Chicago White Sox vs Tampa Bay | MLB Betting Favorites & Analysis

The Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays were both division champions last season … and it’s not currently looking great for either to repeat, but we think they make the playoffs regardless. The Sox open a series at the Rays on Friday with Tampa a heavy favorite on the MLB odds.

How to Bet White Sox at Rays MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Chicago?

The injury-ravaged White Sox were swept a three-game set in Toronto on Thursday, losing the finale 8-3. Luis Robert drove in two runs and stole a base in the loss. Robert got the White Sox on the board in the eighth with a two-run double off Alek Manoah. The 24-year-old added the steal for his seventh of the year. Robert is now slashing .290/.322/.441 with six homers and 19 RBI over his 35 games.

Leury Garcia singled in the 1st and 8th innings, part of a 2-for-4 effort. It marked his 5th multi-hit game of the season. Yoan Moncada made his 1st start since May 25 due to injury, driving in a run with a single in the 8th inning. It was his 5th RBI of the season and his 1st since May 14.

The Sox slipped to 23-26 overall on the season, losing five of their last six games. They are now 12-13 on the road and 9-10 against AL East opponents. Chicago has been swept three times on the year. The White Sox are 15-20 when scoring four runs or less and 11-17 when scoring three or less this season.

It’s Vince Velasquez (2-3, 5.30 ERA) on the bump Friday. Velasquez shifted to the bullpen last week after he turned in an unsightly 5.79 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in his first seven starts of the season, but the White Sox determined he was a better option at the back end of the rotation than Dallas Keuchel, who was recently designated for assignment and released. Lance Lynn (knee) initiated a rehab assignment last weekend and may only need a couple more starts in the minors before he’s ready to return from the 60-day injured list and make his season debut. That would push Velasquez back to the pen.

He received a no decision in his last start on May 19 vs. the Kansas City Royals, allowing six runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts over 5.0 IP. He worked three innings as a reliever on May 24 vs. the Boston Red Sox, issued one walk and struck out five. It was his first relief appearance of the season.

The right-hander is scheduled to make his fourth career appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays. He is 0-1 with a 4.02 ERA (7 ER/15.2 IP), 18 strikeouts and a .238 (15-63) opponents average lifetime. He suffered the loss in his last start on April 17 at Guaranteed Rate Field vs. the Rays, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits, with one walk and six strikeouts.

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

The Sox lead the season series after winning two of three over Tampa Bay at home from April 15-17 (both wins by one run). Chicago is hitting .176/.227/.308 with three HRs, owns a 3.67 ERA (11 ER/27.0 IP) and has been outscored, 13-9, in the 2022. The Sox are 14-13 vs. Tampa Bay since 2017 despite being outscored by a 121-99 margin.

The Rays enter off a 3-1 win in Texas on Thursday. Vidal Brujan hit an RBI double in the second inning and Yandy Diaz singled home a run in the third for Tampa Bay. Brujan, in his second major league season, made his first big league start at shortstop, with Wander Franco on the injured list. Brujan’s four assists without an error included all three outs in the bottom of the ninth, some making stops deep in the hole and long throws.

Manuel Margot reached four times and scored a run. Margot singled twice and drew a pair of walks. He also scored a run. It’s been a breakout season thus far for the 27-year-old, as Margot is now slashing an outstanding .322/.385/.455 in the first two months of the season.

The Rays are 15-10 in games decided by 2 runs (or fewer), winning four straight games of this type and four of the last five. They are 10-6 in 1-run games and 5-3 in extra-inning games. The eight extra-inning games are tied with the Padres for 1st in the majors. The Rays are 8-3-1 in their last 12 series following a 1-2-0 start. They are 6-10 in series openers and 24-11 in all other games.

It’s ace lefty Shane McClanahan (5-2, 2.01 ERA) on the mound Friday. McClanahan pitched six innings of one-run ball and struck out seven in the Rays’ 4-2 win over the Yankees last Sunday. McClanahan navigated around trouble throughout the game but managed to limit the damage to a solo shot by Gleyber Torres. Three times the first two batters of an inning reached safely, but the southpaw was able to get timely strikeouts and induce groundballs to limit the scoring of the potent Yankees’ offense. For the month of May, McClanahan was lights out with a 1.15 ERA and a 39:5 K:BB in 31.1 innings, never allowing more than two runs in a start.

He has allowed 3 runs (or fewer) in each of his 10 starts this season, matching Jeff Niemann in 2010 for the longest such streak to start a season among Rays making the season-opening rotation. McClanahan ranks among AL leaders this season in strikeouts (81, 1st), WHIP (0.91, 4th), opp avg. (.195, 4th), SO/BB ratio (6.75, 3rd), ERA (2.01, 4th), swing-and-miss rate (36.7, 1st) and strikeout rate (36.3, 1st).

McClanahan will be facing the White Sox for the second time in his career. He previously did on June 15, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field and he took the loss after allowing 3 runs (2 ER) in 5 IP.

Game Trends

  • White Sox are 12-39 in their last 51 games as a road underdog.
  • White Sox are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. American League East.
  • White Sox are 0-4 in their last 4 during game 1 of a series.
  • Rays are 63-29 in their last 92 home games.
  • Rays are 15-7 in their last 22 Friday games.
  • Rays are 87-41 in their last 128 games as a favorite.
  • Over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.

Expert Prediction: Rays 4, White Sox 2


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