A’s vs White Sox Potential AL Playoff Preview

A’s vs White Sox | Potential AL Playoff Preview

The Chicago White Sox are going to win the AL Central Division. The Oakland A’s are probably going to be a playoff team as well, either as the AL West champion or a wild-card team. Thus, when the teams meet Monday in Chicago, it’s a potential playoff preview. The A’s are short favorites on the MLB odds.

How to Bet A’s at White Sox MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Oakland?

Six of the A’s last eight wins have been by three or more runs. They are 43-22 in games decided by three runs or more compared to 25-28 in games decided by two runs or fewer and 17-19 in one-run games, which includes 11-7 at home and 6-12 on the road. Oakland leads the American League in one-run losses (19). The A’s are tied with the Rockies or the most walk-off wins in the majors (10) and have 93 walk-off wins in the Bob Melvin era, which are the most in the majors over that span.

Regulars Mitch Moreland, Seth Brown and Jed Lowrie all sat Sunday in Texas but it was simply for rest/pitching matchup. Shortstop Elvis Andrus is on the paternity list and it’s not clear if he will return for this one.

It’s Frankie Montas (9-8) scheduled to pitch for Oakland. Montas surrendered two runs — one earned — and two hits in six innings last Wednesday against the Indians. Montas struck out six and walked three in a no-decision. Cleveland got to Montas for a pair of runs in the first inning — one on a Jed Lowrie throwing error and the other on a Harold Ramirez RBI single — but the right-hander settled in and shut out the Indians in each of his final five innings.

It was his sixth straight quality start, and he’s now pulled his ERA under 4.00 for the first time all season. He had a 6.20 ERA after April and a 4.72 ERA after June, but he’s at 3.98 right now. Montas has a 146:36 K:BB ratio in 131 innings.

Montas Is 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA, .206 opponents batting average and three home runs allowed over his last eight starts dating back to June 26 after going 7-7 with a 4.79 ERA, .269 opponents average and 13 home runs over his first 15 starts. He is 5-2 with a 3.49 ERA and .217 opponents average on the road.

The White Sox are the only AL team he has never faced during the regular season. He did pitch in relief against them in Game 3 of the 2020 AL Wild Card and was the winning pitcher in the A’s 6-4 victory (2.0 ip, 2 h, 1 r, 1 er, 0 bb, 2 so).

Why Bet on Chicago?

Chicago and Oakland haven’t played this season yet and did not play during the 2020 regular season, but the A’s defeated the Sox in the AL Wild Card Series, 2-1. The A’s have won three straight regular-season series (2017-19), going 15-4 during that span.

The Sox have placed utilityman Leury Garcia on the 7-day concussion injured list. Garcia has seen his role on the White Sox diminish recently with the return of Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. Danny Mendick was recalled in a corresponding move.

Lefty Dallas Keuchel (7-6) is scheduled for Chicago. Keuchel surrendered four runs on four hits over six innings in last Tuesday’s loss to the Twins. Keuchel walked four and managed just one strikeout while surrendering two runs in the first inning and two more in a back-breaking sixth inning in which Keuchel entered with the White Sox up 3-2. Willians Astudillo burned him for a two-run home run.

Keuchel has gone at least six innings in four of his past six starts but has registered a 4.58 ERA while going 1-3 over that span. The veteran owns a 4.51 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 77/42 K/BB ratio across 125 2/3 innings this season. Keuchel is 6-6 with a 3.06 ERA (48 ER/141.1 IP) over 22 career games (20 starts) against the A’s

White Sox pitchers lead the major leagues with 10.36 strikeouts per 9.0 IP, which would be the second-highest mark in MLB history over a full season, trailing only the 2018 Houston Astros (10.44). Sox starters have struck out 10-plus batters a franchise-record 17 times this season, breaking the mark of 16 set in 2015.

Game Trends

  • Athletics are 53-15 in their last 68 vs. American League Central.
  • Athletics are 38-14 in their last 52 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
  • White Sox are 5-0 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series.
  • White Sox are 3-7 in their last 10 vs. American League West.
  • White Sox are 2-5 in their last 7 Monday games.
  • Athletics are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Chicago.

Expert Prediction

  • A’s 6, White Sox 5
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