The Chicago White Sox will try to remain one of the hottest teams in baseball when they begin a two-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. At home, the White Sox are heavy favorites to win on Tuesday with a moneyline of -240 compared to Pittsburgh’s moneyline of +200.
The White Sox lost on Sunday to the Cubs, snapping a seven-game winning streak. Nevertheless, the South Siders made a serious move up the AL Central standings during that winning streak.
The White Sox are currently five games over .500 and tied with Cleveland for second place in the AL Central, 2.5 games behind the first-place Twins. That seven-game winning streak has put the club in an ideal position to reach the postseason if they can get back on track quickly after Sunday’s loss.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are the worst team in the majors despite a three-game winning streak. Pittsburgh is currently 7-17, giving them the fewest wins and worst winning percentage in baseball.
On the bright side, the Pirates swept a three-game series from the Brewers over the weekend, giving them a glimmer of hope. Of course, Pittsburgh will have to rattle off more than three wins in a row to get out of the NL Central basement and make a run at a playoff spot.
Steven Brault will get the start for the Pirates on Tuesday. On paper, the lefty has been one of the few bright spots in Pittsburgh’s problematic rotation, as he has an ERA of 3.00. However, in three of his four starts, he’s pitched three innings or less.
However, Brault lasted five innings in his last start, allowing just two hits and no runs in those five innings. The caveat is he did so against a weak Cleveland lineup.
On Tuesday, Brault will face a White Sox lineup that’s been one of the most potent in the majors this season. The duo of Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez lead the way thus far, combining for 20 home runs.
Meanwhile, shortstop Tim Anderson is serving as the table-setter, hitting .350 with an OPS of 1.063. Rookie sensation Luis Robert is also something special and appears to be getting better with more experience. The White Sox averaged close to eight runs per game during their recent winning streak.
The White Sox will send Lucas Giolito to the mound on Tuesday. While he’s not quite matching the ace-like form he had in 2019, Giolito is having a solid 2020 campaign.
Through six starts, he’s 2-2 with a 3.89 ERA, striking out 45 batters over 34.2 innings. He’s also fresh off seven scoreless innings and 13 strikeouts in his last start against the Tigers.
On Tuesday, Giolito will be facing a Pittsburgh lineup that’s been dreadful all season despite winning three in a row. Colin Moran and Jacob Stallings are the only regulars in the lineup who have an OPS over .700.
Young players like Kevin Newman and Bryan Reynolds have started to come on strong. But after an off-day on Monday, it’s unclear if the Pirates can keep up their hot hitting from their sweep of Milwaukee over the weekend.
Don’t Take the Bait
With a moneyline of +200, it’s a little tempting to take a shot on the Pirates in this game. After all, they’ve won three in a row whereas the White Sox just saw their winning streak come to an end.
But the Pirates are still the worst team in baseball, and they face an uphill battle against Giolito and the White Sox on Tuesday. Play it safe by betting on the White Sox.