The MLB-best Tampa Bay Rays (16-3) will return home for a three-game set with the Chicago White Sox (7-12) starting on Friday, April 21. The first game of the series will get started at 6:40 p.m. ET from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Michael Kopech (0-2, 6.32 ERA) will take the mound for Chicago against Tampa’s Calvin Faucher (0-0, 4.15), who’s been stretched out from the bullpen after the injury to Jeffrey Springs.
The Rays are -165 moneyline favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, making the White Sox +140 underdogs, with the over/under set at 8.5.
White Sox-Rays picks: Friday, April 21
Out: Hanser Alberto (quadriceps), RP Joe Kelly (groin), SS Tim Anderson (knee), 3B Yoan Moncada (back), RP Matt Foster (forearm), RP Liam Hendriks (cancer), RP Garrett Crochet (elbow)
Out: RP Ryan Thompson (lat), SP Jeffrey Springs (elbow), SP Zach Eflin (back), OF Jose Siri (hamstring), SP Tyler Glasnow (oblique), RP Shawn Armstrong (neck), SP Shane Baz (elbow), RP Andrew Kittredge (elbow)
Michael Kopech vs. Calvin Faucher
Kopech has bad season-long numbers thanks to a rough outing in his first start of the season, when he allowed seven runs in 4.2 innings against the San Francisco Giants. In the two starts since then, Kopech allowed four runs over 11 innings of work.
Calvin Faucher (0-0, 4.15 ERA) is a bullpen arm but is expected to throw around four innings in this contest. Faucher made five appearances this season and is coming off an outing where he allowed one run over 2.2 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Kopech is far better than his stats suggest coming off a season where he had a 3.54 ERA over a sample size of 25 starts, and he should limit a Rays offense that’s scoring seven runs per game this season. It’s tough to forecast how many pitchers the Rays might use in this spot, but Faucher seems reliable to not allow things to get out of hand.
Pick: Under 8.5
The Rays are a perfect 10-0 at Tropicana Field, and there’s a good chance they keep that winning streak going on Friday night. Tampa Bay has the far more powerful offense as the White Sox failed to reach five runs in four straight games.