The Chicago White Sox are set to host the Oakland Athletics today in the first matchup of a three-game weekend series at Guaranteed Rate Field. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes our Athletics-White Sox prediction and pick we have laid out below.
The 49-49 White Sox started the second half at the same pace they’ve been at all year, going .500 with three wins in six games since the All-Star break. They’re currently in third in the AL Central but are only three games back of the division-leading Minnesota Twins. The Oakland Athletics have not fared so well this year, boasting the second-worst record in baseball at 38-63.
Here are the Athletics-White Sox MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Athletics-White Sox Odds
Oakland Athletics: +1.5 (-120)
Chicago White Sox: -1.5 (+100)
Over: 8.5 (-104)
Under: 8.5 (-118)
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Why The Athletics Could Cover The Spread
While it is true that the Athletics have been by and large atrocious for most of the season, they’ve actually been one of the hotter teams in baseball since the All-Star break. They took three out of five games against the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers to start the second half, before sweeping the Houston Astros with a trio of two-run wins earlier this week. Detroit and Texas are both below .500 for the season, but Houston has the third-best record in the MLB at 65-35, and was closing in on the New York Yankees for the top spot before its recent setback.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Oakland’s second-half performance has been its pitching and defense. The Athletics have given up more than five runs only once since the break, with three or fewer runs allowed in half of these contests. This has been a welcome change for a team that has the fifth-worst fielding percentage and eighth-worst ERA in baseball in 2022. The bats have also picked up considerably during this stretch. They rank second-to-last in the MLB in runs scored for the season, but their average of 4.88 runs per game since the All-Star break would rank fourth overall if sustained over the course of the season.
Oakland projected starter James Kaprielian hasn’t been too reliable for most of the season, posting a 4.74 ERA. However, this has started to change recently. After taking a 5.84 ERA into July, Kaprielian has a 2.05 ERA and .182 opponent’s batting average through four starts this month.
On the other side, Chicago projected starter Lance Lynn’s return from knee surgery hasn’t gone as planned. The right-hander has a 1-3 record with a 6.43 ERA and .283 opponent’s batting average in eight starts this season
Why The White Sox Could Cover The Spread
For as impressive as the second half has been for Oakland, the White Sox have been significantly more consistent this season. As a result, it’s tough to imagine the Athletics keep up this pace for much longer. One could say their recent success against the Astros — which includes a series win heading into the All-Star break, in addition to this week’s sweep — is a sign of them turning a corner. However, it’s equally if not more probable that this was more a case of Houston getting cold at the wrong time and potentially overlooking an inferior opponent.
Similar to how looking at the Athletics’ entire season dissuades confidence in their ability to sustain their current production for the long haul, Lynn’s career indicates his recent struggles aren’t who he is as a pitcher. He has a career ERA of 3.56, and posted a 2.69 ERA last year — his best in the majors. His last time out also encourages the train of thought that he’s bound to become more reliable down the stretch, allowing three hits in six shutout innings against the Cleveland Indians last week.
Even with Oakland finding a groove at the plate, the White Sox’s 121 runs scored this month are the fourth-most in the MLB and 26 more than their opponent has produced.
Final Athletics-White Sox Prediction & Pick
With Oakland and Chicago ranking second and fourth to last in the MLB in OPS against right-handed pitching, it may seem like this will be a fairly even matchup from an offensive standpoint. However, the White Sox rank 13th in the MLB with 308 runs driven in against righties, compared to the Athletics, whose 220 RBIs are the third-least in baseball. History shows that it’s more likely Lynn will get back to its old self than it is Oakland magically became an offensive juggernaut after a first-half filled with futility, making the White Sox at -1.5 (+100) a worthwhile play.
Final Athletics-White Sox Prediction & Pick: White Sox -1.5 (+100)