Baseball

Series Preview – White Sox vs. Cleveland: Out For My Own, Out To Be Free

vs.

RECORDS: White Sox 14-18   Cleveland 18-14

GAMETIMES: Monday-Wednesday 5:10

TV: NBCSN Monday-Wednesday 

THEY’RE STILL SHITTY: Let’s Go Tribe

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Ivan Nova vs. Trevor Bauer

Lucas Giolito vs. Jefry Rodriguez

Reynaldo Lopez vs. Shane Bieber

WHITE SOX PROBABLE LINEUP

Leury Garcia – CF

Yoan Moncada – 3B

Jose Abreu – 1B

Yonder Alonso – DH

James McCann – C

Nicky Delmonico – LF

Tim Anderson – SS

Yolmer Sanchez – 2B

Charlie Tilson – RF

CLEVELAND PROBABLE LINEUP

Francisco Lindor – SS

Jason Kipnis – 2B

Jose Ramirez – 3B

Carlos Santana – 1B

Carlos Gonzalez – LF

Jake Bauers – DH

Jordan Luplow – CF

Tyler Naquin – RF

Roberto Perez – C

 

After two consecutive self-immolations against the Carmines, along with three straight losses after a pretty satisfying walk-off win against the title-holders, the White Sox escape town and head to the familiar environs of The Jake. There they’ll find a Cleveland team that is no longer on the AL Central throne as had been custom, and one that has a few too many guys in the infirmary.

The big issues for the Tribe is that two-fifths of their rotation (three if you count Danny Salazar, but that’s iffy) is on the DL and not for a short time either. Mike Clevinger is out until at least June with a back-iotomy, and Cory Kluber has forearm-knack after taking a liner off of it. He’s out at least a month, and could be longer. That has slotted Jefry Rodriguez and Cody Anderson into the rotation, which is clearly a downgrade.

Sadly, the rotation is still being held together somewhat by professional butthead Trevor Bauer, though he is riding the good side of the BABIP Dragon and any market correction on that .221 mark could be violent. He’s giving up line-drives far more than he did last year, and you know about the Cleveland outfield defense. Carlos Carrasco is on the other side of the coin, seeing a 5.00+ ERA even though he’s striking out over 12 hitters per nine innings while walking less than two. You could easily argue that both of their market corrections will even out.

They’ve needed everything they can get out of the starters, because the offense has not clicked into gear at all. In fact, it’s shambolic. Jose Ramirez is hitting .200. Lindor is hitting .229. Jason Kipnis has a 24 wRC+, and he’s been forced into the lineup. Only Carlos Santana is going up to the plate with something other than a side of beef. And with the power show the Twins are putting up, Cleveland is not going anywhere if Lindor and Ramirez at least don’t get back to their MVP-form of yesteryear and probably get some help.

It’s not the funk out of the pen these days either as it used to be. Closer Brad Hand (and his rad band) has been excellent, but beyond that it’s been iffy, though of late old war horses Tyler Clippard and Oliver Perez, along with Adam Cimber, have straightened that out.

The Sox will try and relocate their offense, which produced four runs over the last three games against the BoSox. Hey, sometimes Chris Sale will do that to you but you shouldn’t be getting it up your giggy by Rick Porcello. Ivan Nova against this lineup is probably the definition of a taffy pull, but if he’s going to get right against anyone this would seem to be the time. And hey, two weeks against the Erie Warriors and Blue Jays is better than the Astros and Twins, which await after this.

 

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