White Sox vs. Rays prediction and odds for Friday, April 21 (Bet on runs)
By Reed Wallach
The Chicago White Sox start a weekend series against MLB's best Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night looking to try and get on track amidst a host of injuries.
There are injuries in the lineup, but the team simply needs more production from starter Michael Kopech, who has been a mess this season on the mound, posting a 6.32 ERA with a FIP nearing double digits.
He faces a Rays team that is elite at generating power and will look to tee off on the erratic White Sox starter, but can Tampa Bay's starter hold up in Calvin Faucher, who will operate as an opener for the team's vaunted bullpen.
Let's break it down by first seeing the odds:
White Sox vs. Rays odds, run line and total
White Sox vs. Rays prediction and pick
Kopech's inability to avoid hard contact is going to be an issue in this one. No team has hit more home runs than the Rays this season, 42 in 19 games, and Kopech has been getting crushed, allowing an MLB high seven dingers in three starts.
You can count on the Rays to get its fair share of run support, but I do not trust them laying this price as they are due for some negative regression after a 16-3 start. While the White Sox have underperformed at 7-12, the team is generating a ton of contact, above the league average in terms of limiting strikeouts.
Considering Faucher is going to operate as an opener, and he has struggled in five appearances this season by allowing four earned runs in less than nine innings, a lot of pressure is going to rely on a Rays bullpen that hasn't been striking batters out. Despite one of the best ERA's in baseball, top five as a unit, the Tampa Bay bullpen is bottom five in strikeouts. The team relies partially on control and good fielding to work around lineups.
However, the White Sox are good at putting bat on ball and I believe that can lead to some run scoring chances at Tropicana Field.
I'm afraid to put too much faith in Kopech, but this price is too wide on the Rays, so I'll look to the over as my favorite bet on Friday.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.