Los Angeles enters play on Wednesday evening with a 70-74 overall record after dropping back-to-back games. Meanwhile, the White Sox are cruising towards October with a 12.5-game lead in the American League Central standings after going 83-61 in 144 games.
Angels have yet to announce starter for series finale in ChicagoThe Angels have yet to officially announce a starter for Thursday’s series finale in Chicago.
Los Angeles has struggled to close the season strong, dropping six of its last eight contests. Scoring runs have been a problem for the Halos over the last few weeks. The offense has stalled, scoring four runs or fewer in nine of its last 11 games. While Shohei Ohtani remains the odds-on favorite for the AL MVP Award, he has just one RBI over the last week.
Jared Walsh - Los Angeles Angels (27) pic.twitter.com/VLSeYLsmoQ— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) September 15, 2021
Instead, it has been Jared Walsh carrying the load. The Angels’ first baseman has hit .333 with two home runs, three doubles, and four RBIs over the last seven days. For the season, Los Angeles ranks ninth in team batting with a .246 batting average but just 18th in home runs and 17th in runs scored heading into Thursday’s contest.
Lopez flashing signs of a breakout in 2021Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez will toe the rubber for the White Sox in the series finale against the Halos on Thursday. The 27-year-old enters with a 3-2 overall record to go along with a stellar 2.05 ERA in 16 games (six starts). He has yet to allow more than three runs in any of his 16 appearances this year but is fresh off of a tough-luck loss versus the Oakland Athletics. Lopez surrendered three runs (one earned) in five innings of work versus the A’s en route to just his second loss of the season.
Reynaldo López is just the second MLB pitcher in the modern era (since 1901) to throw 5.0-plus perfect IP of relief with seven-plus strikeouts, along with Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook on 4/19/04 vs. Detroit (7.0 IP/ 7 SO). (via STATS) pic.twitter.com/8WEPcK7pYm— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 28, 2021
The White Sox right-hander comes into Thursday’s contest posting some of the best peripherals of his MLB career, a sign that he’s taken a step forward in 2021. Lopez has fanned a healthy 8.18 batters and walked a career-lowe 2.25 batters per nine innings of work this season. He’s also tied a career-low by giving up just 0.82 HR/9 through his first 44 innings of work.
Lopez has made three career starts against the Halos but comes into this game searching for his first win versus Los Angeles. He is 0-1 with a 4.67 ERA in those starts, spanning a combined total of 17 ⅓ frames. According to Baseball Savant, current Angels are batting .263 in 21 plate appearances off of the White Sox right-hander heading into Thursday’s contest.
- Angels are 0-5 in their last 5 during game 3 of a series.
- Angels are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. American League Central.
- Angels are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
- White Sox are 39-12 in their last 51 home games vs. a team with a losing record.
- White Sox are 65-29 in their last 94 home games.
- White Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 vs. American League West.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
It’s hard to go against Lopez and the White Sox in this spot. Chicago appears to be trending up ahead of the postseason and Lopez has been a major reason why. The White Sox right-hander got off to a late start to the season but is flashing signs of a breakout in limited action. He should be able to keep his success up against an Angels’ squad that has scored four runs or fewer in nine of its last 11 games. Take Chicago to cover the run line in this American League clash at Guaranteed Rate Field on Thursday afternoon.
Full-Game Total Pick
Runs could be hard to come by in this game. Lopez has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any of his 16 appearances and has posted strong peripherals on the mound this season. On offense, Chicago has scored four runs or fewer in four of its last six games. Meanwhile, the Angels haven’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard either, scoring four runs or fewer in three consecutive contests. Look for this game to stay under the projected total in Chicago on Thursday afternoon.