White Sox vs Yankees Picks and Predictions: Avoiding the Juiced Ball

With both starting pitchers among the best in limiting hard contact, we're targeting the Under in combination with a strong night for Michael Kopech and the underdog White Sox. Read more in our Sunday Night Baseball betting picks and predictions.

Last Updated: May 22, 2022 10:19 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Michael Kopech Chicago White Sox MLB
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Tempers were flaring high in Saturday’s matchup between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. Benches were cleared and words were shared both during and after the game, which the Yankees ultimately won 7-5.

The two unfriendly foes are back on the diamond for a double-header, the second game of which will be featured on Sunday Night Baseball.

Will the Yankees build on their MLB-best 29 wins, or will the White Sox get even?

Check out our MLB picks and predictions for the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees on Sunday, May 27 to find out.

White Sox vs Yankees odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Yankees opened as -175 favorites at home but have taken some money which has widened the line. Current pricing ranges between -175 and -190 depending on the book. The total opened at 9 but had dropped to 8.5 at most (not all) books.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

White Sox vs Yankees predictions

Picks made on 5/22/2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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White Sox vs Yankees game info

Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Date: Sunday, May 22, 2022
First pitch: 7:08 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

White Sox vs Yankees betting preview

Starting pitchers

Michael Kopech (0-1, 1.54 ERA): Kopech oddly has factored into just one decision across seven starts this season, and it came in a loss. The youngster has pitched extremely well across 35 innings, sitting with a 1.54 ERA. His 3.01 xERA indicates some regression, as does the discrepancy between his 2.75 FIP and 4.61 xFIP. He’s walking too many batters (4.37 walks per nine) and his strikeouts are way down from a year ago (13.37 KK/9 a year ago, 8.49 K/9 in 2021). Perhaps most strange of all, he has yet to allow a home run this season. He is a good young pitcher with a difficult profile to project — there is a wide range of outcomes.

Luis Severino (3-0, 3.63 ERA): Severino has looked good in his first “extended” stay in the big leagues since 2018. He’s looked fine in his first seven games since returning from various injuries. His 2.73 xERA is well below his actual ERA of 3.63, and he’s maintained mostly solid peripherals. Most of his numbers are in line with the standard he has set throughout his career, so early returns seem to indicate that Luis Severino is, indeed, back.

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

White Sox: Aaron Bummer RP (Probable), Eloy Jimenez LF (Out), Garrett Crochet RP (Out).
Yankees: Ben Rortvedt C (Out), Tim Locastro CF (Out), Chad Green RP (Out), Zack Britton RP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The White Sox are 8-3 in their last 11 road games. Find more MLB betting trends for White Sox vs. Yankees

White Sox vs Yankees picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

There’s a stark contrast in the offensive production between these two ball clubs. The Yankees have been mashing the ball this season, ranking fourth in runs per game (5.00), second in OPS (.749), and first in home runs per game (1.45). This is well above the marks set by the White Sox, who rank 26th in runs per game (.362), 25th in OPS (.645), and 20th in home runs (0.88 per game).

If we were to give a starting pitching edge, a very slight lean would have to go toward Kopech and the White Sox. He has an incredible 1.54 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, and his 3.6% barrel rate is evidence that he’s done a great job limiting hard contact. That being said, he has a truly bizarre profile with many inconsistencies whereas Severino is an established veteran, so we’re considering this one mostly a wash. Kopech’s 3.01 xERA is actually above Severino’s 2.73 xERA this season. 

The Yankees have the better lineup and the better bullpen (2.71 ERA to Chicago’s 4.00 ERA), while starting pitching is somewhat of a wash. 

The Yankees are the rightful favorite, but I’m inclined to lean toward the White Sox as this line felt a tad wide for the second game of a double-header.

Kopech pitched against the Yankees just a week ago on May 15 and allowed only one hit despite taking the loss in a 5-1 game. The Yankees were priced at just -119 in that matchup, but the line has shot up to -190 at some spots for this week’s Sunday Night Baseball. 

Has that much changed in just one week? I don’t see any value in the Yankees' wide price against a good starting pitcher, so I’ll lean toward the juicy underdog odds with Chicago.

Prediction: White Sox moneyline (+165 at bet365)

Covers MLB betting analysis

Over/Under analysis

I agree with the early action on the Under that has dropped this total from 9 at open to 8.5 at current across most books.

Kopech has done a great job limiting contact as indicated by his 3.6% barrel rate. He has yet to allow a home run this season, a mark that will be on the line against a power-hitting Yankees team playing at home. The weather won’t exactly help, as it’ll be a warm night with temperatures in the mid-80s and wind blowing 15 mph out to right field. 

Still, Kopech’s profile is mostly positive and he limited the Yankees to just one hit when he saw them a week ago. Both Kopech (ninth) and Severino (10th) rank within the Top 10 in limiting hard contact. Kopech has allowed only 33 balls hit above 95+ (MLB Statcast’s threshold for a “hard hit” ball), while Severino is right next to him with only 34 allowed.

It’s very rare to find a starting pitching matchup where both teams are sending someone to the mound who ranks Top 10 in limiting hard contact. This game is being played at Yankee Stadium and New York is always capable of an offensive onslaught, but we can’t ignore the factors pointing toward the Under.

There are still some totals at 9 available, so we’re going to grab them before they’re gone.

Prediction: Under 9 (-105 at DraftKings)

Best bet

I wanted to make the Under the best bet for this preview, but there has been some talk of the MLB juicing the baseballs to allow for more scoring on Sunday Night Baseball.

That has me a tad spooked, so I will be looking in a different direction. Kopech’s strikeout rate this season is nearly five runs less per nine innings than it was a season ago. I believe he’s due for some regression in that regard and is facing a Yankees lineup that has plenty of power and therefore strikeout potential.

Even if the rumors of a juiced Sunday Night Baseball ball are unfounded, Kopech would be inclined to pitch around contact more than usual as he faces this powerful Yankee lineup. His strikeout prop is listed at 5.5 with plus money on the Over, so I’m targeting that as the best bet.

Pick: Michael Kopech Over 5.5 strikeouts (+120)

MLB parlays

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