The Chicago White Sox visit Angel Stadium in Anaheim, where they will face off with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. First pitch is at 9:07 central time. The Sox have taken the first two games of this series on two outstanding pitching performances, the first less so than the second. In game 1, Lucas Giolito got the win, hoping to turn around what has been a disappointing season for him. In game 2, Carlos Rodon took a no-hitter deep before Juan Minaya and Joakim Soria closed it out for him.
The White Sox, as most baseball fans know, haven’t exactly been contending this season. In fact, they have been somewhat far from it. They sit at 36-64, good enough for fourth place in the American League Central division. They are ahead of only the Royals, and sit 18 games behind the Indians for first place. The Angels have had a very volatile season, generally keeping their record above .500. For example, at one point in June, they rattled off 6 straight wins. They then promptly won one game in the next ten days, bringing their record from 9 games over .500 to 3. After a few wins, they then lost another six straight, bringing their record to 41-41, and it has hovered around .500 since then. RIght now, they sit at 50-52. They have two left with the White Sox, and even splitting the series at this point would be a win for them. Anaheim is favored in this matchup: at -220.
Veteran James Shields will be on the hill for the White Sox for this one. Despite showing flashes of “Big Game James” at points this season, he stands at a disappointing 4-11 record. He also likely is staring down the barrel of another trade, as the Sox will probably take whatever prospects they can get from a contender looking for a veteran to help bolster the back end of their rotation. HIs ERA stands at 4.26. He will surely look to improve his stats in this one.
For Anaheim, Tyler Skaggs will be tossing it in this game. Skaggs has thrown it pretty well this season, posting a 7-6 record and triple digit strikeouts.
White Sox Hitting
The White Sox have been less than impressive at the plate this season, seemingly more likely to strike out than anything else. Yolmer Sanchez leads the team in batting average, at .257. Most other batting statistics are led by Jose Abreu. The former rookie sensation has driven in 55 runs so far but is hitting just .253. Abreu, Tim Anderson, and Matt Davidson are all tied with 14 home runs. The common theme, however, is strikeouts. This team could be fun to watch next year if they can improve their plate discipline. However, this year, they dont put up much of a fight without a great pitching performance.
Unsurprisingly, Mike Trout is the one leading the way in most hitting categories for the Angels. Trout is hitting an impressive .305, and has driven in 54 runs. He also almost doubles the White Sox’ home run leaders with his 26, and one in the All-Star game. Unless Shields has a great game, look for Trout to win this one for his team.
Angels Overpower White Sox
As good as White Sox pitching has looked of late, winning three straight against the Angels involves shutting Mike Trout down for three straight. While they may have a good chance of that is Lopez or Covey was starting, it is harder to have faith in Shields to do that. Take the Los Angeles Angels at -220.
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