Let’s just say it: Ivan Nova has struggled recently. In his last three starts, he has an average FanGraphs game score of 21, including one start at -10. In those three starts, Nova has a 7.65 FIP and a HR/FB rate at 27.3%, so he is getting crushed. Unfortunately, Cleveland hitters have caused problems for Nova in the past. They are slashing .379/.446/.636 against him, with Carlos Santana the biggest worry facing Nova tonight.
Even scarier than knowing Nova is on the mound is that Trevor Bauer will get the start against the Chicago White Sox. Bauer has a 3.57 FIP so far this season, and has been his usual dominant self. He has walked more batters this year than last but he has kept the damage to a minimum in large part because of a .221 BABIP against. Plus, Bauer has been much better against White Sox hitters than Nova has been against Cleveland’s: Sox hitters have a .562 OPS against Bauer, with Yonder Alonso (1.071 OPS) and Yoan Moncada (.896 OPS) both at the top in terms of success against Bauer.
Other than that, it does seem like Bauer and Anderson are loose before the game:
My numbers against you are ugly...so if i get you i gotta flip it homie— T A 7 (@TimAnderson7) May 6, 2019
South Side Sox and Breaking T are plotting to ship a STICK TALK T-shirt to Bauer during the homestand.
Meanwhile, here are the two players filling the gaps in the White Sox roster:
Charlie Tilson leaves Charlotte with a 126 wRC+, including his first home run hit since July 23, 2016. He looks to compete to get time in the outfield; on day one, he starts in right.
5:10 PM CST start on NBC Sports Chicago and 720 WGN radio.