Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#919 Chicago White Sox vs.
#920 Toronto Blue Jays
Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 3:07pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays

When and Where: Saturday, May 11, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ont., 3:07 p.m. EDT.

Looking to avoid becoming the first six-game loser in the American League, Marcus Stroman attempts to put aside the trade rumors involving him and jump-start his season Saturday when the Toronto Blue Jays continue their series against the Chicago White Sox.

Nova trying to build on first win of 2019 for ChiSox

Ivan Nova (1-3, 7.04 ERA) finally got off the schneid in picking up his first win of the year last time out, holding the Cleveland Indians to one run and eight hits in six innings of a 9-1 road victory Monday.

“I try to talk to him and say, ‘What went well, what didn’t go well, what did you feel out there?’ Then it’s easier to be on the same page when a day like today comes,” catcher James McCann told the Chicago Sun Times after catching Nova for the first time this season.

“The big thing for me is he located on both sides of the plate. He didn’t allow hitters to lean on him.’’

Nova has held teams to one run in three of his seven starts, but the other four have been brutal — the righty has a 13.25 ERA in those games, giving up 27 runs in 18 1-3 innings.

He has not faced the Toronto Blue Jays since 2016, but that might be a good thing considering Nova has lost four straight starts to them and is 5-6 with a 5.22 ERA in 15 career starts versus them.

Freddy Galvis is 6 for 13 with a homer and a double versus Nova, while Randal Grichuk is 3 for 7 with a home run.

Struggling Stroman looks for turnaround

Stroman (1-5, 2.96) has had little to work with in terms of run support as Toronto has backed him with just eight runs in as many starts — and five of them came in his lone win April 19 at Oakland.

In losing his last two, however, the righty has been more to blame as he has given up 11 runs and 14 hits in eight innings. The Twins teed off on Stroman — whose name is being prominently mentioned in trade rumors — in an 8-0 romp Monday, knocking him around for six runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings.

“Just wash it. Move on,” Stroman told the Toronto Sun following the loss. “Focus on the next one. I’m not really worried  about it.”

Stroman is 2-3 with a 5.45 ERA in seven career starts versus the White Sox, but the two wins have come in the last two outings — both in Chicago. He allowed two runs and seven hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 10-5 triumph July 27.

White Sox slugger Jose Abreu is 6 for 19 with a homer and two doubles in their matchups, but Yolmer Sanchez is 0 for 9. Tim Anderson, who homered in Friday’s series opener, is 2 for 12 and taken him deep once.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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It has been a frustrating run for Stroman, who has repeatedly said he wants to stay in Toronto but still may be on his way out as the Blue Jays ponder whether to do a total rebuild. The Blue Jays struggles offensively have also done him no favors, but the hedge is he at least gets back on track versus the White Sox and picks up the victory.

Prediction: Blue Jays -1.5 runs (+125)

Full-Game Total Pick

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There is confidence in Stroman to regroup, and there is also some in Nova to build on his last outing and go against the grain of his recent track record against Toronto. It helps he has not faced the Blue Jays since 2016, but it may help more if McCann is his battery mate for a second straight start given how well the two worked together in his last outing.

That may be a key reason to stay or flip this pick if the lineups are announced early enough.

Prediction: UNDER 8.5 runs (Even)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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While there is confidence in Stroman to get the win, there is more confidence in him needing to pitch well because Toronto does not score runs for him. The Blue Jays have scored two or fewer runs for him on three occasions he has pitched at least six innings. A resurgent Nova could turn this into a pitchers’ duel.

Prediction: Blue Jays UNDER 4.5 runs (-115)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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While Nova has helped the White Sox have a five-inning lead in each of his last two starts, it should be noted one of those games was against the Baltimore Orioles, and those are also the only two occasions Chicago has had a lead after five with him on the hill.

This is a confidence pick in Stroman stifling the White Sox bats as Chicago has scored two or fewer runs in the first five innings in eight of its last nine games.

Prediction: Blue Jays -0.5 runs (-115)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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A confidence pick in both pitchers against a pair of offenses that are still inconsistent. While they did hit the five-inning over in Friday night’s series opener, they combined for just one run in the final four innings. Nova may be more of an X-factor than Stroman, but Toronto’s struggle to score runs when Stroman pitches makes the under a solid play.

Prediction: UNDER 4.5 runs (-105)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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The “yes” is worth a flyer here since there has been a first-inning run either scored by Toronto or given up by Stroman in his last six starts. He also has a 4.50 ERA in the opening frame, giving up five runs overall in his eight outings.

There were also four first-inning runs Friday night as both teams scored, and the White Sox are averaging nearly a half-run in the opening frame.

Prediction: YES to 1st-inning run (-110)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.