Opening Week: Chicago White Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels: Preview, Prediction, & Best Bet – 4/3/2021

By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets

Last night was absolutely wild. For starters and on a non baseball related note, I won a raffle at this club I was at and the grand prize was free bottle service (we have video footage)! But perhaps the best part of the evening was the fact that the game was on at the bar. So while we’re putting down Bud Lights and dancing, we were also witnessing history. Yermin Mercedes was the man of the night, smashing an MLB record that’s stood since 1928. He was the first player with 4+ hits in his debut since Art Shires did it back on 8/20/1928 (credit to Christopher Kamka). That is the beautiful thing about baseball. Records can hold for 90+ years and can be broken on any given night. Let’s get into tonight’s matchup and I’ll break down my best bet for game three of the four-game set between our beloved White Sox and the Halos. 

Money Line: CWS -122 | LAA +112

Run Line: CWS -1.5 (+125) | LAA +1.5 (-140) 

Total: 9 (O -112, U -108)

First Pitch: 8:07 CST | Angel Stadium of Anaheim | Anaheim, CA

Chicago White Sox (1-1)

Tony La Russa will turn to Lance Lynn to make his White Sox debut tonight! I’ll be 100% honest, I wasn’t super on board with the trade initially. Dane Dunning is going to be a stud, in my opinion but as time passed I think it’s a solid trade. Lynn is coming off seasons where he finished fifth and sixth in the Cy Young and he will be a much needed stabilizer in the middle of the rotation. We’d love to see him be one of those guys that you can rely on to go and get 6-7 innings each night and finish with a quality start. As for 2020, the big righty out of Ole Miss made 13 starts and went 6-3 with an ERA of 3.32. 

As for the bats, I already mentioned Yermin’s phenomenal night above. The team as a whole put up 12 runs in the 12-8 final and went for 13 hits. The MVP, Jose Abreu, went 2-4 with a grand slam. It was a towering moonshot out to right center that drove home four runs early in the game. One of the only weaknesses in the Sox lineup was Yoan Moncada. Moncada went 0-5 with five punchouts. That’s a platinum sombrero – I’m not sure I’ve ever witnessed it before to be honest. 

Los Angeles Angels (1-1) 

Alex Cobb is a right handed hurler making his Angels’ debut tonight. He spent time with the Orioles most recently and amassed a 7-22 record over three seasons. Cobb went 2-5 in 2020 with a 4.30 ERA over ten starts and his WHIP was 1.34. He relies on the sinker 47.5% of the time and throws a split finger to go along with that (35.2%). Then he also mixes in a curve 16.7% of the time. The idea is you throw that sinker and get hitters to get on top of the ball and drive it into the ground. He boasts a career groundball rate of 52.9% which is solid, but people hit him hard. He ranks in the sixth percentile in exit velocity and fourth in hard hit percentage. For a reminder on how percentiles work, you want to be closer to 100 – so he’s about as far away from there as possible. And he’ll likely see a little bit of a resurgence coming over to a more pitcher friendly park, but the issues are a bit deeper than the stadium he calls home. 

Hitting wise, we’ve seen what the Angels are capable through the first two games. Shohei Ohtani and Albert Pujols went yard yesterday and Mike Trout reached base four out of the five times he walked up to the plate. The Sox have been able to limit their big guns by getting Dexter Fowler and Jose Iglesias out regularly. Keeping David Fletcher off the basepath also helps and Justin Upton has been a GIDP machine this series. You have no problem issuing a couple of free passes to Trout, Ohtani, and Tony Two Bags if you can take care of the guys around them. It’s just more situational, like when you have Fletch on and can’t pitch around certain guys – and for the most part, the Sox have handled it well. 

Final Analysis & Best Bet

I’m backing the Chicago White Sox again on the money line tonight (-122) for a unit. I really think these are valuable lines we’re seeing in the early going of 2021. The Angels are talented but they lack pitching. That is not a good thing to be lacking when facing a lineup like Chicago. Check out these head to heads against Alex Cobb: Abreu (2-5), TA7 (2-3), Eaton (2-3), Garcia (2-4 with a HR), and Yoan Moncada (1-2 with a HR). It’s going to be a long night at the office for Alex Cobb. Additionally, the Halos used six guys out of the bullpen last night and that’s another area where the Southsiders have an advantage. I’m actually going to lock in the over on 4.5 runs for the White Sox at -120 for two units. I absolutely love this play. I see Chicago putting up 6+ tonight without a problem. 

Lance Lynn has performed fairly well against the Angels. Coming over from the Rangers, he has quite a bit of head to head experience. Ohtani definitely has his number at 7-15 with a longball and Dexter Fowler is 6-15 with a bomb. But Pujols is 1-11, Fletcher is 2-10, Rendon is 2-12, Stassi is 0-9, and Upton is 1-13. Trout’s 6-26 with two homers but Lance Lynn loves to challenge guys with the high heat and I think that’ll be one area where he can contain Trout. 

Trent’s MLB Betting Record

2021 MLB Season: 2-1 (+0.25 units). A $100 bettor has profited $25 this MLB szn.

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