Things don’t get any easier for Oakland heading into the September 7th White Sox at Athletics matchup. The A’s just got swept in Toronto over the weekend, their 10th loss in the last 14 games which has put Oakland 3.5 back in the wild card race with the Mariners, Blue Jays, and Red Sox still to jump.
Both teams had Monday off, and the White Sox needed an idle spot on their schedule after losing two of three in Kansas City over the weekend. The visit to the Bay doesn’t mean a ton for Chicago as they’ve had the AL Central wrapped up for months with a 10 game lead over the Indians. The A’s are a -130 favorite for Tuesday’s series opener, with the Sox having some value at +110.
White Sox Scrambling for a Starter
Chicago has the division wrapped up and they’re not taking any chances with the health of their starting pitchers over the last month of the season. Lance Lynn is on the 10 day IL with knee inflammation and Lucas Giolito is shut down for a bit with hamstring tightness. That leaves Tony LaRussa and Chicago management having to get creative, bring up Jimmy Lambert for the September 7th White Sox at Athletics contest.
Lambert hasn’t exactly dominated in Triple A this season, posting a 4.98 ERA. The right-hander has been up to the majors at times in 2021, making two spot starts and one relief appearance giving up 8 ER over a total of 8 IP. Lambert has not faced anybody on the Chicago roster in his career.
Despite being in 1st place in their division, the White Sox kind of look like a tough play on Tuesday night. Chicago is 14-38 in their last 52 as a road underdog, have lost 8 of their last 12 road games, have lost 5 of 6 road games vs. a RH starter and are 8-18 in the last 26 vs. Oakland.
A’s In the Driver’s Seat
Oakland is back home after having Monday off and while just wrapping up a 2-4 road swing against the Tigers and Blue Jays. Despite a rough month of August that has included a 5 and a 4 game losing streak, the A’s are still within striking distance sitting 3.5 back in the AL wild card race.
What the A’s really need to do though is start playing with a sense of urgency. The team just got whipped in a showdown in Toronto over the weekend, getting swept over the three game series while allowing 29 runs to the Blue Jays over that series. The A’s scored 18 runs total on Friday and Saturday (and still lost) but were just blanked 8-0 on Sunday while managing only 2 hits.
It’s been a rough few days for the Oakland pitching staff, which means a strong outing from James Kaprielian (7-4, 3.87 ERA) is imperative on Tuesday. The right-hander is pitching in the right place to do just that, going 5-2 with a 2.44 ERA at home in 2021. Kaprieliean has allowed 10 ER over his last two starts overall though (9.0 IP) while giving up 5 HR over that span.
September 7th White Sox at Athletics Pick
With a normal spot in their rotation up the White Sox would have some value at +110. The public should be hammering the A’s in this one, but Kaprielian hasn’t impressed over his last couple outings either. Bullpens should be involved by the 5th, meaning take the over.
White Sox 8 – Athletics 6
Free Pick: Over 9