu has two HRs off the Angels starter in 8 AB.
Free April 2nd White Sox at Angels Pick
The White Sox bullpen had some issues last night, but they’re still expected to be one of the better units in the league. If Keuchel can pitch like he did last season, Chicago should put up enough offense to get a win. In fact, it’s almost strange (red flag) that they aren’t favored here.
White Sox 5 – Angels 3
Free Pick: White Sox +100