MLB Baseball: Chicago White Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays Preview, Prediction & Odds -- 8/26/21

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 3:07 p.m. ET
Venue: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Where to watch: NBCSCH, SNET, SNET-1

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: White Sox -135, Blue Jays +115
BetMGM: NL
FanDuel: NL

Season record (entering Wednesday)
White Sox: 73-54 (1st place, AL Central)
Blue Jays: 65-59 (4th place, AL East)

Frank Sawyer is on an 8-of-10 MLB Game of the Month/Year run after delivering his 25-star MLB Tuesday ESPN Game of the year with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Frank is on a 24-of-33 All-Sports run, and now 17-of-23 with MLB. Check out Frank’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

White Sox - Blue Jays preview and analysis


Recent form (entering Wednesday)
White Sox: 5-5 in last 10
Blue Jays: 3-7 in last 10

The Toronto Blue Jays are in the grave, and the baseball gods are reaching for the shovel.

Premature burials are never the right play in sports, but things are starting to look bleak. If they’re not covering them fully, at least start trickling the dirt.

It’s taken a span of 18 days for the Blue Jays to go from 6.5 games out in the American League East, to now 12 games back. Now, the Blue Jays have to somehow salvage this four-game series against the Chicago White Sox if they want to keep hope alive.

The series finale is Thursday at Rogers Centre, with the Blue Jays and White Sox splitting the first two entering Wednesday. Toronto took Monday’s game 2-1, while the White Sox roared back Tuesday with a 5-2 win.

Toronto’s offense has taken a nosedive since George Springer went on the 10-day IL with a Grade 1 knee sprain. The Blue Jays have scored five or more runs only twice in the seven games he’s missed, and have lost five of seven in that stretch.

Springer was on a tear since returning from his first IL stint. He was batting .282 and hit 13 home runs as Toronto’s leadoff man, setting the tone for the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Marcus Semien and Teoscar Hernandez.

But without that pop, it’s affected Toronto’s place in the standings. The Blue Jays are 5.5 games back of a wild card spot, and have seen the Seattle Mariners make a run and close in on the Boston Red Sox’s spot.

The White Sox continue to coast in the American League Central race, entering Wednesday 10 games clear of the Cleveland Indians for first place. Chicago got four of five RBI on Tuesday from reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu in a 3-for-5 game. Seven of the nine batters had at least two hits.

Despite the White Sox leaving 12 men on base, they got seven strong innings from starter Dylan Cease, who had seven strikeouts while allowing one earned run. Cease, the 25-year-old in his third MLB season, outdueled Jose Berrios after he got rocked for nine hits in three innings for Toronto.

It would appear the White Sox aren’t in the running for the top record in the American League anymore after the Rays took two of three over them this past weekend, but the bats are showing they can travel at the right time.

Offensive analysis


In a matchup that should shine based on the talent at the plate, the pitching has dominated thus far. Nevertheless, runs should be coming in any time now, given we’re watching two top-10 teams in terms of RBI in the league. Toronto became the sixth team this season to reach 600, while the White Sox are a nine-spot away from getting there.

Defensive analysis


The White Sox rotation may be the most underrated in the league. Cease joined ace Lance Lynn with his 10th victory Tuesday, while Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel have also put together solid seasons in the 3-4 spots. Chicago’s 3.67 team ERA is seventh best in the league.

Toronto still has a quality rotation after adding Berrios from the Minnesota Twins, with Robbie Ray in a career year and Hyun Jin Ryu being a solid No. 2. If they could get enough from rookie Alex Manoah, Toronto has a rotation built for years to come.

Prediction


The Blue Jays are in must-win territory. If Springer returns Wednesday, that could be a needed boost. We’ll bank on this and the Blue Jays getting a much-needed win. Blue Jays win 7-5.

Betting trends


The under has cashed in five of the last six meetings in Toronto, 6-0-1 overall.

The under is 6-1-1 in the White Sox’s last eight against a lefty.

Players to watch


White Sox: Shortstop Tim Anderson did not play the first two games due to a leg injury, and his presence was missed at the top of the lineup. Anderson has batted .320 with five homers in August with a .573 slugging percentage.

Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. continues his Triple Crown chase. He might not get there, but the Toronto star is making an MVP case with 36 home runs, a .308 average and is closing in on 100 RBI.

Projected lineup


White Sox:
Tim Anderson (R) SS
Yoan Moncada (S) 3B
Jose Abreu (R) 1B
Eloy Jimenez (R) DH
Luis Robert (R) CF
Andrew Vaughn (R) LF
Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
Leury Garcia (S) RF
Seby Zavala (R) C

Blue Jays:
Bo Bichette (R) SS
Marcus Semien (R) 2B
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (R) 1B
Teoscar Hernandez (R) RF
Corey Dickerson (L) DH
Alejandro Kirk (R) C
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (R) LF
Josh Palacios (L) CF
Santiago Espinal (R) 3B

Statistical leaders


White Sox:
Batting average: Tim Anderson (.303)
Hits: Tim Anderson (135)
Home runs: Jose Abreu (26)
RBI: Jose Abreu (96)
Stolen bases: Tim Anderson (17)
Wins: Dylan Cease & Lance Lynn (10)
Saves: Liam Hendriks (29)
ERA: Lance Lynn (2.20)

Blue Jays:
Batting average: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.308)
Hits: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (140)
Home runs: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (36)
RBI: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (96)
Stolen bases: Bo Bichette (19)
Wins: Hyun Kin Ryu (12)
Saves: Jordan Romano (12)
ERA: Robbie Ray (2.79)

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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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