New York Yankees vs Chicago White Sox: Preview, Prediction & Odds -- August 12, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Field of Dreams, Dyersville, IA
Where to watch: FOX

Season-to-date
Yankees: 63-51 (3rd place, AL East)
White Sox: 67-48 (1st place, AL Central)

Projected lineups


Yankees:
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Brett Gardner (L) CF
Aaron Judge (R) DH
Joey Gallo (L) RF
Giancarlo Stanton (R) LF
Luke Voit (R) 1B
Rougned Odor (L) 3B
Andrew Velazquez (S) SS
Rob Brantly (L) C

White Sox:
Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
Andrew Vaughn (R) 1B
Jose Abreu (R) DH
Eloy Jimenez (R) LF
Brian Goodwin (L) RF
Adam Engel (R) CF
Jake Lamb (L) 3B
Leury Garcia (S) SS
Zack Collins (L) C

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: White Sox -160, Yankees +140
BetMGM: White Sox -175, Yankees +145
FanDuel: White Sox -178, Yankees +150

Recent form (entering Wednesday)
Yankees: Won six of last eight
White Sox: 6-4 in last 10

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Yankees - White Sox preview


Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.

But if you build it, the Chicago White Sox will come and play a baseball game in a stadium surrounding corn fields.

Or Kevin Costner will be the manager. We haven’t decided yet.

The White Sox and New York Yankees will face off in the highly-anticipated Field of Dreams game Thursday that will kickstart a three-game series. The stint returns to Guaranteed Rate Field for the final two games on Saturday and Sunday.

The plan was for this game to take place a year ago, but COVID-19 of course shut those plans down. It’s a game two years in the making.

“It's a great idea,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, per MLB.com. “Obviously, a huge movie in American history, and certainly especially, when it comes to our national pastime. So I think the idea, when I first heard about this a couple years ago -- before COVID hit, obviously we were scheduled to go there last year -- there's absolute excitement.”

While there’s nostalgia and wonder if movie cameras will be in attendance, this is an important game for the Yankees in the realms of the American League East standings. New York won 5-2 on Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals to keep them one game ahead of the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays in the wild card realm. They’ve gained some ground on the Boston Red Sox, now 1.5 games back.

The Yankees will go with left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney, who is 7-8 with a 5.45 ERA. The 30-year-old wasn’t even born when the movie came out in 1989.

"I had the VHS tape, I watched it a few times,” Heaney said. “Honestly, [I haven't seen it] since I was a kid. Probably going to rewatch it tonight. Got a night to watch it, I figure that's appropriate."

New York will still have to navigate the foreseeable future without Anthony Rizzo (COVID), and have to hope the offense will still come in hot with Joey Gallo, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge fortifying the middle of the order. There’s still hope at catching the Tampa Bay Rays, but things look bleak as the days go by.

The White Sox don’t have to worry much as far as the standings go. They hold a 10-game lead on the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central despite losing 1-0 to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

Chicago is in that rare position where it can take a few games to iron some kinks out to ensure a seamless transition to October. That +129 run differential, and being the only team in the AL Central to have such a mark, tells you all you need to know about this abomination of a division.

Taking the mound for the White Sox was supposed to be Carlos Rodon, but the 28-year-old breakout star is going on the injured list due to arm soreness. Instead, it will be ace Lance Lynn to face the Yankees. He’s 10-3 this season with a stunning 2.04 ERA. Not too shabby of a replacement for Chicago’s starting rotation.

“It should be interesting,” White Sox closer Liam Hendriks said, per MLB.com. “I’m already planning on trying to get through the [corn] maze. That’s one thing I want to do. I want to get lost in the corn fields a little bit. I think that will be something fun.”

Getting lost in the corn is not something the White Sox want to do, but given how this Yankees team is better than any recent team they’ve faced, they’ll need to play a solid game. Manager Tony La Russa will not be at the game as he attends a funeral for his brother-in-law. Bench coach and former MLB second baseman Miguel Cairo is expected to take his place.

“For us older guys, it probably has a little bit more meaning to be part of something like this,” Lynn said. “That movie, growing up, is one of the ones you watched as a baseball movie.”

It’s bound to be one of the coolest things we’ve seen on TV. We need a prop bet on how many baseballs get lost in the corn.

Trends


It’s hard to constitute this as a “home game” for the White Sox, even though they’ll be batting in the bottom of the first. If you take that into consideration, be aware that the White Sox are 20-5 (+12.4 units) as a home favorite between -125 to -175. At Guaranteed Rate Field, they’ve been terrific. It’ll be interesting to see how they look with a bunch of corn in the stands.

Not many times have the Yankees been an underdog (14), and even less when the moneyline is +125 to +175. The Yankees are 2-2 in those instances this season, and the under is 4-0 in each of those contests. New York has done well against AL Central teams (14-7), but not when Heaney is on the mound. The Yankees are 9-11 in Heaney’s starts, but the over is 14-5. MLB odds are weird.

Meanwhile, the under is 11-7 when Lynn pitches this season. That fastball better be ready to go.

Prediction


This weekend will be a test in seeing if the White Sox are ready for the top-tier teams. While there will be awesomeness to be had for this game, it’s going to be on the national stage; something the White Sox should get used to because the world will be seeing them a lot in October. We favor the pitching matchup here even if it was Rodon. Lynn has been great, and with the bright lights and 8,000 people watching, he should deliver again with this moneyline pick. White Sox win, over cashes.

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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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