Chicago White Sox vs. Oakland Athletics – MLB, September 29, 2020

By Admir Aljic in MLB
| September 29, 2020 12:58 am PDT

The 2020 MLB Playoffs start Tuesday, September 29, with the best-of-three wild-card series, and I cannot wait to see the Chicago White Sox take on the Oakland Athletics.

The White Sox went 35-25 this past regular season that was shortened and pretty weird due to the COVID-19. However, there was some stiff competition in the AL Central, so the ChiSox finished behind the Twins and Indians, and earned the No. 7 seed in the American League.

On the other side, the Athletics easily won the AL West with a 36-24 record and clinched the No. 2 seed, but they won’t be happy with their wild-card matchup. 

Now, let’s take a look at all the key stats and betting tips for Tuesday’s clash at Oakland Coliseum, as I bring you the best White Sox vs. Athletics betting pick.  

White Sox vs. Athletics Odds

BET ODDS
White Sox -1.5 +140
Athletics +1.5 -145
White Sox to Win -117
Athletics to Win +111
Over 7.5 +100
Under 7.5 -115

Although this is the 2-vs-7 seed matchup, the bookies expect to see a very tight clash in the opener, favoring the seventh-seeded team on the road at -117 odds. That’s a strange situation, but bookmakers have their reasons, as well as I have a few to bet on the White Sox in this one.

White Sox vs. Athletics Preview

First, the White Sox’ offense is way more powerful than the Athletics’ bats. Chicago finished the regular season as the fifth-highest scoring team, averaging 5.10 runs per game, while the A’s were 16th with 4.57 runs per contest.

The ChiSox had the sixth-best batting average (.261) and eighth-best OPS (.779). On the other side, the A’s had the sixth-worst batting average (.225) and 17th-best OPS (.718). Furthermore, the White Sox hit 25 homers more than the Athletics (96-71).

Second, the ChiSox will start Lucas Giolito, and the 26-year-old righty is one of the best pitchers in baseball not named Shane Bieber. Back in August, Lucas threw a no-hitter against the Pirates while punching out 13 and allowing one free pass.

Giolito went 4-3 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 12 starts last regular season while posting an excellent 97/28 K/BB ratio across 72.1 frames. He’s 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in a couple of career starts against Oakland.

On the other side, the A’s will send Jesus Luzardo to the mound, and the 22-year-old lefty had his debut as a starter this year after tallying six relief appearances in 2019. Luzardo went 3-2 with a 4.12 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in the regular season, recording 59 strikeouts and 17 walks in 59 innings of work.

I’m surprised by the A’s decision, expecting to see Sean Manaea on the hill. We’ll see what’s their plan, as the Athletics’ bullpen owned the best ERA in baseball in the regular season (2.72). Chicago’s relievers were 7th with a 3.76 ERA.

White Sox vs. Athletics Pick

The White Sox have been destroying the left-handed pitchers all season. They are 14-0 against the southpaw starting pitchers which as an absolutely ridiculous record, so I expect them to hit hard and often against Luzardo.

On the other side, the A’s could struggle against Giolito. They miss their star 3B Matt Chapman, and the A’s offense hasn’t looked sharp over the last few weeks. Over their last eight outings, the A’s have scored only 24 runs.

Oakland can count on a terrific bullpen, though there are a couple of lefties among their relievers, and the A’s play at home field, but I have to take the White Sox to win. Chicago has dropped seven of its previous eight games, but I expect the ChiSox to bounce back with their top ace on the mound.

The White Sox and Athletics haven’t met each other since August 2019. The A’s are 12-3 in their previous 15 encounters with the ChiSox.

Pick
  • White Sox to Win
    -117

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