Chicago is white-hot at home
The Chicago White Sox have won 11 of their last 12 home games, including an 8-6 walk-off win over the Los Angeles Angels
to open up their three-game American League series on Friday night. Offensively, the club has been averaging 7.0 runs in that span, while continuing to lead the majors with a .293 batting average with runners in scoring position. The host clearly holds an advantage in the later innings this weekend, as the bullpen has compiled a 1.07 ERA in its last 10 games, while the Angels’ relief core has faltered in that period of time (6.46).Floyd-Santana should benefit with Saturday’s home plate umpire
Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana (5-10, 5.97 ERA) has served up 24 home runs during the 2012 season—a total that may climb higher when facing a White Sox lineup that ranks fifth in the majors with 129 round trippers. The right-hander has garnered a 3-2 record and 3.03 ERA in six career appearances (five starts) against the White Sox at this ballpark.
Gavin Floyd (8-9, 4.28 ERA) has been masterful in his last three outings in front of the home crowd, posting a 3-0 record and 0.90 ERA, while lasting at least six innings in each. Floyd and Santana will be extremely pleased to see umpire Paul Nauert
behind home plate on Saturday, as they’ve registered a 2.03 combined ERA in five starts in that situation (31.1 IP, 7 ER).Saturday Pick
: Under 10.5
Back problems continue to plague Haren
Angels starting pitcher Dan Haren (8-8, 4.59 ERA) has been dealing with tightness in his back, causing him to miss Wednesday’s scheduled start, which could place added pressure on a beleaguered bullpen in the series finale. The right-hander is 4-3 with a 5.25 ERA in eight road outings, with opposing hitters batting .300 against him. In four career outings versus the White Sox, Haren has tallied a 1-1 mark and 4.18 ERA.
Francisco Liriano (3-10, 5.18 ERA) pitched relatively well in a no-decision effort against his former team in his first outing for the White Sox, allowing two runs and four hits over six frames in a 4-3 road victory over the Minnesota Twins. The left-hander has enjoyed little success against Sunday’s opponent in seven lifetime appearances (six starts), posting a 1-4 record and 7.44 ERA, which includes a 0-2 mark and 7.63 ERA in three efforts this year.Halos have taken care of business against lefties away from Angel Stadium
Los Angeles has won its last eight road games against left-handed starters, which fits nicely with the team’s success against Sunday’s opposing starter. Despite this success, MLB prop bettors should look to play against Albert Pujols
in any head-to-head offerings, as he’s hitless in 11 career at-bats against Liriano.Prediction
I’m anticipating the Angels to be sent out as -108 to -120 road favorites in the MLB betting odds
for this contest, which is a fare price in this situation. If Santana is able to spell the bullpen on Saturday (throw seven-plus innings), I recommend playing the road team in the series finale.Sunday Pick
: Los Angeles Angels