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When and How to Bet the White Sox

by Sox On 35th Contributors

Every gambler is always looking for an edge, especially when it comes to betting on their own team. For good teams like the White Sox, it isn’t as simple as picking the money line (who will win or lose the game). When a team is typically favored to the tune of a -200 (bet $200 to win $100) money line, for example, the reward simply isn’t worth the risk. The smart plays are knowing when to bet run lines (how many runs a team will win or lose by) and totals (number of runs scored in the game). In this article, I’ll dive into when the best (and worst) times are to bet White Sox games.

Note: All stats are from the 2021 season updated as of 9/15/2021

VS. Left-Handed Starters

These 3 will continue to annihilate left-handed pitching for the foreseeable future
24-15 (61.54%)22-17 (56.41%)17-21-1 (43.59%)4.52 runs

Looking into these numbers, it’s clear that the White Sox lineup has a significant advantage when it comes to facing left-handed pitching. As a team, their slash line is .266 AVG/.342 OBP/.449 SLG/.791 OPS vs left-handed starters as opposed to a .250 AVG/.332 OBP/.410 SLG/.742 OPS against right-handed starters. The margin of victory is significant here because it indicates that they tend to comfortably cover the spread against lefties. Also, since the margin of victory is so high, you can increase run lines from the standard -1.5 to spreads as high as -2.5 and -3.5 depending on the matchup on a given day.

Every gambler wants a sure thing, no sweat winner, and the Sox cover the spread against lefties at an almost 57% clip. In the gambling world, a 57% winning percentage is considered well above-average due to the fact that over a large sample size, a 57% spread bettor will rack up a healthy profit. Looking into the over/under totals, that can be attributed to the White Sox starting rotation. Other teams aren’t contributing to the total runs very much against this rotation (aside from Dallas Keuchel starts), so that can explain the higher output of unders cashing.  

VS. Minnesota Twins

Minnesota is no longer the house of horrors it used to be for the White Sox

It truly is a shame that the Sox couldn’t play the Twins more this year. As a fan, seeing the Sox beat up on the Twins was such an amazing feeling considering how they’ve had the Sox number over the last decade or so. As a gambler, the Sox dominance of the Twins was even sweeter to take advantage of the lopsided matchups. This year, the Twins have been one of the best (or worst depending on how you bet them) matchups to take advantage of. As of 9/5, their record against the spread (ATS) is 51-84 (37.8%) and their record against totals (O/U) is 76-52-7 (59.4%). The reason for the Twins rapid decline this year is what has been a truly abysmal pitching staff (5.00 ERA; 14th/15 AL teams). Part of being a great team is taking care of business against inferior teams and the White Sox absolutely did that against Minnesota this year. Knowing which matchups to take advantage of is crucial for any successful gambler.

Getaway Day Games

10-14 (41.67%)8-16 (33.33%)8-16 (33.33%)3.77 runs

For the purposes of this article, my definition of a getaway day game is when the White Sox have a day game and then travel to a new city for the next game. With such a large division lead, the White Sox have been on cruise control basically since the middle of July. As such, manager Tony La Russa has emptied his bench on getaway days to get his starters more rest, regardless of whether the team has a day off the next day.

Leadoff Leury and 2B Vaughn – Yikes!!!

This lineup from July 29th is probably the worst lineup I could find that the Sox have put on the field this season (not surprisingly, they lost 5-0 to KC). This lineup is eerily similar to some of the everyday lineups that the Sox would put out in 2017 and 2018, so we as fans are fortunate that these lineups are only put out on rare occasions now. The Sox 33.33%-win percentage against the spread is basically a hair below the Texas Rangers’ season-long win percentage (very bad). With these bench-heavy lineups, the Sox struggle to score runs, which leads to unders hitting much more often.

Since the Sox are favorites in games more often than not, these games are best to stay away from (unless you’re betting against the Sox), as they don’t even sniff covering the spread most of the time.

These are three of the trends that have stuck out to me the most this season, but I am sure that there are plenty more to explore and dive into! If you find any other good ones, send them my way!

Featured Photo: Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) / Twitter

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