Monday night features a battle of the two best teams in the American League Central as the second-place Minnesota Twins (30-18) travel to Guaranteed Rate Field to take on the Chicago White Sox (30-16). As the season draws to a close, this four-game series could go a long way towards determining who wins the division. First pitch for this one is at for 8:10 pm ET.
The Twins come into this one a game behind the White Sox (although it is two back in the loss column). Minnesota had a nice weekend sweeping the Indians. The sweep put some distance between the two as the Indians are also battling for a playoff spot. The Twins will hope to keep the momentum going into this series with Chicago.
The White Sox also had a successful weekend sweeping the Detroit Tigers. In that series, they outscored the Tigers 23-5 and will look to keep slugging against the Twins Monday.
The pitching matchup for this one features Jose Berrios (4-3, 4.40 ERA) going for the Twins against Dylan Cease (5-2, 3.33 ERA) of the White Sox.
According to Fanduel, the Twins come into this one as the -130 favorite on the road with Chicago a +114 home underdog. The betting total is 9.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the White Sox have been the better scoring team this season. They currently rank 5th in runs per game at 5.51. The Twins come in 18th overall at 4.57 runs per game.
The two teams are incredibly potent on offense with the long ball. The White Sox rank 5th in the majors averaging 1.71 home runs per game, while the Twins average 1.49 home runs per game.
Defensively, the Twins have been the better of the two teams. They rank 3rd in runs allowed per game at 3.60 while the White Sox surrender 3.87 runs/game.
Twins Look To Take Over White Sox For Division Lead
The Minnesota Twins know that they face a young, scrappy White Sox team, but with a key opportunity to overtake Chicago for the division lead. To do so, they will turn to Jose Berrios on the mound.
Berrios is 4-3 with a 4.40 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and has struck out 55 in 47 innings this season. The right-hander had a rough start to the season but has been better as of late. In his last start, a 7-3 win over the Cardinals, Berrios went 5 innings allowing 4 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks and struck out 8.
Offensively, the Twins continue to hit home runs in bunches. On Sunday, they hit four to take down the Indians. While they have three hitters with double-digit home runs, Nelson Cruz had led the way. On the season, Cruz is hitting .331/.420/.669 with 16 home runs, 32 runs batted in and 33 runs scored.
White Sox Try To Create Separation In Division
The Chicago White Sox have a mix of exciting young talent and solid veterans. They hope that the blend of energy and consistency is enough to take care of the Twins this weekend and give some breathing room in the division.
One of those steady veterans, Jose Abreu, might just be pushing for an AL MVP award this season. Abreu is hitting .317/.361/.619 with 15 home runs, 48 runs batted in and 35 runs scored in 189 at bats.
On the young side, Eloy Jimenez (.301/.337/.590 with 13 home runs) and Luis Robert (.259/.320/.519 with 11 home runs) will give White Sox fans something to cheer on for years to come.
On the mound for the White Sox Monday will be Dylan Cease. Another young star, Cease has gone 5-2 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and has struck out 30 in 46 innings pitched.
Bet The White Sox And The Run Line
This series should be a lot of fun this week. These are two of the best teams in the American League, and both will be looking to try to sweep the other. With all of that in mind, both of these teams come in playing really good ball, and both could easily walk away with a win on Monday.
I honestly think that this could be a coin flip in terms of who wins. Both of the starters have been solid, and the offenses have been spectacular. I am not sure if I would feel comfortable betting the moneyline, but I really like the White Sox at +1.5(-140).