Last season, the Chicago White Sox made the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade. Now, after some big-name offseason additions, there are expectations that they can make a jump all the way to the World Series in 2021. They will begin this season in Southern California against a Los Angeles Angels team that has its own reasons for optimism.
ML Pick: White Sox -115
The Angels’ offense contains three of the best players in all of baseball in Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon. But the White Sox are the more complete team. Their fantastic lineup is headed by 2019 batting champ Tim Anderson and 2020 American League MVP Jose Abreu. The real differences between these teams can be seen in their pitching staffs. White Sox starter Lucas Giolito has been a Cy Young candidate in each of the past two seasons and is definitely a step above Angels starter Dylan Bundy, even though he too is coming off a strong season. Chicago also brought in Liam Hendriks, perhaps the best closer in baseball over the past two years, to shore up their bullpen. The White Sox have talent edges in most facets of the game and should prevail tonight.
Player Prop: Lucas Giolito O6.5 strikeouts (-113)
Giolito’s ability to miss more bats is one reason why he has really broken through since the start of 2019. In each of the past two years, his K/9 rate has been north of 11. He has struck out at least seven batters in 68 percent of his starts during that time. The Angels didn’t K a lot last year, but I would put my faith in Giolito continuing to build upon what he accomplished in 2019 and 2020.
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