White Sox vs. Blue Jays , Aug. 26
Two of the top teams in baseball will wrap up their series today in an afternoon game that is a can’t miss matchup. This is about as evenly matched as you can get and the head-to-head series has been back and forth all season with Chicago holding a one game lead on the season. Toronto definitely has more on the line here as they’re on the outside looking in for the last spot in the AL wild card. Chicago has had their division locked down for what seems like the whole season and are in great shape as we get closer to the playoffs. Can the Jays gather a string of wins to make a late playoff run? Can Chicago overcome their struggles against lefties and pull out the win?
White Sox: Smooth Sailing
It seems like this team has been on cruise control all season and they are showing no signs of slowing down. Chicago has held a 10-game lead in the AL Central for months now and it would be shocking if there was any type of race coming from the Central this late in the season. Rodon gets the ball today for Chicago and he has been solid on the road, boasting a 6-2 record with a 2.11 ERA. He has been the top road pitcher for the Sox this season and leads the team with a road K/BB ratio of 91/18. He is also only allowing opponents to a .204 batting average which is a far cry from what the Blue Jays lineup is used to slashing. The Sox have shown that their only weakness is road games; they are .500 on the road and they are 2-3 in Rodon’s last five road starts. The Sox lineup have regained some of their left-handed hitting dominance, as they have now climbed back into the middle of the pack against lefties.
Blue Jays: Learning to Fly Again
The Jays are hitting a slump at the worst possible time. Already on the outside looking in, they have gone 3-7 in their last 10 and are now 5.5 games behind Boston for the last wildcard spot. Ryu takes the hill today for the Jays and he has been dominating at home, coming in with a 6-2 record and 3.74 ERA and allowing opponents to hit just .264. The Jays should look to get back on track here as they have gone 8-2 in Ryu’s last 10 starts. Ryu will likely have to be better than his last outing against Chicago where he went five and two-thirds allowing three runs on seven hits including two home runs. Ryu is likely going to have to match Rodon inning for inning in this one to give his club a chance at a win.
White Sox vs. Blue Jays Pick
Despite their average road play, it’s hard to say this White Sox team is not better in each phase of the game than these young Blue Jays. With Ryu’s somewhat spotty pitching lately, his struggles last time against Chicago, and the resurgence against lefties for the White Sox lineup, I’ve got to back the Sox here with the better pitcher and more well-rounded team at the moment. Take Chicago with the modest chalk at -125.