Mariners at White Sox MLB Pick April 23
The Chicago White Sox started the 2018 campaign with a resounding 14-7 win over the Kansas City Royals on Opening Day. The Pale Hose then triumphed over KC by a 4-3 score a couple of days later. Unfortunately, it’s been almost all downhill for Chicago since their nifty 2-0 start. Following a three-game weekend series in which they were outscored 27-2 by the Houston Astros, the Sox are now just 4-14 on the young season. It looks like another long season ahead for the south siders.
They’ll look to lick their wounds and get back on track tonight when the Seattle Mariners come to town. The White Sox were originally slated to start Miguel Gonzalez tonight, but the team announced around 1pm ET that Gonzalez will instead go on the 10-day disabled list with a shoulder injury. Chicago will instead start right-hander Carson Fulmer.
Gonzalez has been getting smoked this season, but Fulmer hasn’t been faring much better. It’s also worth noting that this will be Fulmer’s third appearance in the last 6 days, so it’s safe to suggest that this will be a bullpen game for Rick Renteria’s crew. Fulmer may be able to get through 3 innings or so, but we shouldn’t go into this game thinking we’re getting a full start from the righty.
Fulmer has made 4 appearances in all this season, 3 of which have been starts. He hasn’t been good, as he’s 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA. Both numbers are actually better than Gonzalez’ (0-3, 12+ ERA), but that’s not saying much. Fulmer allowed a run on 3 hits in 1.1 innings of work in his most recent outing against Houston. He and the Sox bullpen are going to have their work cut out for them tonight against a Mariner lineup coming off a solid series in Texas.
Fulmer is an average strikeout pitcher that has had serious walk problems over the course of his brief career to this point.
They’ll have to deal with Mitch Haniger, who has quietly been tearing the cover off the ball this season for the M’s. Haniger hit a home run in each of the 3 games over the weekend in Arlington, and he’s now slashing .314/.390/.671 with 7 homers and 22 knocked in on the young campaign. Injuries slowed him down last season after he got off to a blistering start, but if he can stay healthy Haniger can add some very solid depth to an established lineup full of dangerous hitters.
There are a couple of weak spots in the order – Mike Marjama and Guillermo Heredia don’t strike much fear into opposing pitchers – but Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano are still here. Seattle also boasts a potent speed duo at the top of the lineup with Dee Gordon hitting in front of Jean Segura.Kyle Seager continues to hum along as one of the game’s more underrated third basemen. Fulmer could be in store for another long night. Or a short night, as it were.
The White Sox’ sticks will have to take their hacks against a veteran righty in Mike Leake. Leake has bounced around the league over the last couple of seasons, and he’s pretty firmly established as an average starting pitcher. Leake hasn’t pitched poorly this season, as he’s allowed 3 earned runs or fewer in 3 of his first 4 starts. His toughest outing came last time out when he gave up 5 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings against the Astros. As the White Sox can confirm, the Astros aren’t easy on any pitcher.
There isn’t really a much better matchup for Leake to get back on track than the one tonight in Chicago. The White Sox rank at or near the bottom of the league in a number of offensive statistical categories. They’re 29th out of 30 in runs (64), 19th in on-base average (.312), 23rd in batting average (.228), 29th in hits (140) and 25th in walks (61). There is a little bit of power in this lineup, but by most measures, this is a bad team.
There really isn’t much reason to believe Chicago’s 7-game losing streak will be coming to an end tonight. Seattle is in an extremely strong spot tonight, even if Leake won’t be mistaken for an ace any time soon. The M’s look a wee bit undervalued on the moneyline at -148, but I think they make for the strongest bet on the runline at +105. There’s decent profit potential there. If you’re convinced the bats really go off here, then you can also hit that over on 9 runs with confidence.
$100 stake could win...