Pressure is killing the White Sox and now that Detroit needs a single victory to overtake them in the central division, Chicago can’t afford any mistakes at US Cellular Field. They face an opponent that is in great form and has the better starting pitcher, which further amplifies the pressure on Gavin Floyd’s shoulders.
Match: Chicago White Sox vs Oakland Athletics
Bet: Oakland Athletics
Odds: bet365 2.10
Despite his relatively high ERA of 4.43, Floyd lasted at least six innings in most of his outings and should be capable of doing it again against the A’s. Traditionally a low-scoring team, Oakland changed its approach on the game radically during the last month and so far it paid off. They have outscored opponents and won 23 games out of 31, which explains their surge in the Western division. The gap separating them from the leading Rangers is still considerable, but for the time being the A’s are among the favorites to win a wildcard.
The home pitch disadvantage
Chicago has an identical record in the games played at home and on the road, while the Athletics secured most of their victories in front of their fans. This series however is special for several reasons and one of them revolve around the high number of victories earned away from home. The White Sox won three of the last four games played in Oakland, but overall the A’s emerged victorious in eight out of the last 10 visits to Chicago. This means that home pitch advantage doesn’t matter at all and punters should focus more on the starting pitchers and batting squads.
In terms of pitchers the difference is negligible, because Gavin’s superior experience is offset by McCarthy’s better earned-run average. Furthermore, the visitors have a pitcher with a winning record and an uncanny ability of going deep in most games, something that is invaluable against the White Sox. The difference will probably be made by Oakland’s red-hot offensive which scored 19 runs in the last two games. If the visitors manage to gain a slim lead by half time and retire Floyd in less than seven innings, they have a unique opportunity of winning the opening game.
Both teams have won exactly 60 games so far, but while Oakland is surging through the standings, the White Sox are struggling to preserve their slim advantage. The only reason they are still leading the central division is that the Tigers are equally ineffective, and pressure affects them just as much. Those who trust the A’s tonight will find plenty of value in the 2.10 odds offered by Bet365 and a strong incentive to place the bet.