Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers
Monday, September 27, 2021 – 01:10 PM EDT at Comerica Park
The Chicago White Sox already won the American League Central and they're just waiting for the postseason to start while the Detroit Tigers have nothing to play for and are already looking ahead to next year. That said, this game will feature struggling starters plus underperforming bullpens, which is a recipe for disaster. We can take advantage of this. The White Sox are going with Dallas Keuchel (5.19 FIP), while the Tigers respond with Matt Manning (4.63 FIP). On paper, this matchup favors the Tigers, who are 8-8 in Manning's 16 starts but they've earned 3.6 units. The White Sox are down 5.1 units on a 14-15 record in Keuchel's 29 starts.
Dallas Keuchel (8-9, 5.18 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) is winless since August 16th and he is 0-2 with a 6.41 ERA and a 2.14 WHIP in his last four starts and he's already given up a career-high 24 home runs this season. It remains to be seen if he can fix his game in time for the postseason. This start is definitely an audition for a spot in Chicago's postseason roster. The left-hander did pitch better against the Tigers last Tuesday, allowing two earned runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts and one walk over five innings to get a no-decision in a 5-3 road loss. Jonathan Schoop is 8-for-20 with two home runs and five RBIs against Keuchel and Eric Haase is 3-for-8 (.375) with one home run and three RBIs.
Matt Manning (4-6, 5.73 ERA, 1.52 WHIP) has also struggled as of late, going just 1-1 with a 6.62 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in his last four starts and he threw at least six innings in just one of those outings. Manning gave up three earned runs on four hits with two strikeouts and three walks over five innings to get a no-decision in a 4-3 home win against the White Sox last Monday. The current White Sox roster is 12-for-33 (.347) against Manning.
The bullpen has been a thorn in Chicago's side for much of the season, even with the acquisitions of Ryan Tepera (2.67 FIP) and Craig Kimbrel (2.48 FIP). The unit ranks 23rd in Win Probability Added (WPA) at -0.24, but second in WAR from the bullpen at 7.2. They have the talent but haven't exactly executed.
Tepera and Liam Hendriks have been solid lately. Hendricks hasn't given up a run over 10 2/3 innings in September but Michael Kopech has had back luck with a 5.06 ERA and 1.80 xFIP this month. The Detroit relievers, on the other hand, rank 6th in the majors with 3.12 ERA in the last 30 days and 28th with a 5.19 xFIP in that span.
The White Sox opened at -151 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review), but over at FiveThirtyEight, they already have them at -108 based on our calculations (they suggest the White Sox will win this game 52 percent of the time). The projections say there isn’t much value on the White Sox.
Monday's weather report calls for clear skies and temperatures in the high-60s at game time with 66 percent humidity and the 12 mph winds are expected to come blowing in from first base to third base, which can help the Under. ESPN's park factors for 2021 have Comerica Park ranked No. 29 overall for run creation at 0.881, and 33rd in home runs at 0.671.
Chicago's projected lineup has eight batters with a strikeout rate above 21 percent while the Detroit lineup has five batters with a strikeout rate above 21 percent and two batters with Isolated Power (ISO) above .185. I'm taking the Under. Keep that bet size small.
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