Tuesday MLB Preview – White Sox at Tigers

These two AL Central rivals are heading in opposite directions as they start a four-game series with a doubleheader.

Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers

Chicago opens up a four-game series with a day-night doubleheader against the Tigers on Tuesday.  The White Sox haven’t been very successful against divisional opponents this year, posting a 17-20 mark (-700) and the total is 16-18 O/U in those games.  The team did finish its last homestand with a 6-1 record and are 20-2 over their last 22 games at U.S. Cellular Field.  “We are playing good baseball all over,” said reliever Matt Thornton.  Chicago has compiled a dominating 35-12 record since June 9, helping to erase a 9.5 game deficit in the divisional race in the process.  It must not be lost that the White Sox are just an even 25-25 on the road this season (+390) and 96-118 away from Chicago the last three years (-1,080).

White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle is 9-8 with a 4.15 ERA in 21 starts this season and will be looking to lead his club to a third straight victory with him on the mound.  Over his last two outings, he has allowed six runs and 13 hits over 14 innings of work.  The left-hander is 4-6 with a 3.71 ERA in 11 road starts, but has managed to strike out just 29 batters in 70.1 frames.  Buehrle will be making just his seventh daytime start, posting a 3-1 mark and 4.26 ERA, compared to a 6-7 record and 4.11 ERA at night.  In 28 career appearances (27 starts) against the Tigers, he is 14-8 with a 2.99 ERA, including a 7-5 record and 3.12 ERA at Comerica Park.

Detroit has dropped 15 of its last 19 games and are sinking fast in the divisional standings.  “We’ve just got to go out and play,” pitcher Jeremy Bonderman said.  “You want to gain some ground and we can go out and control our own destiny.”  They went 1-6 on their recent road trip to Tampa Bay and Boston, but suffered three losses by a single run over that span.  The team also managed to be held hitless by Rays starting pitcher Matt Garza.  “I think Detroit is going to be heard from before it’s over,” White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said.  The Tigers are 18-11 against left-handed starters this season (+850) and the total is 16-13 O/U in those contests.  The team has a good opportunity of winning the front end of today’s doubleheader, with a 24-20 daytime mark (+130).

Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello is 4-9 with a 5.50 ERA in 16 starts this season and the team has lost his last five outings overall.  The offense has supplied him with just 13 runs of support over that span.  The second-year starter is 3-4 with a 4.39 ERA in nine home starts, allowing opponents to hit for a .283 combined average.  In nine daytime outings, Porcello has compiled a 3-4 record and 4.58 ERA, surrendering just three home runs in 53 innings.  The right-hander is 0-3 with a 9.77 ERA in three career starts versus the White Sox, giving up 21 hits in 15.2 innings.

Bettors will find the White Sox being a fantastic 21-12 in day games this season (+980) and 43-33 versus right-handed starters (+870).  Detroit is a disappointing 4-5 as a home underdog of +100 to +125 in 2010 and an even 14-14 in this spot the last three years (+140).

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