Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#967 Toronto Blue Jays -125 vs.
#968 Chicago White Sox 9
Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago White Sox

When and Where: Thursday, May 16, Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Ill., 8:10 p.m. EDT.

Equal parts frustrated and feisty, Marcus Stroman looks to snap a three-start losing streak Thursday night when the Toronto Blue Jays open a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox.

Stroman out to avenge loss to ChiSox as trade rumors swirl

The Blue Jays (17-25) have dropped 11 of their last 14 games following a 4-3 loss at San Francisco on Wednesday that resulted in a split of their two-game series.

Rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 0 for 3 with an RBI after hitting his first two major league home runs in Tuesday night’s win and enters this contest hitting .222.

Stroman (1-6, 3.12 ERA) has been public about wanting to stay with the Blue Jays long-term, but he continues to be among the pitchers considered most likely to be dealt before the trade deadline as the needs of contenders are beginning to crystalize in terms of pitching.

The right-hander was clearly frustrated with being taken out against the White Sox in Toronto’s 7-2 home loss Saturday after yielding four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. Despite the outbursts to both first-year manager Charlie Montoyo and pitching coach Pete Walker, it appears all parties have moved on as Stroman looks to win for the first time since April 19.

“Actually, I like it,” Montoyo told the Toronto Star. “I like it when pitchers get upset when I take them out. That’s what I want. I don’t want the guy to be happy giving me the ball.”

Stroman is 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA in three road starts this year but got no offensive backing in the two defeats. He has won his last two starts on the south side of Chicago, where he is 2-2 with a 6.98 ERA overall. The righty’s loss last week dropped him to 2-4 with a 5.28 ERA in eight lifetime starts versus the White Sox.

Jose Abreu, Yolmer Sanchez, and Tim Anderson have all homered off Stroman, but Sanchez and Anderson are a combined 3 for 26 while Abreu is 6 for 22.

Covey hopes for better outcome in second straight start versus Jays

Dylan Covey (0-2, 5.91) was done in by the long ball in Toronto last Friday night, serving up two home runs in the first two innings that accounted for all four runs he gave up in 4 1-3 of Chicago’s 4-3 defeat.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” Covey told the team’s official website after issuing more walks (5) than hits allowed (3). “Two-out walks hurt. I’m OK with giving up a solo home run here and there, but I’ve got to cut back on those two-out walks. Different ballgame if those guys aren’t on and they hit the homer, just a different ballgame — doesn’t put us in a hole that early.”

Covey has failed to get through five innings in both his starts since filling Carlos Rodon’s spot in the rotation, and a lack of control has been a primary reason. He has walked eight in 9 1-3 innings over those starts and has 10 in 10 2-3 innings overall in his four appearances.

Chicago (19-22) is coming off a split of its two-game series with Cleveland after a 9-0 rout Tuesday snapped a three-game winning streak. Anderson went 5 for 12 in helping the White Sox win two of three games north of the border but is hitting .132 (5 for 38) over his last 10 home games.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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If there is a pitcher in need of a change of scenery, even for one start, it is Stroman. The other thing he needs is some run support — his 1.38 runs average in his nine starts is the lowest in the majors for play entering Wednesday night.

The good news is he and the Blue Jays have a favorable matchup in facing Covey, who has yet to show an ability to work deep into games even dating back to last year as a starter when he went 5-14.

The White Sox have been in a bit of a scoring funk at home, totaling two or fewer runs in four of their last five games there. The hedge is for Stroman to have a solid bounce-back effort and get Toronto off to a positive start in this series.

Prediction: Blue Jays -1.5 runs (+120)

Full-Game Total Pick

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Despite his win-loss record, Stroman has pitched well enough to have the under trend in his favor, hitting in seven of his last 10 starts. Additionally, the under is 5-0 the last five times he has taken the ball to start a series and also has a 16-6 mark in his last 22 starts vs. AL Central teams.

Covey’s subpar outings bring some risk to this pick, but the under has gone 4-1-2 in his last seven outings. The under has also delivered a 6-2 mark in both Chicago’s last eight games overall and against right-handed starters.

The line has ticked one-half run higher in the overnight, raising confidence in the pick. Helping to that end is the White Sox coming off a day off, which gives manager Rick Renteria the option of a quick hook on Covey in favor of the bullpen if he struggles early.

Prediction: UNDER 9.5 runs (-115)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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This is mainly a confidence pick in Stroman keeping the White Sox in check. The teams played under this number in two of their three games in Toronto last week, though Stroman was one of the pitchers responsible for the game that reached 31.

Chicago’s home struggles scoring — the White Sox have averaged 10.0 R+H+E in their last five home games plays well with a Blue Jays squad that has averaged 8.4 R+H+E in its last nine contests.

Prediction: UNDER 27.5 runs+hits+errors (+105)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Plain and simple, the Blue Jays do not score runs for Stroman. In the first five innings, that lack of run support takes on greater notice. They have failed to score a run in the first five frames in the righty’s last two starts and in five of his nine overall.

Covey’s struggles make this a toss-up pick, but the possibility of this game being 2-2 after five innings makes grabbing the White Sox and the half-run a reasonable pick.

Prediction: White Sox +0.5 runs (-120)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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The five-inning under has a 5-3-1 record in Stroman’s starts and has split Covey’s two. The under delivered in Stroman’s outing versus Chicago last week, while the over barely cleared in Covey’s. The hedge is the lack of run support for Stroman while he pitches well is the most probable outcome for this game, making the under the solid play with the hook.

Prediction: UNDER 5.5 runs (-120)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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The “yes” is worth a flyer here considering Covey served up a three-run homer to Randall Grichuk in last week’s matchup, and there has been a first-inning run either scored by the Blue Jays or conceded by Stroman in six of his last seven starts.

There also has been a first run scored in either direction in three of Stroman’s four starts in Chicago.

Prediction: YES to 1st-inning run (-115)

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.