The slumping Chicago White Sox return home Monday and face essentially a must-win vs. Cleveland with ace Chris Sale on the mound for the series opener. Bet on Indians-White Sox and every game at WagerWeb.com.
Toronto at Baltimore, Game 1 – Jays RHP Henderson Alvarez (9-13, 4.87) vs. Orioles RHP Steve Johnson (3-0, 1.91): Alvarez is coming off his third consecutive quality start after logging seven inning in a loss to the Yankees on Wednesday. The righty lasted seven frames for the second straight start and struck out a career-high seven batters. … Johnson will make a spot start because of the doubleheader. His last start was vs. Toronto on Aug. 22, allowing two runs and four hits over six innings.
Toronto at Baltimore, Game 2 – Jays LHP Ricky Romero (8-14, 5.72) vs. Orioles LHWP Wei-Yin Chen (12-9, 3.98): Romero hasn’t won in 15 straight starts after taking a no-decision vs. the Yanks on Wednesday. The lefty walked five but contained New York, allowing just one run over six innings. Romero’s 13 straight losing decisions is tied for a club record. … Chen was typically serviceable in his most recent start Tuesday, going 5.1 innings and allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. The rookie hasn’t faced the Blue Jays this season.
Kansas City at Detroit – Royals RHP Luke Hochevar (8-14, 5.40) vs. Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (15-8, 2.74): Hochevar didn’t have his best fastball – it cost him three solo home runs – on Tuesday night against the White Sox. But he made it through seven innings, giving up only the three runs, seven hits and no walks in a solid if losing performance. … Verlander owns a 14-2 record vs. Kansas City, but the Royals tagged him for eight runs on 12 hits over 5 2/3 innings Aug. 28, a night when every ball hit in play seemed to find an open patch of grass. Verlander has 15 straight scoreless frames.
Oakland at Texas – A’s RHP Dan Straily (2-1, 4.13) vs. Rangers LHP Derek Holland (11-6, 4.42): Straily goes back into the rotation because Oakland lost lefty Brett Anderson for the rest of the regular season due to a strained right oblique. Straily last pitched Sept. 16, allowing four runs in 4.2 innings vs. Baltimore. … On the DL for a month with shoulder fatigue, Holland is throwing bullets again in good locations. Beating the Angels on Wednesday, Holland allowed two runs on six hits and a walk, striking out four in seven innings.
Cleveland at Chicago White Sox – Indians RHP Zach McAllister (5-8, 4.31) vs. White Sox LHP Chris Sale (17-7, 2.82): McAllister will make his 21st start of the year against the team against which he picked up his first win of the season on May 7. McAllister lasted just 4 1/3 innings last time out against Minnesota and hasn’t won since Aug. 11, when he beat Boston. … The first-year starter Sale makes his 28th and what looks to be the second-to-last start of his Cy Young-caliber 2012 season. The White Sox have posted a 17-10 record with Sale on the mound, to go with his 18 quality starts.
NY Yankees at Minnesota – Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte (4-3, 2.97) vs. Twins RHP Liam Hendriks (1-7, 5.88): Pettitte will throw 85-90 pitches in his second start back from the DL after neededing 75 pitches to get through five scoreless innings in his return against Toronto. Pettitte is concerned only with stamina after nearly three months on the DL. … Hendriks pitched 6 innings and gave up two earned runs as the Twins beat the Indians 6-4 Wednesday. This will be the Aussie’s first start vs. the Yankees.