Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#14949 Chicago White Sox vs.
#14950 Boston Red Sox
Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 5:10pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Chicago White Sox will play the second game of their doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox on the road at Fenway Park on Sunday evening.

Chicago enters the weekend in third place in the American League Central standings with a disappointing 6-7 overall record through 13 games. Meanwhile, Boston is hoping to continue its hot streak after winning nine of its previous 10 contests heading into play on Saturday. The Red Sox have been among the hottest offenses in baseball during that stretch, averaging seven runs per game and scoring five runs or more on seven of those occasions.

Can Boston stay hot at home in the second game of its doubleheader against the White Sox on Sunday evening?

Eaton's power has been a pleasant surprise for White Sox

Chicago has yet to name a starter for the second half of the doubleheader, so it could turn into a bullpen game for the White Sox staff.

On offense, Chicago comes into Sunday ranked seventh in the MLB in runs scored with 69 in 14 contests.

Despite having several power hitters in the lineup, the White Sox have hit just 13 home runs, tied for 23rd in the MLB, and sport an OPS of just .700, 14th in the MLB. First-year slugger Yermin Mercedes and outfielder Adam Eaton are tied for the team-lead in home runs (three) and RBIs (11) so far this season.

Back for a second stint with the White Sox, Eaton’s power boom has been a major surprise. After hitting just four home runs in 41 games last season, Eaton is one home run away from tying at that and currently sports a career-high .859 OPS, albeit in a limited sample size.

Perez to start second game of doubleheader

Boston will counter with a lefty of its own on Sunday when it sends veteran Martin Perez to the hill for the first game of the doubleheader against the White Sox. The 30-year-old is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts so far this season. Perez worked five innings on both occasions and kept the Red Sox competitive while he’s been on the mound. He is 2-5 in 11 career starts at Fenway Park but has yet to win there as a member of the Red Sox.

Perez’s fastball velocity is up more than a full mile per hour this season and he’s striking out more batters as a result. His current 7.20 K/9 strikeout rate would represent the second-highest mark of his career.

The Red Sox left-hander has made six career starts against the White Sox, going 3-2 with a 4.93 ERA and .128 WHIP in those matchups. According to Baseball Savant, current White Sox are batting .346 in 56 plate appearances off of Perez heading into the first game of the doubleheader on Sunday.

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Without a scheduled starter for the second game of the doubleheader, Chicago will likely lean on its bullpen in the second game at Fenway Park. That’s not necessarily good news for the White Sox, who enter this matchup with one of the worst bullpen ERA’s in baseball. White Sox relievers own an ERA of 4.91, which ranks 26th in the Major Leagues, so it is hard to see them remaining competitive in this game. On the other hand, Perez has performed admirably through his first two starts and should be able to give Boston a chance to win this game. Take the Red Sox to win the second game of the doubleheader on Sunday evening.

Prediction: Boston Red Sox -112

Full-Game Total Pick

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The second game of the doubleheader is pegged for nine runs but that number seems a bit low given that we still don’t have a starter for the second game. If this turns into a bullpen game for the White Sox, then the over should be a strong play in this spot. Chicago’s bullpen has struggled to keep runs off of the board in the early part of the season while Perez has been solid but unspectacular in this first two starts of the season. With the bats warm from earlier in the afternoon, look for this game to go over the projected total on Sunday evening.

Prediction: Over 9
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.