A pair of division leaders square off in an interleague tilt on Monday when the St. Louis Cardinals visit the Chicago White Sox. Another thing the teams have in common is Tony LaRussa, who returned to the Sox bench this season for a second stint after a successful run with the Cards. LaRussa last managed in the bigs a decade ago when he won his second World Series title with the Cards and third overall.
Many questioned the hiring of LaRussa at his advanced age saying he might be out of touch with today’s player. That hasn’t been the case so far with the White Sox holding down the top spot in the AL Central despite getting swept by the Yankees over the weekend.
The interleague battle takes place on Monday, May 24, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET from Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, IL. The game will air live on ESPN.
St. Louis Cardinals vs Chicago White Sox Odds
Money Line: St. Louis Cardinals +133 | Chicago White Sox -154
Season So Far
The NL Central is in flux leaving the Cardinals as the favorite to win the title again. Their lead is the largest of any team as they embark on a 10-game road trip that also has them playing the D-Backs and Dodgers. Just a month ago the Cards were two games under .500, but they’ve gone 18-9 since April 21 to go up 401 units on the moneyline for the season.
The addition of Nolan Arenado was supposed to spice up the offense and while he’s hitting .291 with a team-best 10 home runs, the Cards are in the middle of the pack with 4.4 runs per game (15th) and a .234 team batting average (18th). They cashed the OVER in five of their last seven games and have gone over the closing number in 21 of their first 45 games.
Not long ago the White Sox had the best record in the Majors. They still lead their division but they are licking their wounds following a sweep at the hands of the Yankees, Chicago’s first three-game losing streak of the season. The Sox are widely considered one of the best teams in the AL and MLB, but they are facing adversity for the first time and the schedule doesn’t get any easier. Everything that could go wrong did in the Yankees series. The Sox lost two games in walk-off fashion and were blown out in the other. They also dropped four of their last five games to tighten things up in the AL Central.
With one of MLB’s top offenses and a rotation that goes five deep the Sox won’t endure many prolonged slumps. They average more than five runs per game and boast a team batting average of .254 to rank fourth in both categories, and they have the sixth-best team ERA at 3.33. The teams met three times last season with the Cards winning twice.
If anything Kwang Hyun Kim (1-1, 2.73 ERA) should be ready to go after lasting only 3.1 innings his last time out. He allowed only two hits but he walked three and was touched for four runs, one earned, in a loss to the Padres. It was the Cards’ first loss in a game he started this season. The walks are a concern for a crafty pitcher with impeccable control. He issued only one free pass over 13.2 innings of his first three starts but he’s walked seven in 12.2 frames in his past three outings.
We also shouldn’t expect a lot of innings from the lefty since he hasn’t completed six innings this season and averages less than 5.0 innings per start. His home/road splits are pretty drastic, too. His 3.86 ERA in three road starts is over two runs higher than his ERA at home. It’s also easy to see why Kim hasn’t lasted very long in his outings. He holds opponents to a .196 average the first time through the lineup with that number jumping to .310 the second time through.
The Cards drafted Lance Lynn (4-1, 1.55 ERA) in 2008 and he spent six seasons with the club before leaving as a free agent. He anchors a Sox starting rotation that boasts the fifth-best ERA in the majors at 3.02. He’s been consistent allowing more than two earned runs just once in his seven starts and pitching to a 1.12 ERA over his last three outings. He tossed his second career shutout allowing just five hits with 11 strikeouts against Kansas City on April 8.
Lynn allowed two runs on a pair of homers over 6.0 innings last time out and didn’t factor in the decision ending a three start winning streak. He’s allowed just 28 hits over 40.2 innings for a nifty 0.98 WHIP with 47 strikeouts.
Cardinals vs White Sox Predictions
Our picks: Chicago White Sox -154 and UNDER 8
The Sox have been a much better team on their home turf and they are seething after getting swept by the Yankees. They are too good for a prolonged losing streak and with Lynn on the hill they should stay close until the offense busts out. And it’s a good group with the fourth-most runs scored in MLB.
Check out the latest MLB odds.