Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 7:00 AM
It’s not often we’re previewing a series that involves two Major League Baseball teams on LOSING streaks. But, that’s the case in this two-day Interleague quickie featuring NL West leading San Francisco, and back-and-forth contender/also-ran Chicago from the AL Central.
*San Francisco lost three straight this weekend to Colorado (too little, too late Rockies!), but they still have a comfortable divisional lead over the field.
*The Chicago White Sox have lost FOUR straight, including their entire weekend set at home against the hard charging Kansas City Royals. Before this slide, the Sox were sitting right at .500…which means right in the thick of the tight AL Central and divisional races. There’s just no margin for error this season. If the slide continues, the White Sox will get left in the dust.
Both teams need to break slumps. Let’s look at the stats to see who’s most likely to do that in this two-game Windy City showdown.
San Francisco: 4.30 runs per game, .312 on-base, .406 slugging
Chicago White Sox: 4.34 runs per game, .318 on-base, .401 slugging
At first glance, those offenses look very similar, virtually identical. But, once you adjust for context, you’ll see that San Francisco is actually significantly better.
*San Francisco doesn’t get to use a DH except in road Interleague games! A number like 4.30 is huge in the National League this year for runs per game. And, that .406 slugging percentage ranks third in the senior circuit. The White Sox have to use a DH batting instead of a pitcher to compile same offensive stats as the Giants.
*San Francisco plays its home games in a great pitcher’s park, while Chicago plays its home games in a good hitting park. So, San Francisco is even BETTER than those great offensive numbers when you get them out of their home park. Chicago is partly illusion based on friendly conditions.
So, that stat line for SF was compiled in tough hitting conditions with a pitcher batting in almost every game. For CWS, it came with a DH and occasionally some very good scoring conditions at home. The Giants have the MUCH better offense.
Matt Cain: 3.84 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 7.1 K-Rate
John Danks: 4.17 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 6.4 K-Rate
Cain is below standard this season, and just spent a couple of weeks on the Disabled List. Tough spot for him on the road in a hitter’s park. Danks was enduring a disastrous season until about a month ago. A reported mechanical tweek not only solved the problem…but turned him into a temporary juggernaut! Over his last four starts, he’s only allowed five earned runs in 29.1 innings. That came out of nowhere, and is obviously subject to regression. But, he is a first look lefty for a visitor that isn’t used to this ballpark or this pitcher. We couldn’t have imagined saying this a month ago…but Danks might actually have the edge here.
Tim Hudson: 1.81 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 6.1 K-Rate
Chris Sale: 1.97 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 10.3 K-Rate
What a pitching matchup! And ESPN is showing LA Angels/Cleveland (which we’ll preview tomorrow)?!
Cy Young caliber stuff from Hudson this year, which is why the Giants aren’t likely to have too many long losing streaks. Veteran craftiness is helping him get by with a mediocre K-rate. He doesn’t need the K’s at this stage of his career. But Sale has been even more impressive because he’s posting a sub-2.00 ERA and fantastic peripherals in the DH league. Almost unbelievable numbers from the 25-year old lefty. And they’re coming against offenses that have seen him a lot! Some tough challenges for the San Francisco bats.
With the basketball season now in the books, JIM HURLEY’S day-to-day focus will be on Major League Baseball until football resumes in August. You can always purchase game day BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about extended service, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. We have packages that take you through the All-Star Break, or all the way through the season. Don’t forget to ask about early-bird rates for 2014 football when you call!
Back with you tomorrow to talk about that big TV game on ESPN. Thursday we’ll preview the huge 4-game series matching the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals in the tight NL East. Friday could bring a preview of Baltimore/NY Yankees in the AL East. But, this weekend’s Seattle/Kansas City series is suddenly very interesting…and might make a surprise appearance.
We’ll keep you on top of the pennant races with big game and big series previews through the summer. Our annual string of college football conference previews is just around the corner. Visit daily for helpful handicapping information…then link up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK for BIG, JUICY BASEBALL WINNERS!