The Toronto Blue Jays are looking for a sweep of the flagging Chicago White Sox on Wednesday afternoon as the two teams wrap up their three-game set with a matinee at Rogers Centre. First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 p.m. ET. Michael Kopech (0-2, 6.97 ERA) will take the mound for Chicago, while Yusei Kikuchi (3-0, 3.80) looks to make it three solid starts in a row for Toronto.
The Blue Jays are -190 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the White Sox are +160 underdogs. The run total is set at 9.5.
White Sox-Blue Jays picks: Wednesday, April 26
Out: INF 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)
Day to day: SP Chris Bassitt (back)
Out: SP Mitch White (elbow), SP Hyun Jin Ryu (Tommy John), RP Chad Green (Tommy John), RP Adam Cimber (rhomboid strain)
Michael Kopech vs. Yusei Kikuchi
Kopech has gotten hit as hard as anyone so far this season, and I mean that literally:
Kopech is basically a two-pitch pitcher, and both his four-seam fastball and slider have been pounded — even last time out against the Tampa Bay Rays, when his fastball velocity was back up to 97 and he was largely avoiding the middle of the plate. It seems like hitters are having too easy of a time keying in on what Kopech wants to do, but neither his changeup or curveball have emerged as reliable third options.
Save for a disastrous outing against the Los Angeles Angels three weeks ago, Kikuchi has been rock-solid for the Blue Jays, allowing a single run in each of his other three outings. There does appear to be some luck involved here, as the lefty’s batted ball data isn’t great — average exit velocity, hard-hit rate and expected slugging percentage all in the bottom quarter of the league — but Kikuchi has always had swing-and-miss stuff if he can command it properly.
This just feels like too high a number for a White Sox offense that’s scored more than three runs exactly once over the last week (and has been decimated by injuries). Both of these pitchers have shown the ability to implode and put up crooked numbers, but I think Kikuchi will be good enough to hit the under here.
Pick: Under 9.5
With the volatile Kopech on the mound and not much firepower in Chicago’s lineup — even Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez are struggling — I’m backing Toronto here.
Pick: Blue Jays