Chicago White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Aug. 22, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 1:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Where to watch: NBCSCH, Bally Sports Sun, TBS

Season-to-date
White Sox: 72-52 (1st place, AL Central)
Rays: 76-48 (1st place, AL East)

Recent form
White Sox: 5-5 in last 10
Rays: 7-3 in last 10

Projected lineup


White Sox:
Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
Brian Goodwin (L) CF
Jose Abreu (R) 1B
Eloy Jimenez (R) DH
Yoan Moncada (S) 3B
Andrew Vaughn (R) LF
Jake Lamb (L) RF
Danny Mendick (R) SS
Seby Zavala (R) C

Rays:
Randy Arozarena (R) RF
Nelson Cruz (R) DH
Austin Meadows (L) LF
Yandy Diaz (R) 1B
Wander Franco (S) SS
Brandon Lowe (L) 2B
Manuel Margot (R) CF
Mike Zunino (R) C
Joey Wendle (L) 3B

Probable starting pitchers: Reynaldo Lopez (CWS) vs. Chris Archer (TB)

Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Rays -125, White Sox +105
BetMGM: Rays -125, White Sox +105
FanDuel: Rays -132, White Sox +112

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White Sox - Rays preview


The Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox will conclude their three-game series of the two best teams in the American League at Tropicana Field on Sunday.

The excitement has not fallen short in this series through two games. Chicago took the opener 7-5 in 11 innings on Friday, while the Rays bounced back to win 8-4 on Saturday.

Tampa Bay got a solid outing from rookie pitcher Luis Patino for his third win of the season. Patino had five strikeouts in six innings of work. Brandon Lowe continued his career offensive season with two RBI, giving him 74 on the season. Manuel Margot also had two RBI in what was a 2-for-4 day.

The Rays, still with the best record in the American League,  will turn to a familiar face as the starter for the potential series win; two-time All-Star Chris Archer will make his return off the 60-day IL. Archer, in his second stint with the Rays, has only one start this season, back on April 10 against the New York Yankees. He threw 2.1 innings of scoreless ball before being pulled.

Archer was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2018 after playing the first six seasons of his career with Tampa Bay, which leads the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East by four games.

The White Sox ran into a motivated Rays club after Friday’s thrilling victory, and they got to Dallas Keuchel quickly. The veteran starter gave up six runs in five innings of work while on the mound for the afternoon game. 

Despite nine hits, the White Sox run production took a dip. Eloy Jimenez went 1-for-4 with two RBI, but no one else in the top half of the lineup was able to produce. Chicago left four runners on base and was 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

The White Sox will turn to red-hot Reynaldo Lopez to go for the series win. The 27-year-old reliever-turned-starter is 2-0 through three starts with a 1.08 ERA.

Betting trends


Chicago is 9-15 as an underdog this season, with the over cashing 11 out of 20 times.

Tampa Bay is 29-16 when the moneyline is -100 to -150 in its favor. The Rays are also 33-14 in day games this season.

Prediction


This series has lived up to the hype so far. As much as the Rays winning would be fun for narrative purposes, we can’t trust Archer in his first start in four months to deliver the goods. If there’s a time for the White Sox bats to come alive, this is it. White Sox win 9-6.

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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