Chicago should be trending upward heading into the July 20th Twins at White Sox contest. The South Siders were on the verge of a double header sweep at the hands of Minnesota on Monday until a Gavin Sheets 3-run walk off pushed Chicago to a 5-3 win as +106 underdogs. The Sox are -166 favorites for Tuesday’s matchup.
The Twins did get a 3-2 win in game one as +199 underdogs, but have now dropped 4 of 5 overall. Minnesota is +138 against Dallas Keuchel (7-3, 4.25 ERA) on Tuesday, but are 3-12 in the last 15 vs. the Sox and have dropped 8 of their last 9 in the Windy City. Bailey Ober (1-1, 5.45 ERA) goes for Minnesota in this one.
Twins Had Their Chances
Minnesota took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the 9th on Monday, but another late implosion cost the Twins a double header sweep of 1st place Chicago. Taking two to kick off a series at Guaranteed Rate Field would have been huge for Minnesota in the July 20th Twins at White Sox matchup, but instead it’s Chicago that has the momentum heading into Tuesday’s matchup.
Both teams managed just 4 hits in Monday’s nightcap, and the total of 9.5 for Tuesday’s contest looks like an early under lean the way Minnesota’s offense has been playing. The Twins got swept in a 3-game series at Detroit over the weekend, getting shut out in two of the games. Minnesota has managed 9 ER over 12.2 IP vs. Keuchel this season though, and Nelson Cruz is 18-55 (.327) with 6 HRs in his career vs. the Chicago starter.
Ober has a tough test on Tuesday, and he’s allowed 4+ runs in three of his last four starts. 3 of Ober’s 8 starts this year are against Chicago, and he is 1-1 with a 6.57 ERA vs. the Sox this year. In a July 5th start vs. Chicago, the Minnesota right-hander did toss 5.0 IP of 2-hit ball however.
Sox Ready to Rock
Chicago is cruising in the AL Central, and with an 8.5 game lead they might not have the sense of urgency night in and night out. That being said, just like Minnesota could have easily had the doubleheader sweep on Monday, the Sox went into game one tied 1-1 in extra innings and had a great chance of taking both from the Twins as well.
The Sox also sat Tim Anderson in the nightcap (rest) and still got the win. Anderson is red hot with HRs in three straight games to go along with a 16-game hit streak. Anderson is just 1-8 (.125) vs. Ober, but Sheets, Jose Abreu, and Brian Goodwin have all went yard vs. the Twins starter in 4 AB or less. Chicago is 8-2 over their last 10, and the over has hit in 9 of their last 10 vs. a pitcher with a WHIP greater than 1.30 (Ober 1.36).
Keuchel takes the ball on Tuesday trying to find some consistency. He has allowed 7 hits in his last two starts, but gave up 7 ER to Detroit on July 3rd and just 1 ER over 7.0 IP vs. Baltimore last time out. Keuchel made back-to-back starts vs. the Twins in mid-May giving up 9 ER, but it wasn’t in the most pressing of situations since Chicago scored 13-8 and 16-4 wins in those games.
Free July 20th Twins at White Sox Pick
“Only” 57% of the public is on Chicago in early betting, but it’s hard not to like Chicago in this one. Ober looked good vs. the Sox last time out, but he’s about to get in a bad way on Tuesday. The Twins offense isn’t hitting well enough to keep this one close.
White Sox 7 – Twins 2
Free Pick: White Sox -1.5 (+125)