Seattle Mariners vs. Chicago White Sox  Thursday, April 14, 2022 at 2:10pm EDT

The Chicago White Sox (3-1) will host the Seattle Mariners (2-3) on Thursday in the final game of their three-game series. Seattle took the opener 3-2 on Tuesday, and Wednesday’s game was not complete at the time of this preview.

Mariners bats struggle in third straight loss

After winning the first two games of the season against Minnesota, Seattle dropped its third straight game on Tuesday. Seattle left 11 men on base in that loss and went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Former Cincinnati Reds drove in both Seattle runs. Jesse Winker went 1 for 3 and drew two walks, and Eugenio Suarez went 2 for 4 and hit his first home run of the season.

Scoring has been an issue for the Mariners, who have not pushed across more than four runs in any of their first five contests.

Logan Gilbert, a 6’6 right-hander, will get the start on Thursday. Gilbert started 24 games as a rookie last season and went 6-5 with a 4.68 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Last Saturday, Gilbert pitched five innings allowing three hits, one walk, and one run off a solo homer, and did not get the decision in Seattle’s 4-3 victory over Minnesota. Gilbert faced the White Sox once last season and tossed two shutout innings, allowing one hit and picking up three strikeouts.

White Sox playing well

The White Sox are huge favorites to win the American League Central this season and hope to contend for the AL Pennant as well. After opening the season with a 5-4 road loss to Detroit, where the Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth, the White Sox have responded with a three-game winning streak.

On Tuesday, the White Sox left six men on base and went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Chicago scored two runs in the game on ground ball fielder’s choices and the other on a solo home run by Luis Roberts in the sixth inning.

The White Sox will send Jimmy Lambert to the mound first Thursday. Lambert will be making his 2022 debut, and the bullpen should see plenty of work. Chicago’s bullpen is 12th in MLB with a 3.38 ERA through the first four games. Over the last two seasons, Lambert has appeared in a total of six games, making three starts and throwing only 15 total innings. He has a 5.40 career ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. Lambert is also 1-1 lifetime with 12 strikeouts.

Full-Game Side Bet

Rating: 4 out of 5

The White Sox are sixth in MLB in slugging (.432) and runs scored (5.55 per game) and ninth in MLB in OPS (.734). The pitching has been excellent and ranked fifth with a 2.52 team ERA and has only allowed two home runs through their first four games, tied for the fewest in baseball.

Seattle is 28th in scoring (2.57 runs per game), 23rd in OPS (.590), and 28th with a .291 slugging percentage. The Mariners have also not pitched quite as well as Chicago ranking 13th with a 3.64 team ERA and have allowed 10 home runs, which are the second most allowed.

Although Seattle has the starting pitching advantage, with the way the Mariners have been struggling offensively, Lambert should be able to keep this game close through the first three innings. As the games go on, the Sox bullpen and offense will be too much for the Mariners.

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Prediction: Chicago White Sox ML -110

MLB AMERICAN LEAGUE CONTENDERS

Title: MLB American League contenders
Author: David Marotta
Date: April 6, 2022

Apr 2, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) is congratulated by New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) as he scores a run s2i against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the leading contenders for the American League Pennant, along with the odds according to BetMGM.

Toronto Blue Jays +450
Last season Toronto won 91 games but ended up being the team with the best record to not qualify for the postseason. Even though the Blue Jays lost some key players from last year’s squad, including Marcus Semien, Randal Grichuk, and Robbie Ray, the roster still has plenty of offensive firepower, led by triple crown threat Vladimir Guerrero. They also upgraded their bullpen, which was a weakness last season. Only time will tell if Toronto is worthy of being the AL favorite.

Houston Astros +475
The Astros are favored to win the American League West and will be in contention again for the AL crown. Houston lost Carlos Correa and Zack Greinke in free agency, but this team is still loaded. Houston led all of MLB in runs scored last season and returns seven of their top eight position players. Houston also re-signed Justin Verlander, who was impressive in Spring Training after missing the entire 2021 season.

New York Yankees +550
Every season is World Series or bust for the Yankees, and with the current roster built to win now, the trend of five straight playoff appearances should continue. The lineup is loaded, and the Bronx Bombers will head into the opening day with 16 pitchers, led by their ace Gerrit Cole.

Chicago White Sox +550
After losing their opening playoff series in consective years, the White Sox are favored to repeat as AL Central Division Champions, but with the current roster, the expectations are to win contend for the World Series crown. The White Sox are probably the most balanced amongst all the contenders. Chicago finished second in the AL in ERA last season.

Although they lost Carlos Rodon in free agency, with a rotation led by Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, and Lucas Giolito, the White Sox will be a tough matchup for any team in the AL playoffs. Chicago’s offensive depth also rivals any team in the league,

Tampa Bay Rays +650
Regardless of what the roster looks like on paper, the Rays always find a way to contend. The Rays won 100 games during the regular season in 2021, and, with their young core still intact, Tampa Bay is a great value bet in what should be a competitive AL race.

Correa to Twins, doesn’t feel right

After making five straight appearances in the ALCS, which includes winning a World Series in 2017, Carlos Correa decided to leave the franchise that drafted him back in 2012 for the Minnesota Twins this off-season. After reports stating that Correa had turned down a five-year $160 million deal with the Houston Astros, I was surprised to hear that the two-time All-Star decided to sign with the Twins for (only) three years and 105.3 million. With Scott Boras representing him, I believe this has alot to do with the option to opt out after only one season and then test the free-agent market again next season.

Mar 27, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa (4) returns
to the dugout after the first inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox during spring training at CenturyLink Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros have been great at rebuilding and likely wanted to plan for the future. I’m sure the Astros would have loved to have had Correa back on the five-year deal, but going through this again with Correa next season as a free agent is not something the Astros had an interest in. Nevertheless, as a fan of the game, seeing Correa sign with the Twins was disappointing to me, but due to the terms of his contract, a reunion between Correa and the Stros in 2023 is not impossible.

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