MLB Thursday Preview: Blue Jays at White Sox, Pirates at Padres

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May 16th, 2019

Toronto Blue Jays (17-25) at Chicago White Sox (19-22), 8:10 p.m. ET

Marcus Stroman (1-6, 3.12 ERA) (TOR) -130 / -1.5 runs (+120) / Over 9.5 runs (EVEN) Dylan Covey (0-2, 5.91 ERA) (CHW) +120 / +1.5 runs (-140) / Under 9.5 runs (-120)

The White Sox turn to a woeful starter in Dylan Covey on Thursday night, but they're worth a play as home underdogs against the struggling Marcus Stroman and the blundering Blue Jays.

Covey is 5-23 in parts of three seasons, with a 6.09 career ERA. However, Toronto's lineup couldn't hit water if it fell out of a boat at the moment. The Blue Jays' batting average in May is an MLB-worst .191. They also tallied just six total runs as they dropped two of three to the South Siders at the Rogers Centre last weekend.

Stroman was unlucky to be 1-3 at the end of April, as he pitched to a 1.43 ERA in his first six starts of 2019. Unfortunately for him he's gone into the tank in May, producing a 7.53 ERA. Look for first baseman Jose Abreu (.836 OPS in May, with a .773 OPS in 22 at-bats against Stroman) to deliver for the White Sox.

MLB Free Play: White Sox moneyline

Pittsburgh Pirates (21-19) at San Diego Padres (22-21), 10:10 p.m. ET

Trevor Williams (2-1, 3.40 ERA) (PIT) +120 / +1.5 runs (-195) / Over 7.5 runs (-120) Eric Lauer (2-4, 5.75 ERA) (SD) -130 / -1.5 runs (+160) / Under 7.5 runs (EVEN)

The Pirates should kick off a four-game series against the Padres at Petco Park with an upset victory Thursday night.

Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams has a .205 batting average against in 10 2/3 prior innings of work against San Diego. In his last five starts overall, Williams has a 5-1 strikeout/walk ratio. The Padres' lineup has one of the worst SO/W ratios in the majors, tallying the fewest walks while striking out the fourth-most times.

Eric Lauer has struggled against the Pirates' top hitters, outfielder Gregory Polanco and first baseman Josh Bell, in previous meetings. The pair is 6-for-11 against Lauer with four RBIs. Bell in particular is scorching at the moment, with a 1.367 OPS in May.

MLB Free Play: Pirates moneyline