The Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox entered the week between 5 1/2 and six games off the pace in their respective division races and will look to young starters for a Memorial Day win in the Windy City.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago White Sox (-145, 8.5)
White Sox starter Michael Kopech has shaken off a disastrous April with a good month of May, having allowed two runs or fewer in four of his five starts this month with a 1.93 ERA and 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings. However, walks continue to be an issue.
In his five starts this month, Kopech is still issuing 3.7 walks per nine innings and overall this season has a 4.24 ERA with a 5.64 FIP, allowing 1.9 home runs and 4.5 walks per nine innings.
The walks are concerning as they can elevate a pitch count quickly and press a bullpen that owns the second-worst ERA among the 30 MLB teams into action.
Kopech also has to face an Angels lineup that is third in the American League in road batting average and fourth in the American League in home runs while being backed up by an offense whose lack of discipline might be costly.
On Monday, the Angels are giving the start to Griffin Canning, who has a 4.95 ERA with walks being a big issue of his, collecting 7.4 strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine innings.
Fortunately for Canning, the White Sox are drawing a walk on just 6.5% of at-bats, the lowest rate among MLB teams.
The Angels also entered the week ninth in the league in bullpen ERA and with the White Sox 23rd in runs per game, the Angels will lend Canning enough support to get a road win on Monday.
The Play: Angels +125