Toronto’s explosive offense rarely takes a day off as the Blue Jays are batting .273 with a .331 on base percentage at home (5.0 runs per game) and .296 with a .364 on base percentage over the last seven games (6.1 runs per game). Toronto is hitting .324 with 25 runs while winning three of four games without Jose Bautista, who has a hamstring injury and is expected to return this weekend. Toronto should improve upon its offensive numbers against Chicago southpaw John Danks, who is 1-4 with a career 6.46 ERA and 1.64 WHIP versus the Blue Jays.
Danks remains an anomaly because his peripheral statistics (4.34 ERA; 1.39 WHIP) defy all metrics (4.95 xFIP; 4.80 SIERA). If there is a time to fade Danks, it is on the road where he is 2-4 with a 6.32 ERA and 1.72 WHIP this season, including yielding six earned runs on ten hits in his most recent road outing against the Twins. Danks’ road struggles are nothing new as the 29-year-old was 1-8 with a 4.93 ERA and 1.37 WHIP on foreign soil in 2013. Run support will also be an issue for Danks as the White Sox are batting just .248 with a .301 on base percentage on the road (4.1 runs per game) and .244 with a .300 on base percentage over the last ten days (3.4 runs per game).
Chicago’s offensive struggles will only be exacerbated by the absence of leadoff man Adam Eaton, who left last night’s game with leg cramps. Eaton had been riding a 12-game hitting streak and a 20-game on-base streak, but both of those came to an end when he exited in the first inning Thursday. Eaton appeared to wince while running down the line. “It didn’t look good, it didn’t feel good,” Eaton said. “We’ll be kind of day to day, I guess right now. I feel better after some of the treatment I’ve been doing. We’ll continue to work on it.” Eaton is batting .284 with 22 RBIs this season. He went on the 15-day disabled list in May for a strained right hamstring.
From a technical standpoint, Chicago is a money-burning 6-29 (-17.8 units) on the road versus teams with a win percentage between .540 and .620, 17-47 (-24.3 units) on the road versus teams who allow less than 4.7 runs per game, 20-41 (-16.5 units) as road underdogs, 16-34 (-18.6 units) in June and 11-33 (-23.5 units) after scoring one run or less. Meanwhile, with John Danks toeing the rubber, the White Sox are 0-11 (-11.3 units) following two or more consecutive losses and 0-14 (-14.3 units) on the road following a loss. Let’s also note the following trends:
- Chicago is 4-14 in Danks’ L/18 road starts;
- Chicago is 4-17 in Danks’ L/21 starts vs. the A.L. East;
- Chicago is 1-9 in Danks’ L/10 starts in game 2 of a series;
- Chicago is 8-19 in Danks’ L/27 starts overall
Finally, Toronto starter R.A. Dickey is 5-1 with a 3.47 ERA and 1.21 WHIP at home this season and takes the mound in good form with a 3.20 ERA and 1.32 WHIP over his last three outings. In his lone home start against the White Sox last season, Dickey threw a six-inning shutout wherein he allowed just two hits (7/1 K/BB). Dickey also welcomes home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez, who represents a 60% winning proposition for home teams in his career. Take Toronto and invest with confidence.