Minnesota (Nolasco) +100 at Chicago (Shields) O/U 9.5
To say that the Chicago White Sox have fallen on hard times is something of an understatement. A team that dominated the division in April is now sitting one game under .500 in fourth place in the AL Central. Starter Chris Sale has continued to dominate, a legit staff ace. But in Chicago’s last 35 games without Chris Sale as their starting pitcher, they’ve gone 9-26, costing their backers a small fortune.
James Shields next good start with the White Sox will be his first good start with the White Sox, a former ace who has completely fallen apart here in 2016. Shields was ineffective in San Diego, as the Padres went 2-9 in his 11 starts. And since arriving on the South Side, Shields has actually gotten worse.
In his first start on this field with the ChiSox, Shields needed 84 pitches to record six outs, while allowing ten of the 16 batters he faced to reach base. In his second start, he gave up seven runs and 13 baserunners in five innings. His last two starts haven’t been all that much better, a hurler with a 15.80 ERA and 3.07 WHIP while lasting only 13.2 innings in his four starts with Chicago.
It’s surely worth noting that current Twins have hammered Shields to the tune of a .326 batting average and an .888 OPS in 138 career at bats against him, with the likes of Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer and Eduardo Nunez battering him consistently.
Meanwhile, Minnesota’s extended run of Overs has finally come to an end thanks to – surprise, surprise – a solid run of pitching! The Twins last three opponents have combined to score only three runs. They notched their first shutout of the season last night, and their bullpen is finally rested off a combined 15 innings of work from Kyle Gibson and Tyler Duffey over the last two days.
Tonight’s starter, Ricky Nolasco, is no ace, but he’s quite capable of eating innings and keeping that bullpen fresh for the latter stages again this evening. With Minnesota showing a legitimate uptick over the past week (5-3 in their last eight games), they’re worth backing in a pick 'em price range this evening.