Baseball

Series Preview: White Sox at Rangers – Mystery Men

  VS

Records: White Sox 35-37  / Rangers 40-35

Gametimes: Friday/Saturday 7:05  Sunday 2:05

TV: NBCSN

Where The Buffalo Roam:  Lone Star Ball

Probable Starters:

Reynaldo Lopez vs Ariel Jurado

Odrisamer Despaigne vs Lance Lynn

Chevy Nova vs Adrian Simpson

PROBABLE LINEUPS:

RANGERS

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – DH
  2. Delino DeShields – CF
  3. Elvis Andrus – SS
  4. Nomar Mazara – RF
  5. Willie Calhoun – LF
  6. Asdrubal Cabrera – 3B
  7. Rougned Odor – 2B
  8. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  9. Jeff Mathis – C

 

WHITE SOX

  1. Leury Garcia – CF
  2. Tim Anderson – SS
  3. Jose Abreu – 1B
  4. James McCann (C/DH)
  5. Eloy Jimenez – LF
  6. Yoan Moncada – 3B
  7. Zack Collins (C/DH)
  8. Yolmer Sanchez (2B)
  9. Ryan Cordell (RF)

 

The Sox travel to the deep south this weekend after their backwards split with the North Siders in the middle of the week.  Down in Arlington they find a team that…should not be.  The Rangers currently sit in 2nd place in the AL West despite what was supposedly a rebuilding year for them, especially after a dead last finish the previous season.  Looking at the Rangers lineup, there really is no reason for them to be in 2nd place, or in wild card contention yet here we are.  Baseball is weird sometimes.

Their two biggest additions this past offseason were Lance Lynn and Hunter Pence, two guys who were expected to be just that.  Guys.  Position fillers until they’re either moved at the deadline for future assets, or placeholders until the next generation shows up to take their jobs.  They certainly weren’t expected to be doing what they’re currently doing.  Lance Lynn is the 2nd best pitcher in the entire league according to Fangraphs, and Hunter Pence (before he exploded his groin a few days ago) was expected to compete for an All Star spot in a crowded AL outfield.  Pence’s OBPS currently sits at a goofy .962, almost .200 points higher than his career average.  While Lynn’s peripheral stats suggest that this year might actually be sustainable, Pence’s ones really do not.

After those two, the monsters were supposed to be Joey Gallo and Elvis Andrus.  Gallo was tearing his way to an MVP level season before being felled by an oblique issue a few weeks ago.  Andrus continues to be what the Rangers hoped he would be, continuing his pseudo-breakout season from 2018.  He hits for pop, and plays well enough defense as to not be worried every time a ball shoots his way.  Shin-Soo Choo continues to be the most consistent thing about this roster, despite entering into his 37th year of existence.

The Rangers rotation is basically Lynn and Mike Minor, then a bunch of spare parts (sound familiar?). Minor is having an excellent year, and the pair of them are basically dragging the rest of the rotation into normalcy.  The bullpen is constantly in flux, as is the closer role.  Jose Leclerc was supposed to continue his breakout season from last year, but instead started off the year giving up somewhere around 389 earned runs.  Shawn Kelley has taken the reigns, but not to the point that Leclerc has been removed from the conversation.

The Sox come into the series after an ass backwards split with the Cubs that saw Ivan Nova and not Lucas Giolito hold the Cubs bats at bay.  The most concerning thing that came out of the series is that it seems Ricky Renteria is continuing his tradition of pushing his players to play through injuries.  Yoan Moncada has outright said that his back is more painful hitting from the right side, yet there he was Wednesday night being part of a double switch and attempting to bunt.  Leury Garcia is clearly nursing some type of lower body injury, as he doesn’t have his usual explosive speed and first step.  It brings to mind the dumbshittery Renteria pulled with Avi Garcia and his knee last season.

At any rate, if the Sox want to take this series the bats are going to have to be they way it’s done, as the combined ERA of all 3 Sox starters requires a TI-82 to calculate.  The Rangers lineup might not look threatening, especially missing Gallo and Pence, but they’ve been making it work all season.  Time to solve the puzzle and take 2 of 3 because you know O-Driss is gonna give up 9.

LETS GO SOX

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