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Old 08-20-2006, 11:49 PM
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Default Baseball Betting Pick - Chicago at Detroit

Chicago White Sox (73-50) at Detroit (79-45)

The White Sox and Tigers kick off a critical three-game series at Comerica Park, with Chicago’s Jose Contreras (11-5, 3.78 ERA) slated to face Justin Verlander (14-6, 3.14) in this contest.

Detroit leads the White Sox by 5˝ games in the A.L. Central, but Chicago leads the season series 9-3, including a three-game sweep in the Windy City last weekend, during which the Sox outscored the Tigers 16-6.

The White Sox have followed up a five-game winning streak by losing five of their last seven, while the Tigers have lost three in a row and nine of 12.

One start after pitching a complete-game three-hitter in a 5-0 victory over the Tigers, Contreras got absolutely torched by the Royals, allowing seven runs and 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings, losing 10-4 at home. The White Sox are just 2-5 in Contreras’ last seven trips to the mound, with the righthander allowing four earned runs or more in four of the five losses.

Contreras is 4-3 with a 4.54 ERA in 11 starts on the highway. He’s 8-3 with a 3.01 ERA in his career against Chicago, including 3-1 with a 1.45 ERA in four starts this season. Two of those games were in Comerica Park, where Contreras gave up three runs in 15 innings.

Verlander is enduring the toughest stretch of his rookie season, as he’s lost his last two starts after going 7-0 in his previous eight outings. He’s allowed nine earned runs and 19 hits in 11 innings in the two losses, including a 5-0 setback to Contreras and the White Sox back on Aug. 11. In fact, Verlander has struggled big-time against the defending champs, going 0-3 with a 9.88 ERA. Also, he’s allowed more than three earned runs in just eight of his 25 starts, including all three games against Chicago.

Verlander is 7-2 with a 3.28 ERA at home.

The under is 6-2 in Contreras’ last eight starts against the Tigers (4-0 this year) and 2-1 in Verlander’s three games against Chicago.

The over is 8-2-2 in Chicago’s last 12 road games, but the under is 7-3-1 in the team’s last 11 overall. Also, the under is on a 9-3-1 run for Detroit, and 24 of the last 30 series meetings have stayed low, including 11 of 12 this year.

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