After being staggered and knocked out of the American League Central lead by Detroit last weekend, Chicago White Sox regrouped with three straight wins to regain a share of first place. Texas, meanwhile, has led the AL West all season long and still owns a five-game advantage over both Los Angeles and red-hot Oakland. The home team has won five of the six head-to-head meetings this season, with the Texas Rangers winning two of three at The Ballpark in Arlington in April and the White Sox taking three in a row earlier this month in Chicago.
Texas has been the most well-balanced team in baseball all year long, leading the major leagues in runs scored and batting average while also ranking among the American League leaders in most pitching categories. The White Sox have gotten solid starting pitching from a rotation that features All-Star Chris Sale, who starts Friday against fellow 11-game winner Yu Darvish. This weekend’s series also showcases the top two home run hitters in the majors, Chicago DH Adam Dunn (30) and Texas OF Josh Hamilton (28).
White Sox Rangers Betting
When: 8:05 PM ET, Friday, July 27, 2012
Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, WCIU (Chicago), KTXA (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox LH Chris Sale (11-3, 2.37 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Yu Darvish (11-6, 3.88)
In his first year as a starter, Sale has emerged as a serious threat to Justin Verlander’s hold on the AL Cy Young award. The lanky left-hander is second in the league in ERA and third in WHIP even after a rare off day in his last start at Detroit (7 IP, 7 H, 5 ER on July 21). Sale went 7 1/3 innings in a July 3 win over the Rangers, giving up one run on five hits.
Darvish has emerged as a solid starter for Texas — particularly at home, where the rookie finally took a loss on July 1 after winning his first seven decisions. The Japanese import has occasionally struggled with his control, walking 61 batters in 116 innings, but he also ranks fourth in the league in strikeouts with 132 and has fanned 10 or more hitters in each of his last three home starts.
1. The White Sox had one of baseball’s best road records (26-18) before dropping the last five games of their most recent road trip. Texas has the best home record (31-17) in the American League.
2. Including four previous relief appearances, Sale has a 1.69 ERA in 10 2/3 lifetime innings against Texas. Adrian Beltre (2-for-5) is the only Ranger with more than one hit against him.
3. The Rangers have won 20 of their last 27 home games against teams with winning records and are 44-19 in their last 63 home games overall.