May could have ended a little better but the first month of our 2015 MLB season ended with a winning record and a positive yield. Now summer begins and the lines get a little tighter. We’re going out to Texas for the first play of June.
While neither has necessarily inspired a whole lot thus far into the season, both the White Sox and Rangers have shown some improvement in a campaign that both expected as much. While Texas simply had to be better after finishing 2014 with the worst record in baseball, Chicago went out and spent some money in free agency. Their biggest offseason catch gets a chance to help his new team win again on Tuesday.
Jose Abreu’s status for Tuesday night is not yet known. But this game is all about Jeff Samardzija for the visiting team. After beginning the season alternating wins and losses in Samardzija’s starts and accumulating three wins and four losses, the White Sox have won the last three times their second ace has started. While 15 runs in those three outings have helped Samardzija, run support has been far from the reason for his recent success. Samardzija has simply started pitching like the guy he was for the Cubs and Athletics over the last couple seasons, going deep into games and striking batters out. In his last three starts, he’s 23 innings and struck out 19 all while allowing 5 earned runs on 19 hits. Nothing drastic has changed; he’s just returning to the form we’re all used to after a bit of a rocky start. Going up against the Rangers without Adrian Beltre in the middle of the lineup, I really like Samardzija’s chances to post another big start in Arlington.
And while the Sox’s lineup has been rather anemic this season, Colby Lewis should do his best to give them scoring opportunities. Like Samardzjia, Lewis’ season took a turn three starts ago. But Texas’ starting pitcher has gone in the wrong direction. While Lewis’ overall numbers still look solid after a strong first seven starts, he’s coming off a season-high 9 earned runs last time out against Cleveland and gave up 5 more in each of the two starts preceding that one. The ERA has jumped up by 2.30 runs in that span and Lewis appears to have returned to his hittable form. Texas is the home team in this one and does have the slightly stronger lineup, but the big disparity in the starting pitching matchup leaves me to believe the pick’em type of line is a little more even than it should be.
Free Pick: Chicago -107
YTD: 5-3-2 +1.43
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02