Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#963 Texas Rangers -110 vs.
#964 Chicago White Sox 10.5
Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Texas Rangers will travel on the road to Guaranteed Rate Field on Thursday evening as they prepare to open a four-game weekend series versus the Chicago White Sox

Neither the Rangers nor the White Sox will make the postseason in 2019, but there is still plenty of optimism in both clubhouses heading into the final month of the regular season. Both teams appear to be on the brink of contending in their respective divisions. Chicago has plenty of up-and-coming talent to be excited about, while Texas just recently got a look at one of their top position player prospects earlier this week. Can the White Sox continue to improve with a victory at home over the Rangers on Thursday night?

Jurado looking to bounce back after another poor outing

The Rangers got some bad news earlier in the week, when sluggers Nomar Mazara and Danny Santana left Monday’s game with apparent injures. Mazara landed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left oblique, while Santana is considered to be day-to-day with left hamstring tightness. The injuries have opened the door for one of the Rangers’ top prospects to make their pro debut in Tuesday night’s doubleheader versus the Los Angeles Angels. No. 3-overall prospect Nick Solak got the call-up on Tuesday, collecting his first career MLB hit in the first game of the double-header to start a memorable day for the 24-year-old utility man. He broke a scoreless tie with his first career home run in the night cap and propelled Texas to a walk-off win when his chopper got past first baseman Albert Pujols in the 11th inning. Solak split time between the Rays and Rangers’ minor league systems this year, hitting 27 home runs at the Triple-A level before being called up to the big leagues. 

Texas is scheduled to turn to reliever-turned-starter Ariel Jurado for Thursday’s series opener in Chicago. Jurado was enjoying a strong stretch before stumbling during his last two trips to the mound. He will toe the rubber on Thursday in hopes of rebounding after allowing a whopping 16 runs (10 earned) while lasting just 5 ⅔ combined innings over his last two starts. Jurado was pulled after just two frames in his last start after surrendering eight runs (two earned) versus the Minnesota Twins. He comes in with a 6-9 overall record to go along with a 5.38 ERA in 26 games (16 starts) so far this year. 

In his only start of the season against the White Sox, Jurado allowed four earned runs in six innings of work on June 21. According to Baseball Savant, current White Sox are batting .240 in 28 plate appearances off the Rangers’ right-hander heading into Thursday’s matchup.  

Anderson, White Sox heating up at the plate

The White Sox have battled through a rebuilding season in 2019, but the future still looks bright on the southside of Chicago. One of the team’s biggest bright spots this season has been 26-year-old shortstop Tim Anderson, who is in the midst of a breakout season in his fourth big league season. Anderson has undeniably swapped some power for added discipline at the plate and he’s using the whole field more as a result. The White Sox slugger is slashing a healthy .331/.354/.504 with a .858 OPS and 13 home runs this season while producing the highest WAR (2.8) and best wRC+ (127) of his young career. Anderson has also continued to cut down on his strikeout rate, which dropped for the third straight season down to 30.1 percent.

 The White Sox have yet to announce a starter for Thursday’s contest, but whoever takes the mound should get a fair amount of run support. Chicago has been heating up at the plate over the past week. They rank sixth in the MLB in runs scored over the past week with 44 over their past seven games, while slashing .267/.303/.488 as a team during that span.

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Texas comes into this game without a couple of their best hitters in the lineup and Jurado has really struggled over his last two starts (16 runs in 5 ⅔ frames). The Rangers have also struggled in this series, especially on the road in Chicago, where they have won just seven of the last 26 meetings. On the other hand, the White Sox have been heating up at the plate and they seem to be gaining confidence as a team after scoring four runs or more in seven of their last eight games entering Wednesday’s series finale against the Twins. Look for Chicago to come out on top in this showdown between non-playoff teams in the American League. 

Prediction: Chicago White Sox

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These two teams have stayed under the projected total in 13 of their last 18 meetings, but it’s hard to envision that trend continuing on Thursday. Jurado has given up 16 runs over his last two starts and he’s gone four innings or less in three of his last four starts. That’s going to put a lot of pressure on a Rangers’ bullpen that ranks 21st in the MLB with a 4.75 ERA. The White Sox have also been heating up at the plate, which should help push this game over the projected total. Take the over in this American League battle on Thursday night.

Prediction: Over
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Written By 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.