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Braves vs. White Sox Betting Preview – July 8th, 2016

Tonight’s game between the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field will be a reunion of sorts for the likes of A.J. Pierzynski, Tyler Flowers, Lucas Harrell and Gordon Beckham – all of whom have previously played with the White Sox. Pierzynski had a key role in their 2005 World Series championship win, and Flowers was even their starting catcher up to last year. This will be both teams’ last series before the All Star Break, and here are the odds for fans who bet on baseball:

Braves +1½ (+125) 8 (-110) +285
White Sox -1½ (-145) 8 (-110)

Right-handed pitcher Matt Wisler will start for Atlanta. The 23 year old has worked on his slider, allowing him to achieve 15 strikeouts in 12 innings in his past two starts. He has been charged with three or less earned runs in each of his last four starts. On the other hand, Wisler surrendered three RBI singles on two-strike singles versus the Miami Marlins on Sunday, as well as a season-high 10 hits. Of the current White Sox roster, only Dioner Navarro has faced Wisler, and is 1.000 in three at-bats against him.

Leftie Chris Sale will start for the Chicago White Sox in which will be his last stop before his fifth consecutive All Star game appearance. Sale leads the American League with 120 innings pitched and a 0.98 WHIP, and will attempt to become the first 15-game winner in the first half of the season in the American League since starter David Wells in 2000. At 14-2, Sale leads the MLB in wins. It is not too difficult to see why the White Sox are the MLB betting favorite to win this one.

Having said that, though, the Braves do come from beating the other Chicago team, the Cubs – the team with the best percentage in the NL Central and second best percentage in the National League and the MLB overall, behind the San Francisco Giants. In last night’s makeup game that went into extra innings at Wrigley Field, Flowers hit an RBI single with two outs in the 11th while right fielder Nick Markakis bagged two homers in Atlanta’s 4-3 victory over the Cubs. The Braves will stick around Chicago for the three-game series against the White Sox, and Atlanta fan who bet on baseball will surely hope that they can manage another upset.

However, and to further stress the Braves’ status as the MLB betting underdog, Atlanta is last in the NL East with a 29-57 record and a .337 percentage, 21½ games behind the Washington Nationals. Conversely, the White Sox are third in the American League Central Division with a 44-41 record (.518) and 7 games behind the Cleveland Indians. Which is not something to really brag about, but at the very least they do a have a winning percentage, and that is more than the Braves can say at this point in time.