Ríos Return: Chicago White Sox Travel to Toronto to take on Blue Jays

Chicago White Sox (23-28) AT Toronto Blue Jays (24-25)
May 26, 2011 at 7:07 PM EST
Opening Moneyline:  TOR -135, CHW +115
Current Moneyline: TOR -151, CHW +135
Opening Total: 8
Current Total: 8

SP:  CHW- Phil Humber, TOR- Brandon Morrow

Morrow is off to a poor start this year

The White Sox are coming off a series loss to the Rangers, a series in which they dropped two of the three games, with the last one being a 2-1 battle last night on Wednesday.  Prior to the Texas series, the Sox had won 5 straight series and split two others, since the sweep in Minnesota early in May.

A big story of the game will be Alex Rios’ return to Toronto.  He was claimed by the White Sox after being waived by Toronto in August of ’09 and he has struggled mightily this season.  He’s hitting just .165 on the road, despite his 88 RBIs and 21 HRs last season.  As to why he is struggling, Ozzie Guillen has no answers.  “That’s the question we ask every day,” Guillen said. “Maybe he has one good at-bat a game. He’s practicing, he’s having good at-bats.”

Last season against Toronto, the White Sox went 3-5, which was actually an improvement on years’ past, when the White Sox dropped 13 out of 15 games.  In fact, the White Sox had dropped 10 straight in Toronto prior to splitting a 4 game series in April of 2010.

Phil Humber will take the mound for the White Sox.  Humber is 3-3 with a 3.10 ERA this season and he has held batters to .191 BA.  In Friday’s 6-4 ten inning loss, Humber gave up 2 runs in 7 innings.  He has never started a game against Toronto and his two appearances weren’t too good.  He gave up 4 runs in 2 1/3rds innings over the showings.  Humber was once regarded as a highly touted pitching prospect, but he never really panned out.  It may be his pitch selection that has been responsible for his mediocrity.  He relies too heavily on fast balls and curve balls and doesn’t mix it up too much.  His predictability limits his potential…Humber’s PECOTA projection predicts a 7-8 record with a 4.81 ERA this season.

Brandon Morrow will take the mound for the Blue Jays.  He’s 2-2 on the year with a 5.06 ERA and in his career against the White Sox he has been even worse, with a 0-1 record and a 8.38 ERA, over two starts.  The aforementioned Rios is 2 of 9 against Morrow and he has struck out 5 of the 9 at bats.  Morrow allowed 4 runs and 9 hits over 6 innings in what actually turned out to be a 7-5 win over the Astros.  Morrow’s PECOTA projection predicted a 6-4 record with a 4.12 ERA.

Some betting trends:

The total has gone OVER in 5 of the White Sox’ last 7 games and the White Sox are 6-3 SU in their last 9 games.  The total has also gone OVER in 5 of their last 6 against the Toronto Blue Jays and the White Sox are 1-4 SU in their last 5 against the Jays.  The Total has also gone OVER in 4 of the last 6 road games in Toronto and the White Sox are 2-12 SU in their last 14 on the road in Toronto.

The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto’s last 5 games and the Blue Jays are 2-4 SU in their last 6 games.  The total has gone OVER in 5 of the Blue Jays’ last 6 games against the White Sox and the Blue Jays are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games against the White Sox.  The total has gone OVER In 4 of the Blue Jays’ last 6 games at home against the White Sox while the Blue Jays are 12-2 SU in their last 14 games at home against the Chicago White Sox.

This pitching matchup is between two pitchers who were both once thought to be significantly better than they turned out to be.  Morrow has struggled this year, but could pull out of his slump against the White Sox tonight, even if the White Sox have been playing better.

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