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MLB odds: White Sox vs. Athletics prediction, odds, pick, and more – 9/7/2021

MLB, ODDS, PICK, prediction, White Sox, Athletics

The Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox begin a three-game series Tuesday in RingCentral Coliseum. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a White Sox-Athletics prediction and pick.

Oakland currently stands at 74-63 and is 37-31 at home. If you put $100 on every single Athletics game so far this season, you’d be down $143 on the moneyline.

Chicago currently stands at 79-58 and is 33-34 away from home. If you put $100 on every single White Sox game so far this season, you’d be down $142 on the moneyline.

Here’s how sportsbooks have set the White Sox-Athletics odds.

MLB Odds: White Sox-Athletics Odds

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White Sox ML (+115)

Oakland Athletics ML (-125)

Over 9 Runs (+100)

Under 9 Runs (-120)

Why The Athletics Could Win This Game

James Kaprelian takes the mound for the Athletics as they look to get back on track after suffering a sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays. In 18 starts, Kaprelian has pitched to a respectable 3.87 ERA for the A’s.

One of the right-hander’s biggest strengths is his ability to eat up innings for the A’s. Kaprelian rarely gets knocked around early, and he’s completed five or more innings in 15 of his 18 starts this year.

Another positive sign for Oakland backers is that Kaprelian has dominated teams with high OPS rankings. In three outings against teams that rank top ten in OPS, Kaprelian has thrown 17 innings and allowed only three earned runs. The A’s won two out three of those games.

This is important as the White Sox currently rank fifth in OPS and have one of the scariest offenses in the league, thanks to their combination of patience and power. However, Kaprelian has only allowed one homer in 18 innings against the top ten teams in home run rankings.

It’s a tall task to contain this Sox offense, but Kaprelian has shown he is more than capable in the past.

At the plate, the A’s face off against Jimmy Lambert. Lambert has shown two big weaknesses in three appearances this year: accuracy and controlling the home run.

In just eight innings of work, Lambert has allowed two homers and four walks. This is a major red flag against the A’s. Oakland is solid at drawing the free pass (13th most walks in the league) and has shown flashes of power (13th most homers).

Most importantly, they do not chase pitches outside the zone. They have the sixth-lowest chase rate in the entire major leagues, and Lambert relies on the strikeout to get his outs. If he isn’t sharp, this could get ugly fast.

It’s very likely the A’s tack on at least a few runs on Lambert before he gives way to the bullpen.

Why The White Sox Could Win This Game

Kaprelian throws his fastball 51.8% of the time, which is great news for White Sox batters. The White Sox are one of the best fastball hitting teams in the league, and when they get heat, they hit it hard.

The White Sox have a whopping nine players with a hard-hit percentage of over 40%. The league average is 35%. The heart of the White Sox order (Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert) are all part of the group that is over 40%. Jose Abreu is particularly good with a hard-hit percentage of 49.9%.

The problem for Kaprelian is that he throws a lot of straight heat, and the White Sox thrive against this. It wouldn’t be a shock to see the A’s pitcher get tagged early against a lineup that’s produced six or more runs in five of their last ten games.

The White Sox will depend on Jimmy Lambert to keep them in the game in what should be almost entirely a bullpen game. Lambert hasn’t been great, but he’s shown some swing and miss stuff in just three outings.

In eight innings, Lambert has struck out eight batters. The righty almost exclusively gets his outs via the K or the fly ball, and only four of his 35 outs on the season have come via the ground ball. Oakland’s home stadium is perfectly suited for a pitcher like Lambert, and the spacious outfield should help him out a little bit tonight.

Once Lambert is done, the ball will get turned over to a bullpen with the sixth-lowest WHIP and third least walks allowed. Considering the Athletics’ ability to lay off pitches outside the zone, the White Sox need guys that can pound the strike zone, and their ‘pen has done that well of late. In their last 16 innings of work, the Chicago bullpen has only allowed three free passes.

If Lambert can limit the damage, the revamped Sox pen can shut the door with a lead or keep the team afloat if they find themselves down early.

Final White Sox-Athletics Prediction & Pick

This pitching matchup is shaping up to be a slugfest. Kaprelian has allowed ten runs in his last two outings, which is a nightmare matchup for him. Lambert is almost guaranteed to give up a handful of runs in a short start. We likely see each starter give up three or more runs, and both bullpens will bend eventually. The odds that this game sees double-digit runs are great, especially with the wind currently blowing out. Play the over.

FINAL WHITE SOX-ATHLETICS PREDICTION: OVER 9 RUNS (+100)