Chicago White Sox (38-42) AT Colorado Rockies (39-40)
June 29, 2011 at 8:40 PM EST
Opening Line: EVEN
Current Line: EVEN
Opening Total: 9
Current Total: 9
SP: CHW- Mark Buehrle; COL- Ubaldo Jímenez
Sometimes players take a while to get going in a season. Sometimes they take half the season. This latter case would be the situation Ubaldo Jímenez has faced.
Last season the 27 year old righty won 19 games, losing only 8 of his 27 decisions all while compiling an ERA under three (2.88 for good measure). Last season was a counter-opposite to this year, as he started the season with a no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves in his third start, while he found himself 11-1 on June 7th with an ERA under 1.00! (0.93).
During the middle of the season, his mechanics changed, causing him to struggle a little, looking little like the pitcher he was to start the season. He struggled for 7 starts, in which his ERA over that span ballooned to 7.53, yet he did regain his form down the stretch of the season with a 3.09 ERA in his final 13 starts.
This year has been one of those struggling periods for the inconsistent Jímenez, though he feels his worst games are behind him:
“I think (the rough start) is gone,” he said. “I feel completely comfortable, confident that every time I go out there I’m going to give my team a chance to win. That’s how I felt last year. At the beginning of the year, I had a little doubt in my mind.”
The Rockies are looking to build momentum and get back to .500, after winning a 13 inning game against the White Sox last night in the opening game of the series. They have won the last three against the White Sox and have Seth Smith to thank, as he drove in two of the three runs scored. Smith is batting .323 in his last 8 games.
Veteran Todd Helton hopes the game will serve as a “momentum-builder” as he prepares to play his 2,000-nd career game tonight.
Mark Buehrle will take the mound for Chicago tonight. Buehrle is 24-6 in hisl last 38 starts of interlague play. In his last 14 starts against NL opponents, Buehrle has gone 10-0 with a 1.88 ERA. As to why he succeeds so much against NL opponents is anyone’s guess, but if he continues his dominance tonight, he could enable the Sox to win a game which opened and has remained with EVEN betting lines.
In his last 9 starts, Buehrle is 5-2 with a 2.83 ERA. In his last 12 1/3rds innings over his last two starts, he has given up only 3 runs.
The Sox are pleased with their acquisition of 33 year old Juan Pierre, who hit .275 last season while also recording league high 68 stolen bases. Last night, his three hits weren’t enough to spark the White Sox, but they helped nonetheless…Pierre made the switch to left field last season as the Sox sought to minimize the effects of his poor throwing arm, while still playing him in one of the only positions he is comfortable in (the outfield), where he is at least an average defensive player.
Some betting trends:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the White Sox’ last 6 games and it has also gone UNDER in 5 of their last 6 on the road. The White Sox are 2-4 SU in their last 6 games on the road while the total has again gone UNDER for 4 of the last 6 against the Colorado Rockies.
The Colorado Rockies are 2-4 SU In their last 6 games and the total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 7. The Rockies are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games at home and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of the last 6 games against the Chicago White Sox.
This game should be a good one, as indicated by the even betting odds. Given Buehrle’s dominance in interleague play, a bet on the White Sox seems prudent. They lost the opener, but took the Rockies 13 innings after surviving a scare in the 12th inning, before Ty Wiggington settled it in the 13th.