Baseball

Series Preview – White Sox vs. Twins: Monkey Knife Fight

vs.

Records: Twins 61-40   White Sox 45-54

Gametimes: Thursday & Friday 7:10/Saturday 6:10/Sunday 1:10

TV: Thursday/Friday/Sunday NBCSN – Saturday WGN

Ozzie Guillen’s Kryptonite: Puckett’s Pond

Pitching Matchups:

Jose Berrios vs. Lucas Giolito

Michael Pineda vs. Dylan Cease

Martin Perez vs. Chevy Nova

Kyle Gibson vs. Dylan Fucking Covey Again

PROBABLE TWINS LINEUP

  1. Max Kepler – CF
  2. Jorge Polanco – SS
  3. Nelson Cruz – DH
  4. Mitch Garver – C
  5. Marwin Gonzalez – RF
  6. Eddie Rosario – LF
  7. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
  8. Luis Arraez– 3B
  9. Miguel Sano – 1B

 

PROBABLE WHITE SOX LINEUP

  1. Leury Garcia – RF
  2. Yoan Moncada – 3B
  3. Jose Abreu – 1B
  4. James McCann – C
  5. Ryan Goins – SS
  6. Jon Jay – LF
  7. AJ Reed – DH/Appetizers
  8. Yolmer Sanchez – 2B
  9. Adam Engel – CF

 

Here we go again with these guys. Since the last meeting between the two rivals, the Sox and Twins haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory. The Twins have gone 9-10 whilst the Sox shit all over themselves post-ASB to the tune of 6-10. The Twins come into the series having given up approximately 3,000 runs to the Yankees while scoring 2,900 in a series where the Bronx took two of the three. The Sox did the opposite, giving up hardly anything to the Marlins but not hitting anything after the first night win.The Twins could really use a series win to turn their fortunes around, and the Sox could use a few wins to build momentum of their own after gagging out two losses against one of the league’s worst teams.

The Twins come into the series as one of the hotter hitting teams in the AL. Unfortunately for them, the Regression Monster has come home to roost for their starting rotation, which has been giving up as many runs as the Twins have been blasting out. Jake Odorizzi, Martin Perez, and Michael Pineda have all seen their ERA rise dramatically in the past few weeks. Even staff ace Jose Berrios has had a few rough outings of his own, though not to the extent of the other three. Kyle Gibson is the trend breaker, as he was never that good to begin with so he didn’t have that far to fall.

Like I mentioned above, the offense for the Twinkies has been carrying them to most of their wins. Polanco, Cruz, Rosario, and Kepler have been banging out hits at an alarming rate, and Miguel Sano has cut his strikeouts and gotten his OBP up to more respectable levels to go along with his considerable power. The Twins are still missing wunderkind Byron Buxton, who’s been banished to the dark room with a case of brown brain after making yet another highlight reel diving catch in center field. CJ Cron, who had been having a pretty solid year as well, goes back on the IL with more thumb issues, forcing Sano into the field and a call up for prospect Luis Arraez. Arraez has acquitted himself pretty will to the MLB level so far, sitting with a .379 average and over .900 OPS. Granted its a small sample size with less than 150 at bats under his belt, but still not too shabby.

The Sox on the other hand are having trouble putting the bat on the ball, despite the nine-run outburst Monday night against the Fish. They’ve struck out 32 times as a team in the last three games, and that’s with facing only one real quality pitcher in Caleb Smith. The starting rotation has improved, with the exception of Dylan Covey, who is unable to make it through an opposing lineup more than 1.5 times per night. This could be helped with an opener, but alas this is a bridge too far for Renteria who just wants you off his lawn. Yoan Moncada is the only player hitting consistently right now, as Abreu is scuffling and regression seems to have come for McCann. Eloy and Anderson can’t get back here fast enough to provide some protection for these guys. Lucas Giolito and Berrios go head-to-head Thursday night in a marquee pitching matchup for Guys Who Are Really Good But ESPN Doesn’t Know Who They Are. Dylan Cease gets his first stiff test of a lineup that can put any of your mistakes into orbit, so control of his fastball his going to be key. Nova is Nova, so lets just hope everybody hits for him again.

Taking the series or even splitting with Minnesota would go a long way to washing the taste of dirt out of the Sox collective mouths after the Miami series. If it’s gonna happen, Giolito is gonna have to be on his game tonight and set the tone. Lets go Sox, get me some more beers.

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