Chicago Southside

White Sox Series Preview: Pennant Push Intensifies as Twins Come to Town

The White Sox woke up with the best record in the American League today, but their pennant race intensifies tonight when they open a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins.

The Chicago White Sox have the best record in the American League on this day. A year ago, for some, this was all a dream. But in 2020, it is the reality of this White Sox team and rightfully so.

A big difference from this season and past season is the ability put away teams at the bottom of the league especially those within the division. In past seasons, these games would bring complications and be a struggle to win.

This past weekend, Sox concluded their season series against the Detroit Tigers with a sweep. The White Sox went 9-1 with a +42 run differential versus the Tigers. It’s highest winning percentage since the Sox went 19-3 (.864) in 1920.

White Sox still have 14 games to go and they are all being played in consecutive days. A true test is about to be embarked on by the Southsiders. They begin it with a four game series at home facing the Minnesota Twin.

This season, White Sox are just 2-4 and have been outscored 43-28. They will need to

Mound Matchups

  • Monday, 7:10 CT: RHP Dylan Cease (5-2, 3.33) vs. RHP José Berríos (4-3, 4.40)
    • This Cease’s first start of 2020 vs. Twins. He is 0-2 with a 10.71 ERA in two 2019 starts. He’s given up 13 runs in just seven innings with three home runs allowed.
      • Jake Cave- 1/2 with a home run.
      • Nelson Cruz- 3/4 with four RBI and a walk.
    • Cease is 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA in three starts at home this season.
    • White Sox have seen Berríos twice already. His last start vs. Sox, he went six innings, allowing just one earned run, and eight strikeouts.
    • Berríos has been successful against the White Sox during his career. He’s is 12-2 with a 2.69 ERA and a 9.5 strikeouts per walk ratio in 16 starts
      • His wins vs. Sox account for 25.5 percent of his total wins.
    • Ricky Rentaria is not starting James McCann again vs. Berríos for reasons unknown. McCann is 8 for 24 with two doubles, four home runs, and 10 RBI vs. Berríos in his career.
  • Tuesday, 7:10 CT: RHP Dane Dunning (1-0, 2.70) vs. RHP Randy Dobnak (6-3, 3.61)
    • This will be Dunning’s first start against Minnesota.
    • He has yet to give up more than three runs in a start and has a 9.5 K/9 ratio.
    • Dobnak faced the White Sox back on July 25. He allowed just one earned run in four inning but took the loss.
    • Dobnak has given up five or more runs in two of his last three starts.
    • White Sox hitters are hitting .348 in 23 at-bat vs. Dobnak.
  • Wednesday, 7:10 CT: RHP Lucas Giolito vs. TBD
    • Giolito has struck out 82 batters in just 60.1 innings this season.
    • Coming off his no hitter, Giolito went five innings allowing two earned runs and striking out eight against Twins on August 31.
    • Nelson Cruz was 6 for 12 with three home runs against Lucas Giolito but went 1-5 with four strikeouts last time out. Now he’s 6 for 17 with 7 strikeouts
  • Thursday, 1:10 CT: TBD vs RHP Kenta Maeda (5-1, 2.43)
    • Maeda leads the league in WHIP (0.737) and H/9 (5.0).
    • Maeda has yet to give up more than three runs in a game.
    • Luis Robert hit his first career home run off Maeda on July 26.
    • Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, and Yoan Moncada are 0 for 10 with two strikeouts and a walk vs. Maeda.

Side note: Dallas Keuchel is supposed to return for this series. He is expected to fill in one of the “TBD” spots.

Who’s Hot

  • Jose Abreu- 5/12, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, BB, 3 K in DET series.
  • Tim Anderson- 6/12, 2 RBI, 4 R, K, HBP in DET series.
  • Eloy Jimenez- 7/12, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, BB, K in DET series.
  • Yoan Moncada- 6/15, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 K in DET series.
  • Reynaldo López- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, BB, 2K, WIN in DET series.
  • Matt Foster- 1 G, 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 K in DET series.

Who’s Not

  • Danny Mendick- 1/5, R, 2K in DET series.
  • Luis Robert- 1/7, RBI, R, K, SF in DET series.
  • Steve Cishek- 1 G, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, K in DET series.

Final Thought

The year was 2008 and it was the last time the Chicago White Sox tasted the playoffs. While the playoffs are very likely at this point in the season, this upcoming series will bring a playoff atmosphere to the south side of Chicago.

Just one game separates the two teams and both want be at the top of the division at the end of the day. Twins have a constant thorn in the side of the White Sox but 2020 has shown anything is truly possible. For any success for the Sox, the pitching needs to pitch at their highest level while the offense needs to continuing trending upwards and limit their strikeouts and grounding into double plays.

Expect a intense, edge of the seat games this week between the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins.


Featured Photo: Jordan Johnson / USA TODAY Sports


1 comment on “White Sox Series Preview: Pennant Push Intensifies as Twins Come to Town

  1. i agree with your synopsis.

    i wonder about Kopech now. I realize he opted out. I wonder if his surgically repaired arm would be beneficial now. I wonder how he will be dealt with upon his return by a team that might also wonder about it when they needed him? I think that would be an interesting story line.

    i am pulling for my team of 50+ years. I am glad to see rebuild efforts coming to fruition. I realize pitching is suspect.
    I also realize that winning it all this year will always have an asterisk by it, perhaps with negative stigma because of it.

    Thanks for providing what you do, it is fun to read.

    Like

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