The Chicago White Sox are on the road to play the Seattle Mariners this Friday night. Chicago is 30-40 on the season and sitting in third in the AL Central. Seattle is just under .500 at 33-34 and sits in fourth in a very competitive AL West division. These two teams square up nicely against one another as two middle-of-the-pack teams with some commonalities, which is why I think this will be a close game. Read on for more.
White Sox vs. Mariners Prediction
White Sox vs. Mariners Best Bet: Mariners run line (+155)
The Mariners are coming off a series win over Miami, which will hopefully be a morale boost after dropping four consecutive series prior to that. Bryan Woo will be on the bump tonight for the M’s, making just his third start with the team. Game-over-game, he’s shown improvements, but it’s still early to tell what his production will look like for this team long-term. In his last start against the Angels, he had seven K’s and gave up four hits over 4.2 innings pitched.
Seattle started off June pretty slow but have picked it up recently – they had 34 hits and four losses through their first five games compared to 47 hits and three wins in their last five games. Strikeouts remain an issue for this lineup, as they have four starters that are in the top 10 in the league in strikeouts. They’ll be facing Michael Kopech who has the 10th-best K/9 rate in the league (10.4) so there is strikeout potential here for Kopech. He has also had a very good June, walking just two batters across his two starts and sporting a 1.50 ERA. The Mariners have struggled against right-handed starters in general, having only won three games in their last 10 against them.
Last night saw Chicago drop the final game of the series to the Dodgers, and now they are looking to avoid a third straight series loss here in Seattle. Much like the Mariners, Chicago’s hitting has been hit or miss this year as well and both sit in the bottom 10 in the league in batting average. Chicago has a tendency to underperform against right-handed pitchers and on the road, both circumstances they’ll face this week in Seattle versus Woo. Their production has also dropped off in general in June: they’re batting .206 as a team in June with a .275 OBP. They are dead last in the league in OBP this season.
These two teams are very similar in several ways, but where Seattle has the edge is in their bullpen. This Mariners bullpen has a 3.68 ERA (11th-best) while the White Sox pen sits in 26th with a 4.76 ERA.
This should be a competitive series but at home, where the Mariners are 19-16, they provide more means to outperform the White Sox, even with a novice on the mound. Take the M’s to win in a close, competitive game, by more than one run.
White Sox vs. Mariners Odds
The Mariners (-130) enter as home favorites in this matchup against the White Sox (+110). If you are interested in betting the run line, you can get the Mariners -1.5 at +155 or the Pirates +1.5 at -180. The over/under is 8 runs.
The Mariners record is 7-3 with one day of rest and 18-13 when they are the home favorite. The White Sox are 13-28 as the underdog and 19-19 as road dogs. Note that the White Sox are 10-16-1 at hitting the over as a road underdog while the Mariners hit the over as the home favorite less than 50% of the time.
White Sox vs. Mariners Key Matchups
Let’s take a look at the key matchups that could decide White Sox vs. Mariners.
Bryan Woo vs. Lefty bats
It’s still early for Woo but even two games in, there are still a few things to show for, most notably, his stats against left-handed batters. On 12 AB’s against lefty’s, he has a .500/.538/1.000 slash line against him and eight RBI’s versus .263/.300/.316 and zero RBI’s on 19 AB’s featuring right-handed batters. Chicago is mostly made up of righty bats which should even the playing field. However Andrew Benintendi, the team’s batting average leader, is left-handed so that gives Woo a real test here.
White Sox bats also drop off versus right-handed pitchers like Woo, with a .230/.288/.381 line versus .255/.317/.419 against lefty pitchers.
White Sox vs. T-Mobile Park
The White Sox have a big drop in production on the road. Not only are they 13-23 on the road, but they have a .221/.281/.378 slash line on the road versus .252/.310/.402 slash line and a 17-17 record at home. Pitching also drops off when they aren’t at Guaranteed Rate Field as their ERA shoots up to 4.74. Kopech in particular struggles on the road where he has half as many K’s as he has recorded at home, and a 4.34 ERA.
Factor in that they are 13-28 as an underdog and 22-35 when they don’t have a day of rest, and you have a tough battle for this White Sox team.
White Sox vs. Mariners Starting Lineups
White Sox Starting Lineup
SS Tim Anderson R
1B Andrew Vaughn R
CF Luis Robert Jr. R
DH Eloy Jiminez R
3B Jake Burger R
LF Andrew Benintendi L
C Yasmani Grandal B
RF Clint Frazier R
2B Elvis Andrus R
Mariners Starting Lineup
SS J.P. Crawford L
CF Julio Rodriguez R
1B Ty France R
RF Teoscar Hernandez R
LF Jarred Kelenic L
3B Eugenio Suarez R
C Cal Raleigh S
DH Mike Ford L
2B Jose Caballero R