The Rangers took Monday’s series opener 5-2. Andrew Heaney went 5.2 innings for the win, giving up two runs on five hits and striking out six, and Will Smith earned his 13th save with a scoreless ninth. Josh Jung was 3 for 5 with a home run and two runs in the win. Luis Robert Jr. went 2 for 3 with a solo home run for the White Sox.
ON THE MOUND
Eovaldi (9-3, 2.59 ERA) is set for the start for Texas. The RHP is tied for second in the AL in wins and fourth in ERA. Eovaldi allowed three runs over seven innings in his last start, a 5-3 road defeat against the Angels on Thursday.
He was charged with the loss, giving up five hits while striking out nine and walking two. Eovaldi is making his first appearance against the White Sox this season.
Eovaldi made one start against the White Sox in 2022, a 4-2 home loss for the Red Sox on May 6. He surrendered three runs on six hits over five innings, striking out four and walking three. Righty Dylan Cease (3-3, 4.31 ERA) takes the mound for Chicago.
It’s his first appearance of the season against the Rangers. Cease made one start against the Rangers in 2022, throwing six innings in a 2-1 road win on August 5.
He gave up two hits and walked three while striking out five in the win. In his last start on Thursday, Cease took a no-decision on the road against the Dodgers. He threw 5.1 innings and gave up two runs on four hits, striking out 10 and walking three in the 5-4 defeat.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Texas has averaged only 4.8 runs a game, down from their season average of 6.1, despite performing better across the board (.273/.359/.465). Against right-handed pitchers like Cease this season, the Rangers have a .788 OPS, the third highest in MLB.
Marcus Semien is the team’s best performer against right-handers with a .828 OPS in 211 at-bats. Chicago is averaging only 2.6 runs per game in the last five, down from 4.1 for the season, with their on-base percentage dropping to .254 from .292.
The Sox have a .664 OPS against right-handers in 2023, the fourth lowest in the league. With a .760 OPS over 146 at-bats, Gavin Sheets has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Texas is 21-14 in away games in 2023, scoring 5.8 runs per game while allowing 3.7 runs. Chicago has lost three in a row at home. The Sox are 17-18 at home this season, averaging 4.1 runs per game while surrendering 5.0. Chicago is 6-4 in the last 10 games at Guaranteed Rate Field between the teams with an average scoreline of 5.4-4.6.
The Rangers lead the AL West by five games over the Angels. The White Sox are fourth in the AL Central, five games behind the Twins.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Texas Rangers (-145)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.