MLB Betting Preview: LA Dodgers at White Sox

By: David Schwab | Friday, May 20, 2011

The Los Angeles Dodgers continue their three-game weekend interleague series with the Chicago White Sox this Saturday afternoon with Game 2 at Cellular Field in Chicago. Game time is set for 11:10 a.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast on the MLB Network.

Weather could be an issue as there is a 60 percent chance of showers in Chicago throughout the  day with temperatures in the mid-70s and winds out of the southeast at around 15 mph.

Los Angeles entered play Friday having dropped five if its last six, including two straight losses to San Francisco. The Dodgers were 20-25 pending Friday's resulton the year and five games behind the Giants in the NL West.

Interleague play has not been kind to LA over the years. The Dodgers have not had a winning record in that department since 2004 and went 4-11 against AL clubs last year.

Consistent run production continues to be one of the Dodgers’ biggest problems. They have managed to score an average of just 2.8 runs per game over their last 10 and are averaging 3.44 runs on the year. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier have combined for 50 RBI and 13 home runs but the rest of the lineup has been spotty at best.

To make matters worse, LA just placed closer Vicente Padilla on the 15-day DL which is another blow to a pitching staff that has a combined ERA of 3.95.

Jon Garland will get the start for Los Angeles. He is 1-3 with an ERA of 3.55 in six previous outings. Garland’s primary problem this season has been run support given the fact that he has given up just 10 earned runs in his last 34 innings pitched.

His last time out against Milwaukee, he went six innings giving up seven hits and two earned runs but got tagged with the loss. Garland pitched for the White Sox for seven seasons and is 45-42 lifetime at Cellular Field.

Chicago comes into this series playing some of its best ball of the year. It has won six of its last eight games including two straight over Cleveland. The White Sox were still eight games behind the surprising Indians in the AL Central standings heading into weekend play.

The White Sox went 15-3 in interleague play last season. This will be the fourth time they have met the Dodgers, winning nine of the 12 games overall and going 5-1 at home. These teams last met in Chicago in 2009 with the White Sox taking two of three.

Chicago will send Mark Buehrle to the mound in this game. The left-hander is 3-3 in nine previous starts and has an ERA of 4.07 and a 1.39 WHIP. His last time out, he gave up seven hits and three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings but came away with the win over Oakland. Buehrle has pitched seven or more innings four times in his last seven starts.

Lifetime against the Dodgers he is 2-1 with a 1.17 ERA.

Offense has been an issue all season long for the White Sox, but Thursday night’s eight-run barrage against Cleveland, their highest run total at home this year, paints a promising picture moving forward. They have now scored 27 runs in their last six wins. Paul Konerko’s two RBI in that game raised his team-high total to 32 and Carlos Quentin’s two RBI raised his total to 26.

Los Angeles is 11-13 as a favorite this season and 9-12 as an underdog. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of its last six games and is 21-21-3 overall.

Chicago is 9-14 as a favorite and 11-11 as an underdog. The total has stayed ‘under’ in three of its last four games and is 19-24-2 overall.

The White Sox should open as a moderate favorite in this game, but stick with Garland to shut down his old team long enough to allow the Dodgers to squeeze out enough runs to get the win.

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