Any time you start think about investing money in a defending World Champion you do so with a great deal of risk as Las Vegas linemakers are going to make you pay a premium to back them.

Case in point is the Chicago White Sox who stunned the world last year when they knocked off the Houston Astros and stormed out of the gate this year, in impressive fashion.

In recent days though the Ozzie Guillen led team have shown some cracks in the armor and when this happens, you can usually look at the pitching staff as the culprit. They have now lost three in a row and both Jose Contreras and Freddy Garcia were both lir up pretty good by the Cleveland Indians.

Garcia leads the team with 7 victories but those numbers are very misleading and this guy barely gets his fastball past 85 mph on a good day. His ERA is 4.57 and he has given up 74 hits in 69 innings. Meanwhile John Garland as usual is giving up a plethora of homeruns, but he is also not striking anyone out with just 33 K’s in 63 innings.

Chicago returns to the friendly confines of US Cellular Field this weekend to host a Texas team that is surging and leads the AL West. The White Sox have lost five of their last six games to the Rangers (28-25) overall, but have won four of the last five meetings at U.S. Cellular Field.

Texas has won five of its last seven contests and leads the AL West by 3 1/2 games over Oakland.

Jon Garland (4-2, 6.25 ERA) is 1-0 with a 2.75 ERA in three home starts this season. He won on the road Sunday, despite allowing five runs and seven hits in six innings of a 7-5 victory over the Blue Jays. Toronto hit three home runs off of Garland, increasing the 26-year-old right-hander’s season total to 16 homers allowed — the second-most in the majors.

The Rangers open their 10-game road trip with 24-year-old right-hander Kameron Loe (3-5, 4.48) taking the mound on Friday. Loe is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two career games against the White Sox.

Garland will have his hands full with the red hot Texas hitters, especially Mark Teixeira who is 10-for-28 (.357) with two homers and three doubles in his last eight games, and is 7-for-16 (.438) with two homers, three doubles and 11 RBIs in his career against Garland.

I look for the White Sox to continue slumping and must lean to the Rangers tonight!