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Gamethread: Twins at White Sox

A tussle between the third- and fourth-place teams in the AL Central. No, really.

MLB: Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox
Haven’t we dealt with enough literal/metaphorical rain clouds this year?
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins’ playoff hopes are quickly fading. Since beating the White Sox on April 12 to move to 7-4, they’ve lost 12 of their last 15 games and dropped 6 games back in the Wild Card race. It’s still early May, but they’re digging a hole. And they’re not losing one-run games either—they’ve been outscored 104-55 over that 15-game stretch. Things are not going well, so I guess that makes two of us. Tonight, Reynaldo Lopez will try to continue their misery.

Lopez has been by far the best White Sox starter through the first five turns of the rotation. That doesn’t mean he comes without any questions, though. That sparkling 1.78 ERA masks a 4.47 FIP and 5.27 FIP. His xwOBA allowed is .329, which is right around league average, and he’s walked a batter every other inning. Will those grisly peripherals come up and bite him?

Jake Odorizzi has basically the exact same peripherals, just with more than twice the home run rate. He’s fifth among qualified pitchers in dingers per 9 innings (1.97), and dead last in ground ball rate. Expect a lot of balls in the air, and hope that the humidity and 17 mph wind can carry a few out for the Sox offense. There’s also lightning in the forecast starting around 9:00, so we’ll see how much baseball we can squeeze in.

Steve Stone is MIA for this series, so Jason Benetti and Tom “Wimpy” Paciorek are together in the booth for the first time since 2016. Let’s see how that sounds.

Here are the lineups. The Sox’s does not include Yoan Moncada, who’s still feeling the effects of that slide yesterday: