The Coach's MLB "ACE OFF" - Archer vs. Sale
Tampa Bay vs. Chi White Sox,
08/04/2015 20:10 EDT,
Score: 11 - 3
Point Spread: +1½/-195 Tampa Bay
Chicago White Sox were the hottest team in baseball less than a week ago, but they're coming into this contest as losers in four of their last five. The Tampa Bay Rays defeated them 5-4 last night, and I like the Rays chances of recording an upset tonight to take a 2-0 lead in the three-game set.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. Pitching - The White Sox hand the ball to Chris Sale (9-6, 3.20 ERA) who was torched for seven runs on 12 hits in five innings of an 8-2 loss at Fenway his last start. The left-hander was charged with the 2-1 loss at Tampa Bay earlier in the season despite allowing two runs in six innings, and run-support is likely to be scarce tonight as well when the Rays counter with Chris Archer (9-8, 2.54 ERA). Archer is 0-2 in his last three starts despite giving up just a total of three earned runs over 20 innings of work. He's been terrific away from home this season going 6-2 with a 2.26 ERA in nine road-starts and he's 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA in three career starts versus the White Sox.
2. Situational - The Rays have won eight of their last 10 away from home when facing a southpaw on the mound and they're 5-1 in Archer's last six starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150. The White Sox have lost seven of their last eight home at U.S. Cellular Field.
3. X-Factor - Tampa Bay swept the White Sox over three games at home back in June.
Selection: This is a play on the Tampa Bay Rays +1.5 (8*)