Sunday MLB Preview: White Sox at Red Sox

The Red Sox will look to get back within single digits in the AL East divisional race and avoid being swept in a three-game set against the White Sox.

Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox

Chicago looks to grab its second sweep on its current road trip, as they have defeated the Red Sox by a 3-1 score at Fenway Park in both games of this series.  Winning both ends of a Saturday doubleheader has the team within 3 1/2 games of first-place Minnesota in the AL Central.  Although the club has not lost during the entire week, they have only gained one game on the division leaders.  Manager Ozzie Guillen is focused on getting his unit on top of the standings before a three-game set on September 14-16.  “I have to take care of this ballclub before we worry about them,” Guillen stated.  “We have to worry about ourselves and let them play the ballgame.  The White Sox lead the major leagues since June 29 with a .298 average and rank second with 314 runs scored.  Chicago is a dominating 19-5 after three or more consecutive wins this season (+1,490) and the total is 8-16 O/U in those contests.

White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle is 12-10 with a 3.95 ERA in 27 starts this season and the team has alternated wins and losses in his last three outings.  Over that span, he has allowed seven runs and 14 hits over 13 innings of work.  The left-hander has a 6-7 record and 3.40 ERA in 15 road starts, issuing 18 walks and striking out 39 batters in 98 frames.  He will be making just his ninth daytime start, producing a 4-2 record and 3.88 ERA compared to an even 8-8 mark and 3.97 ERA in 19 nighttime outings.  Buehrle is set to make his first start against the Red Sox in 2010, as he’s produced a 0-2 record and 10.03 ERA in his last two appearances at Fenway Park.

Boston has fallen 10 games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees due to dropping both games of Saturday’s doubleheader.  The Red Sox managed just 13 hits in the two losses and went 2-for-15 with men in scoring position.  The club looks to avoid being swept by Chicago at home for the first time since July 27-28, 1991, a series that included a doubleheader.  “If you’re losing the kind of caliber of people that we’ve lost this year, it’s going to show up eventually,” starting pitcher John Lackey said.  Boston has still won 26 of 41 home games since May 29 and are 39-22 at Fenway Park since April 20, the second-best home mark in the American League in that span.  The team’s five straight home series victories against today’s opponent was obviously snapped due to yesterday’s results.  It’s hard to anticipate a turnaround with the club being 14-19 in day games this season (-970).

Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett is an even 4-4 with a 6.21 ERA in 16 starts this season and the club has dropped four of his last five starts.  He was handed a 5-2 road defeat in Baltimore last time out, giving up three runs (two earned) and seven hits over seven innings of work.  The right-hander is an even 2-2 with a 6.25 ERA in seven home starts, surrendering eight home runs in just 44.2 frames.  He will be making just his fourth daytime start, producing a 2-0 mark and 3.54 ERA, issuing just two free passes and collecting 18 strikeouts in 20.1 innings.  In six career starts versus the White Sox, Beckett has garnered a 4-1 record and 3.72 ERA.

Bettors will find that the White Sox are a dismal 8-13 when playing on Sundays this year (-560) and are just 8-9 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 (+210).  Boston has produced a 15-8 record as a home favorite of -125 to -150 this year.

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