Chicago lost hold of first place in the AL Central last week, but recently got it back. Now they'll try to hold on to it and maybe even build a lead when they visit the Twins Cities for three games with the Twinkies starting Monday night.
Setting the Scene for
Chicago just took two of three games in Texas over the
weekend, missing out on the sweep by losing Sunday 2-0.
Minnesota, meanwhile, just swept three games from Cleveland
over the weekend, breaking out the brooms with a 5-1 victory Sunday.
So the White Sox, at 55-46, lead the AL Central by a game
and a half over second-place Detroit, while the Twins, at 43-58, are just happy
to be out of last place.
A couple of rookies will go at it Monday night as Minnesota
sends local boy Cole De Vries (2-2, 3.64) to the mound against Jose Quintana
(4-1, 2.58) for Chicago.
These two pitchers hooked up last week, when De Vries
outpitched Quintana but the Twins bullpen blew a lead in an 11-4 White Sox
De Vries is 4-for-8 on quality starts this season, and is
working off of two in a row. Last Tuesday he held these Sox to one earned run
through six innings, and just before that he also held the Orioles to one ER
through six innings.
On the season De Vries has allowed 43 hits, although 11 of
those have been homers, in 47 innings, walked nine and struck out 33.
If we took away his worst outing of this season - a couple
weeks ago vs. Oakland - when he got clipped for seven runs in five innings, De
Vries' ERA would be 2.57.
In his two starts this season vs. the White Sox, De Vries has
allowed four ER on 13 hits over 11 innings.
Quintana is 6-for-11 on quality starts this season, but only
two for his last five. Most recently, he gave up four ER on eight hits through 6
1/3 innings to the Twins last week, but just before that he held Boston
scoreless through eight innings. So he's been running a bit hot-and-cold over the
last month or so.
Through his first six starts this season, Quintana didn't
once allow more than two runs; over his last five starts he's allowed four or
more runs three times.
On the year Quintana has given up 67 hits in 77 innings,
walked 14 and whiffed 44.
Chicago is 8-3 in Quintana's starts this season, while
Minnesota is 3-5 in De Vries' starts.
Monday's Betting Odds
As of Monday morning, the best MLB odds we could find on Chicago
for Monday's game was the -131 offered at Matchbook, while Minnesota could be
gotten at +131 at 5Dimes.
The Sox could also be played at +127 on the run line at
And most online sportsbooks are listing the total on
Monday's game at nine.
In early betting on Monday's game almost 70 percent of play
on the side has come down on Chicago, while action on the total has been split
The Sox have taken seven of nine games from the Twins this
season, including a three-game sweep at The Cell last week in which they
outscored Minnesota 26-10. Also, six of the games in this series this season
have played 'over' on the totals.
White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski (16 HR, 50 RBI) has missed
the last five games with a strained oblique, and his status for Monday night is
Free MLB Pick for
Chicago has much more to play for, but we like what we've
seen out of De Vries. So we'll go with the Twins and the underdog price for