Two teams limping into the playoffs get set for game one of their AL Wild Card series as the Chicago White Sox (35-25) visit the Oakland Athletics (36-24) on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. Two weeks ago, it looked like Chicago was going to be the top seed in the American League, but they ultimately finished second in the AL Central. Oakland was in the terrible AL West and easily won the division by seven games. This game will air live on ESPN at 3:00 p.m. EST.
Oakland is a slight -117 favorite to win this series. You can get Chicago at -106 to advance to the ALDS.
Chicago has been bad since the middle of September as they lost nine of their last 11 regular season games. The White Sox finished the regular season by losing two of three to Cincinnati, getting swept in a four-game series by Cleveland, and losing two of three to the Cubs.
Oakland also had a rough end to the regular season as they lost five of their final eight games. The Athletics finished the regular season by losing two of three to the Dodgers and splitting a four-game series with the Seattle Mariners.
Below is my pick for the Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics. All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Chicago White Sox (-130) at Oakland Athletics (+112)
Pitching Matchup: Lucas Giolito (4-3, 3.48 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) vs Jesus Luzardo (3-2, 4.12 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
Lucas Giolito had good 2020, but September was his worst month of the season, so he will look to build off a strong final start of the year. Last time out, Giolito allowed four hits and two earned runs in six innings of work against the Cleveland Indians. In September, the righty allowed 16 hits and 11 earned runs in just 23.2 innings of work.
Jesus Luzardo had a rough 2020 and September was just another example of that. It looked like Luzardo was going to have an OK season in August, when he allowed 27 hits and 11 earned runs in 27.0 innings pitched, but the wheels have fallen off a bit in September. Luzardo has allowed 25 hits and 13 earned runs in 25.0 innings pitched in September.
First baseman Jose Abreu had a fantastic offensive season as he led the American League in slugging and RBI’s, and was top five in OPS, batting average and home runs. Shortstop Tim Anderson was second in the AL batting race.
The only notable offensive player for Oakland this season was first baseman Matt Olson who finished in the top seven of both home runs and RBI’s.
MLB Predictions: I am going to back the Oakland Athletics in game one.
2020 Picks Record: 57-39