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To begin the year many people thought that the Chicago White Sox would be the team doing the chasing of the Minnesota Twins or the Cleveland Indians. However, Chicago holds a significant lead ahead over both the Twins and the Indians in the American League Central Division.
The White Sox have also held the best record in baseball through the first 4 months of the season. To go along with the best record in baseball the Chicago White Sox are also the number 1 money team in baseball, holding a significant advantage along with the Washington Nationals over the rest of the league.
The White Sox are +$2,184 based on $100 bet per game. Other than the Nationals the next closest team is at +$1,314, which is the LA Angels of Anaheim.
The Sox have also been an under favorite thanks to their pitching and style of baseball. As of June 23rd the Sox have a record of 26-43 when looking at the O-U. They have been under 43 times thanks in large part to their strong pitching staff which is led by Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland.
Garland has a record of 12-3 with a 3.25 ERA. Buehrle, on the other hand, has a record of 10-1 with a 2.42 ERA, which is in the top five of all Major League pitchers. When looking at these two pitchers from a money standpoint they both are in the top 12.
When Garland starts the Sox are +$897 and when Buehrle takes the mound they are +$722. To go along with Garland and Buehrle the Sox have an overall 3.56 ERA which is second in baseball to only the Angels who have a 3.56 team ERA. The White Sox also have a very strong bullpen which is ranked 5th in MLB. The bullpen itself has an ERA of 3.22 and their opponents have only a .227 batting average vs. the White Sox relievers.
When looking at the White Sox and their offense, they are very efficient and score when they have to. The White Sox are winning without one player batting over .300 that has over 70 at bats on the season. However, they have the run producers like Paul Konerko, Aaron Rowand, Carl Everett, and Jermaine Dye to help drive in runs and Scott Posednik, and Tadahito Iguchi to start the offense by getting on base.
When facing other teams the Chicago White Sox have a lot of match up advantages that play to their strength. The only thing that they sometimes lack in the match up edge is hitting for average and hitting for power. When handicapping, the strength lies in pitching and defense. This means that the Chicago White Sox with a great pitching staff and an above average defense should be successful the rest of the year. Head Coach Ozzie Guillen believes in just that, as he himself is a coach that likes to win with great pitching, great defense, and timely hitting. Don't expect the Sox to go away anytime soon.
Dont pass up ASAs daily picks for the upcoming week as we have some great plays lined up through the weekend. We have two impressive teams that are zeroed in for huge wins on Thursday and Friday. To go along with our daily plays we have the NATIONAL LEAGUE GAME OF THE MONTH which will take place this upcoming Saturday.
--Lee Kostroski contributed to this report.