Baseball

Series Preview – White Sox vs. Astros: Bonesaw’s Ready

vs.

RECORDS: White Sox 21-24   Astros 31-16

GAMETIMES: Monday-Thursday at 7:10

TV: NBCSN Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, WGN Wednesday

SONS OF MIKE SCOTT: Crawfish Boxes

PROBABLE PITCHERS

TBD vs. Brad Peacock

Dylan Covey vs. Justin Verlander

Ivan Nova vs. Gerrit Cole

Lucas Giolito vs. Corbin Martin

PROBABLE WHITE SOX LINEUP

Leury Garcia – CF

Yoan Moncada – 3B

Jose Abreu – 1B

Yonder Alonso – DH

James McCann – C

Eloy Jimenez – LF

Tim Anderson – SS

Yolmer Sanchez – 2B

Charlie Tilson – RF

PROBABLE ASTROS LINEUP

George Springer – CF

Alex Bregman – 3B

Michael Brantley – DH

Carlos Correa – SS

Josh Reddick – RF

Yuri Gurriel – 2B

Tyler White – 1B

Robinson Chirinos – C

Jake Marisnick – LF

 

Well I’m sure it was nice for the White Sox to play at their own level for a while with the Blue Jays for seven games over the past 10 days, but it’s straight into the deep end now. The Sox travel to Houston to face that throng of frost giants who like to smash things but good, and then cross the country length-wise to face the division-leading Twins who are something of a diet version of the Astros. Good time to have a bunch of injuries on your pitching staff, huh?

To be fair to the Sox, there just might not be a pitching staff that can deal with the artillery the Astros throw at you every night. They’re second in runs in the majors, behind those previously mentioned Twins. They have the best OBP in the majors by eight points. They have the best slugging percentage. They have the best wOBA as well. Of their eight regulars, only Yuri Gurriel isn’t carrying a wRC+ well over 100, and he’s at 99. Even part-timers Aledmys Diaz and Jake Marisnick are turning baseballs into paste when they’re in the lineup. There’s no break here. Michael Brantley, who I still can’t believe the Indians just let walk out the door considering their outfield options, has an OPS of .933. That’s fourth-best on the team. There is no non-monster in this lineup right now, with the Crawford Boxes beckoning the whole night. It’s a goddamn nightmare for anyone.

But that’s ok, because they have a really strong rotation, too. You’ll know all about Verlander, who will carry a sub-3.00 ERA until he’s 52 for no reason. Gerrit Cole carries the highest K/9 in all of baseball. Wade Miley has been able to parlay the Astros’ superb defense into success (oh right, the Astros catch everything too). Brad Peacock has been just above “meh,” and Collin McHugh actually bad. But hey, no biggie, because two of their top four prospects just happen to be starters, and Corbin Martin has already arrived (though Forrest Whitley has had a rough go so far in AAA so he might not be the sure bet for this year he was before it started). So there’s no break here.

Well, maybe you can get to them in the late innings, right? Fuck you, buddy. Ryan Pressly and Roberto Osuna (aka ASSHOLE), are both carrying ERAs under 1.00. Will Harris is at 1.15. Hector Rondon at 2.30. McHugh and Peacock have both rotated out there in the past and this year with success. Joshua James and Chris Devenski have had their issues, but they’re on the margins, especially when they get the innings they do out of the starters and the creative use of A.J. Hinch. They might not strike out the world as some pens do, but their top four in Pressly, Osuna, Harris, and Rondon barely walk anyone and other than Osuna the other three get a ton of grounders on the contact they do give up. There’s nowhere to go here.

So the Sox having to have a bullpen day to kick this off tonight is less than ideal. Especially when it’s not a fully healthy pen. Giolito will get his biggest test of his new approach and stuff, as will everyone else. Eloy Jimenez looks poised to return as Nicky Delmonico was shipped out yesterday along with his hair care products. Good thing too, because the Sox are going to need a lot of runs to hang in there in Texas this week.

 

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