The Coach's Monday MLB TRIFECTA
Tampa Bay vs. Chi White Sox,
08/03/2015 20:10 EDT,
Score: 5 - 4
Point Spread: +1½/-175 Tampa Bay
The Chicago White Sox excellent form since the All Star break have brought them within striking distance for the AL Wild Cards, sitting only 3.5 and 4.5 games back respectively. They do however still have plenty of teams between themselves and the Wild Cards, among others the Tampa Bay Rays who ended a three-game skid with a 4-3 win at Fenway last night. I like the Rays to build on the momentum and record an upset in tonight's opener of a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. Pitching - The White Sox hand the ball to left-hander Jose Quintana (6-9, 3.52 ERA) who's just 1-4 with a 3.64 ERA in nine home-starts for the year. He's off back-to-back road wins but allowed four runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-6 loss to the Royals not factoring in the decision his last outing in front of the home-fans. The Rays will counter with Nathan Karns (6-5, 3.37 ERA) who's off a pair of wins yielding only a total of one run on six hits over 11 innings of work. He's 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA in seven road-starts and held the White Sox to one run with eight strikeouts in six innings earlier in the season.
2. Situational - The Rays have won 13 of their last 16 when facing a left-handed starter while the White Sox have lost four of their last five against right-handers. They've lost six of their last seven at home overall.
3. X-Factor - The Rays have won four of the last five meetings straight-up.
Selection: This is a play on the Tampa Bay Rays +1.5 (8*)