Game: Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
Time: 8:10 p.m. ET
Starting Pitchers: Chris Bassitt vs. Reynaldo Lopez
Odds: Athletics -108, White Sox +100
Despite losing yesterday and being on the road at first-place Chicago, the Oakland A’s are favored in tonight’s matchup with the White Sox. That has everything to do with Oakland ace Chris Bassitt who will start for the A’s.
Bassitt is 12-3 for the season with a respectable 3.06 ERA, but he has really picked his game up a notch recently. In his last 20 innings pitched, Bassitt has allowed a single earned run.
Over his last six starts, Bassitt’s ERA is 2.08 with an FIP of 3.18. His strikeout rate is a very strong 25.3 percent and his walk rate is just 4.7. Bassitt will face a very capable White Sox lineup that got stars Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert back recently, but Chicago only ranks 12th in OPS over the past two weeks and 17th over the last month.
Oakland’s offense has actually outperformed that of the White Sox over the past two weeks. The A’s have won seven of their last ten games and managed six or more runs six times in those ten games. There was a 12-3 win over Texas and a whopping 17-0 shutout of Cleveland among those games. While Chicago scores 4.96 runs per game (7th), the A’s aren’t all that far behind at 13th averaging 4.57.
The A’s will face the young Reynaldo Lopez who has pitched just 20 major league innings thus far in his career. He has appeared as both a reliever and a starter and has actually done very well so far. His ERA is just 1.35, but he does have an FIP of 3.68 which suggests some regression.
Lopez has started two games this season and pitched just three innings in each. Both starts were against Minnesota. Lopez was not involved in either decision and the White Sox won one and lost one.
It’s unlikely that Lopez lasts much longer than five innings, which suits Chicago just fine. They will turn it over to a capable bullpen. In 379 relief innings, the White Sox have a 4.05 FIP and record 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Oakland bullpen is even better. Bassitt is likely to go deeper than Lopez, but when he does exit the game it will be in good hands. Oakland’s bullpen has a 3.58 FIP in 45.2 innings this month. With such solid pitching, an Under of 9 looks enticing.
The other thing to consider is the conditions in Chicago at game time. The temperature is expected to be in the mid-70s and there will be a wind of six miles per hour blowing in from the outfield. The humidity is also expected to be over 70 percent. These are all conditions that tilt game totals toward the Under.
In fact, the total has gone Under in four of the last five games in which Oakland has played at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. Both the A’s (56-61-2) and the White Sox (55-59-5) have trended toward the Under this season.