Money Line: -127.00 Chi White Sox (Home)
The Minnesota Twins went just 73-89 in 2021 (20 games behind the division-winning White Sox), after winning the AL Central in 2019 and 2020. Chicago ended an 11-year postseason drought in 2020 with a wild card appearance and then ran away with the American League Central title last season with a 93-69 record, winning the division by 13 games over Cleveland. However, it's the Twins who are having the better season. Minnesota opened a three-game series in Chicago last night, but the White Sox delivered a 4-3 comeback win. It marked Chicago's third straight win and was much needed. Chicago is now 66-66 and two games behind Minnesota, as well as two games behind the division-leading Guardians. Chicago was the presumed favorite to repeat coming into the 2022 season but as the calendar shows September, it's time to put up or shut up for the White Sox.
Tyler Mahle (6-7, 4.17 ERA) starts for Minnesota and Dylan Cease (12-6, 2.27 ERA) for Chicago. Mahle was just 13-25 with a 4.42 ERA in his first four seasons with the Reds but went 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA in 33 starts (team was 20-13). he was 5-7 with a 4.40ERA for Cincy in 2022, before being traded to Minnesota. The Twins have won his first three starts but Mahle hasn't pitched since leaving an Aug 17 start against Kansas City after pitching 2.1 scoreless and hitless innings. The Twins say he's ready but who really knows. Cease is having a memorable season, one in which he set a major league-record of 14 consecutive starts without allowing more than ONE earned run. Cease didn't exactly come out of nowhere in 2022, finishing 2021 with a 3.91 ERA and a league-leading 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings in going 13-7 in 2021.
Cease pitched a career-high eight innings, allowing two solo HRs while walking one and striking out eight in a no-decision.in his last outing (this past Sunday ve Arizona) and I believe is ready to go on another tear. He's the 'key' to Chicago's playoff hopes in 2022 and I'm banking (betting) that.he proves just that tonight.