Bet of the Day – Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox, Sept 4, 2010 Game 1

Chicago White Sox (+135) at Boston Red Sox (-145), Over/Under 8, 1:05 ET

This game was postponed yesterday, but the consolation Bet of the Day was a winner.  Today I am going to update and repost this game, but also post a college football game.  The White Sox (73-60) and Boston (76-58) will play two games in Boston today.  Both teams need every win for a wild card chance.  The teams are in similar playoff spots and look very close on paper.  Also, Manny Ramirez (with a new haircut?) returns to Boston on an AL team.  But the crowd won’t be as charged for an early afternoon game as they would have been last night.

The White Sox have won 3 games in a row and 5 of their last 7.  During that stretch, they have batted .314 with a .382 OBP averaging 6.7 runs per game.  John Danks (12-9, 1.181 WHIP) takes the mound following a rocky last outing (4.3 IP giving up 8 earned runs with 3 home runs).  Danks has been strong throughout the year but appears to be a bit off form coming into tonight’s game.  Will the White Sox bats be enough if Danks tanks?

The Red Sox have been mediocre of late; winning only 3 of their last 7.  That did include games at Tampa Bay and the rejuvenated Baltimore Orioles.  They batted .245 with a .291 OBP over that stretch.  A return home and new staff ace Clay Buchholz (15-5, 1.186 ERA) taking the mound may be the needed jolt.  Buchholz has been excellent for most of the year and hasn’t had a loss decision since July 21st.  Buccholz doesn’t allow many hits or home runs and this is his first meeting against the White Sox in 2010.

On to the fun (game simulations).   My baseball model projects a score of Boston 4.36 to Chicago 4.23 for 8.59 total runs.  As mentioned earlier, when reviewing the total stats these teams look very similar.  Boston has an advantage in drawn walks and bullpen, while the White Sox are more efficient scoring.  With a +135/-145 money line, this would indicate the value is with Chicago…….But, I thought I would dig deeper in the stats.  Changing my simulation to use home/away data produced much different results: Boston 4.44 to Chicago 3.01 for 7.45 total runs with a 2 deviation spread in the score.  The key difference here is that Boston is slightly more efficient scoring and the bullpen has performed better at home.  The biggest change is in Chicago’s scoring efficiency: 0.399 for All games vs. 0.301 for road games.  Chicago has clearly been less effective at the plate in road games.

Although Chicago is coming off a sweep of Cleveland, I am siding with the Red Sox today.  Here is why.  First, Buchholz continues to pitch well while Danks appears to be off form.  Second, Chicago has been much less effective at the plate in road games.  Third, Boston finds ways to score even when they don’t hit.  Fourth, Boston has faced tougher games of late which may skew recent results/statistics.  Bet on the Boston Red Sox on the Money Line -145 in Game 1.  Today’s non-repost game will be college football so send your suggestion for Bet of the Day.  Follow me on twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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