Opening Week: Chicago White Sox (-117) vs. Seattle Mariners: Preview & Best Bet – 4/5/2021

By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets

The White Sox continue their west coast road trip with the next stop being Seattle. The M’s opened up their new season by taking two out of three games from the Giants. Let’s get right into the breakdown of each team and then I’ll dive into my best bet for the night! It should be a fun one that sees a pair of lefties making their season debuts. 

Money Line: CWS -117 | SEA +108

Run Line: CWS -1.5 (+130) | SEA +1.5 (-150)

Total: 8 (O -117, U -103)

First Pitch: 9:10 CST | T-Mobile Park | Seattle, WA

Chicago White Sox (1-3)

The White Sox did not look like a championship team in the first series of the year. While the Angels are going to be a good team and I think a dark horse to win the West, the Sox easily could’ve flipped the series and taken three out of four games. They’ll turn to Carlos Rodon to try and get the squad back in the win column. I’m not big on Rodon, I think he’s had plenty of chances and I’m surprised he was able to carve out a spot in the rotation. That’s nothing against him personally, I just think we’ve seen enough. Rejoining the team in the middle of the truncated 2020 campaign, Rodon only threw 7.2 innings. He made four appearances and two of those were starts. His ERA was 8.22 and he had a WHIP of 1.57. Control has been an issue and the lefty has allowed a career 3.9 BB/9. 

The lineup averaged 8.5 hits over the four game series but they weren’t able to manufacture enough to get it done most nights. Actually, I take that back. They did enough to win a couple of those games but the defense allowed way too many unearned runs. So it’s not necessarily on the bats, although you’d like to see them produce a little bit more. Nobody is really excelling, aside from Yermin Mercedes who is 9-14 to start the year. Luis Robert is also batting .313 so he’s carried his weight thus far. Yoan Moncada has struggled mightily to start the new campaign, hitting .143 on 14 AB’s while Tim Anderson is at .200 on 15 AB’s. It’s super early, obviously, so there’s no need to overreact but it’s pretty clear where the issues are. Lotta ball left and they can get it going tonight against Justus Sheffield, who’s a lefty. 

Seattle Mariners (2-1) 

The aforementioned Sheffield will take the ball for the Mariners tonight. The 24-year-old left-handed hurler was a product of the 2014 draft where he came out of Tullahoma High School in Tennessee. He made ten starts last season and posted a 4-3 record to go along with a 3.58 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Sheffield relies on a sinker 47.4% of the time, utilizes a slider 33.5% of the time and goes with the changup 18.4% of the time. If my memory is correct, this will be the third sinkerballer the Southsiders face this season. One weakness of Sheffield’s is that he’s often hit pretty hard. He was in the 8th percentile of hard hit % and 12th in exit velocity in 2020. But despite being hit hard, his barrel percentage of 4.6 had him in the 89th percentile and that roughly translates to him keeping the ball in the yard. 

When it comes to offense for the Mariners, Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager are the guys you have to worry about. Haniger is the leadoff man usually and posting a .308 (4-13) average to go along with a homerun to start the season while Seager is .250 (3-12). The team only has two homeruns total through the first trio of games and the second one belongs to Ty France, the third baseman. France is 3-10 to start the year with two RBI’s. 

Final Analysis & Best Bet

Not to be a Sox homer, but I’m backing them on the moneyline tonight at -117 for a 1.5 units. I’m not high on Carlos Rodon but Tony La Russa will have Evan Marshall, Michael Kopech, Garrett Crochet, and Liam Hendricks at his disposal in case things get hairy early on. Additionally, The White Sox should be able to get the bats going this series. They’re 1-0 on the year against LHP and 15-0 since the beginning of 2020. The Southsiders faced Justus Sheffield once before and the current roster is 5-13 with no walks and five strikeouts. That’s a .367 average with Yoan Moncada leading the way at 2-3. Jose Abreu, Time Anderson, and Zack Collins have the other hits. This is one where we ride the trends and sit back and hopefully cash a ticket tonight. The Sox really are the better of the two teams and I think -117 is great value. We’ll be looking back later in the season and wishing we could get Chicago at -117. 

Trent’s MLB Betting Record

2021 MLB Season: 3-3 (-1.95 units). A $100 bettor has lost $195 this MLB szn.

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