Chicago White Sox (-155) vs. Kansas City Royals: Preview, Analysis, & Best Bet – 5/8/2021

By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets

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Money Line: CWS -155 | KC +143

Run Line: CWS -1.5 (-105) | KC +1.5 (-112)

Total: 9 (O +100, U -118)

First Pitch: 6:10 CDT | Kauffman Stadium | Kansas City, MO

Pitching Matchup: Lance Lynn (2-1, 1.82 ERA) vs. Daniel Lynch (0-0, 5.79 ERA)

The First place White Sox look to extend their divisional lead tonight as they send Lance Lynn to the bump. The slumping Royals, who’ve lost six straight, will counter with Daniel Lynch and this will be his second career start. Let’s get into this one and get a couple of bets locked in so we have some action!

Chicago White Sox (17-13)

The White Sox pitching staff has been on an absolute tear over the last week. It’s been three straight games since allowing a run (I’m not counting the 1-0 loss from those Mickey Mouse rules in extra innings to Cincinnati) and the big righty, Lance Lynn will look to keep it rolling today. MASS = GAS, baby! Lynn’s 2-1 on the season and he’s coming off his first start since returning from the I.L. where he went 5.0 IP against the Indians and gave up three earned runs on four hits and a pair of walks. 

The sticks have been hit or miss recently with the SouthSiders. They mustered up three runs last night and that was enough to get the win. Zack Collins broke up a no-hitter in the 5th with a solo shot to dead center, his second of the season. The top of the order added a pair of insurance runs in the 6th thanks on an RBI knock from Adam Eaton and an RBI double from Jose Abreu. Overall the White Sox are 4th in team batting average (.252), 2nd in OBP (.337), and 11th in runs scored with 146. What’s pretty surprising is how the Sox are scoring runs. They’re 28th in home runs (26) so they’re not necessarily mashing at the plate. But they’re working counts, avoiding strikeouts, taking their walks, and getting on base by any means necessary. Being able to win like that in this era is a really good sign and I’m as optimistic as ever as a Sox fan. 

Kansas City Royals (16-15)

The Royals haven’t scored a run since Cinco de Mayo when they notched four runs in a losing effort to the Tribe. That’s 22 straight innings without a run for Kansas City, which is a very surprising run for a team with their offensive potential. The Royals are 12th in batting average (.237), 22nd in OBP (.304), and 14th in slugging percentage (.390). Although those numbers are pretty “middle of the road,” these guys can break out at any moment. They have power guys in Carlos Santana, Salvador Perez, and Jorge Soler but also guys like Whit Merrifield and Nicky Lopez who are solid and can wreak some havoc on the basepaths. 

On the bump today will be a young lefty in Daniel Lynch. Lynch (24) made his MLB debut last week against the Indians. He didn’t pick up the loss although he only went 4.2 IP and allowed three earned runs on four hits and four free passes. The Virginia native relies on a 4-seam fastball 47.3% of the time, a slide-piece at 37.8%, and he goes with the changeup at a 12.2% rate. The fastball sits 94.8 mph and in his debut he had a Whiff% of 42.9% with the slider. 

Final Analysis & Best Bet

I’m taking the White Sox on the money line (-155) for two units tonight! Of course there is that stat where the Sox absolutely dominate LHP. I think at this point they’re like 19-1 since the start of 2020 when facing a left-handed starter. If anyone knows the exact number, please let me know. I know their only loss to a lefty over the last year was against Mike Minor of the Royals. But I digress. Here’s the thing, Lynch walked four hitters in 4.2 innings of work (and 74 pitches) so if he can’t control his stuff, he’s going to be in trouble. The White Sox walk at a 10.2% rate which is sixth in the majors and they’re full of guys that can work a count, including Eaton, Vaughn, Mercedes, Anderson, and Madrigal. 

So with the walks from Daniel Lynch and the fact that the Sox dominate lefties (.359 wOBA against LHP, T-2), I’m also going to take the over on White Sox runs which is 4.5 (-130). Give me two units there also. 

I expect Lance Lynn to be Lance Lynn tonight. His control has been exceptional this season as he’s only walked four hitters. He’s punched out 29 and that equates to a 7.3 K/BB rate which is by and far the highest mark of his career (4.4 in 2018). And his head to head stats with the Royals are favorable. They slash .248/.309/.411 which is actually pretty solid but most of that production comes from two guys: Andrew Benintendi (6-18) and Salvador Perez (6-16, 2 HR). What’s big here is that Whit Merrifield is only 3-20 against Lynn with no extra base hits. So, I think Lance will limit the walks, per usual, and if he can keep Whit off of the basepaths, then he should have a nice day at the office. I’ll say 7-2 in the White Sox favor today as they go for their ninth straight win at Kauffman. 

Trent’s MLB Betting Record

2021 MLB Season: 15-16 (-5.63 units). A $100 bettor is down $562.67 this MLB szn.

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