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Gamethread: White Sox at Athletics

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James Shields looks to continue his success into his second start, while Michael Kopech focuses on improving his command

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers
Righties’ Rights: 2018 Opening Day starter James Shields will be only the second righthander to start the first game in the last decade for the Sox.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Time: 3:05 p.m. CST

TV: none

Radio: none

Webcast: whitesox.com

In the first start of the spring for James Shields, he went four easy innings with only one earned run off, you guessed it, a solo home run.

Toward the end of last year and coming into this season, Shields decided it was best to change his throwing angle, and it worked well for him last time out. He showed good command and walked only one batter, with three punchouts. It is probably a farfetched idea that Shields is tradable, but any improvement from Shields in 2018 is welcome.

Normally, this would be Michael Kopech Day, but Shields is the headliner after being named the Opening Day starter. Kopech was roughed up in his last game, allowing five runs in 2 13 innings, without a strikeout. He allowed three walks, and his command was lacking to a point Kopech felt the need to throw a 92 MPH get-me-over fastball (Mark Buerhle would be jealous).

Xavier Cedeno is the other pitcher slated to appear today and Joakim Soria, Juan Minaya, and Danny Farquhar will pitch in the minor league game.

The Oakland Athletics will trot out 20-year-old pitcher Jesus Luzardo to start today’s game. The lefty is the second-best prospect in the A’s system, and 60th overall according to MLB Pipeline, after one season in rookie and low A ball. In the 43 13 combined innings at both levels, Luzardo finished with 48 strikeouts and a 1.66 ERA.

Here is the Chicago White Sox lineup today against Luzardo:

These are the hitters the Athletics are going with against Shields, Kopech, and Cedeno: