Los Angeles Angels vs Chicago White Sox (4/29/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

The White Sox lost again Thursday, and they’ve now lost nine of their last 10 games. Luckily, they started the season 6-2, so Chicago hasn’t dug themselves too big of a hole.

However, things are concerning on the Southside. Injuries have taken a toll, but the lineup is getting unlucky and the bullpen isn’t getting it done.

Meanwhile, the Angels have won five straight. They’re pacing the division and have built a 1.5-game lead on Seattle in the AL West. Maybe this is the year for Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.

A lot of the Halos’ success will ride on the shoulder of today’s starter, Noah Syndergaard. After some injury-riddled seasons, can Thor regain his dominance on the mound?

Time to find out. Let’s dig into the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for today’s Los Angeles Angels vs Chicago White Sox game.

Los Angeles Angels vs Chicago White Sox Giants Odds

While the White Sox have been a mess, Lucas Giolito has not. Today’s starter has been near perfect through two starts and eight total innings, and he is the clear reason why Chicago is the favorite in this battle.

I’m wondering if the sportsbooks are giving too much credit to Syndergaard, as the total has been set at just 7. Thor has been good, but he’s due for some negative regression with an xFIP north of 4.00.

Four of the last five games between the Angels and White Sox have gone over, why not here?

Los Angeles Angels Starting Lineup

RF Taylor Ward R
DH Shohei Ohtani L
CF Mike Trout R
1B Jared Walsh L
3B Anthony Rendon R
LF Brandon Marsh L
C Max Stassi R
2B Tyler Wade L
SS Andrew Velazquez S

Los Angeles Angels vs Lucas Giolito

Hard to be better than Giolito has been so far. He’s pitched just eight innings but has struck out 15, allowing one run in the process. Both the starts came on the road and against quality lineups (Detroit, Minnesota).

Giolito is a pretty standard pitcher. He’s got a mid-90s four-seam and some solid secondary options. It’s early, but he has been throwing his changeup less and his curveball more.

Whether that’s a short-term adjustment or an indication of more curveballs to come, only time will tell. For what it’s worth, he’s thrown the curve 11 times against lefties and made 10 of them whiff on the pitch.

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Image credit: Baseball Savant

Now, opposing him is an Angels lineup that has been dominating pitchers. Their .772 OPS is eight points higher than the second-place Cubs, and their 129 wRC+ is four points higher than the second-place Mariners (i.e., the Angels have been producing runs at a four-percent better rate than any team in MLB).

Who else has been leading the Angels other than … Tyler Ward?

That’s right, Ward has a 1.346 OPS through 50 plate appearances, hitting four homers and walking 11 times to just nine strikeouts.

Of course, we don’t get a big enough sample size in a season until Mike Trout is leading the bigs in WAR. Through 19 games, Trout has 1.4 WAR, exactly .1 behind leader Nolan Arenado. Trout is slashing .365/.476/.808 with five home runs.

For all his heroics on the mound, Shohei Ohtani is a mess on the mound. He’s struck out 25 times already in just 80 PAs while halving both his walk rate and ISO. It’s too soon to make any sweeping generalizations, but there are no clear signs of unlucky hitting.

However, either way, the Angels lineup is getting the job done.

Chicago White Sox Starting Lineup

SS Tim Anderson R
CF Luis Robert R
1B Jose Abreu R
C Yasmani Grandal S
LF Andrew Vaughn R
DH Gavin Sheets L
RF AJ Pollock R
2B Leury Garcia S
3B Jake Burger R

Chicago White Sox vs Noah Syndergaard

It’s good to see Syndergaard back on the mound.

It’s even better to see him post three straight starts of five-plus innings with only four total runs allowed.

Syndergaard’s strikeout rate is down, and seeing him post a lackluster 11:4 K/BB ratio is concerning. But, he’s managed to keep his average exit velocity way down (85.6mph), something he was elite at in his heyday.

Moreover, the expected statistics are good, considering he ranks above the 90th percentile of qualified pitchers in xSLG allowed (.264).

After all the injuries, rehab, and wear and tear on his arm, I don’t think we’ll see him post a 30% strikeout rate again. But Syndergaard can be effective as a pitcher without missing bats, and he’s done so in three starts this year.

The White Sox offense is in disarray. But nobody has been more unlucky than Chicago, who sports a .351 SLG but a .505 xSLG – the latter ranks second in MLB.

When you barrel up balls at a 10.5% rate (third in MLB), those batted balls will eventually find the gap. That hasn’t happened yet for Chicago, as it’s posted just a .251 BABIP.

Tim Anderson has been productive, posting a 144 OPS+ through 57 plate appearances. But he’s walked just once during that time, so I’m expecting his slash line to drop a bit.

Everyone else’s slash line should skyrocket as the season progresses, however.

Los Angeles Angels vs Chicago White Sox Pick & Prediction

My pick: Los Angeles Angels ML (+110 at DraftKings)

Why not back the red-hot Syndergaard and red-hot Angels lineup as underdogs?

I don’t trust Giolito for one reason: Exit velocity. He ranks in just the fifth percentile in average exit velocity allowed, and nobody has been hitting the ball harder than the Angels.

The White Sox have the more talented bullpen, but the two ‘pens have been near-identical in terms of xFIP (LAA 3.93, CHW 4.03).

At anything better than even money, I’ll be backing the Angels to come out victorious in this series opener.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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