The White Sox (22-13) have sole possession of first place, and it is September 1. Let’s take a moment to allow that to sink in.
After a mediocre 10-11 start, the White Sox have rattled off 12 of their last 14 to surge into the AL Central lead. Tonight, Dallas Keuchel will take the mound for them, and so far, that free agent signing is working out very well. Keuchel enters with a 2.70 ERA, 3.23 FIP, and 3.76 xFIP. Those numbers render him a 1.1 WAR player, per FanGraphs.
The Twins (20-16) have lost six straight, but they have a strong lineup, and they are still in the AL playoff picture. 31-year-old right-hander Michael Pineda will start on the mound for Minnesota, and this will be Pineda’s first appearance of the season. For his career, Pineda has a 4.04 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 3.50 xFIP, and 16.0 fWAR across six seasons and 826 innings. The White Sox have not hit him well (2.88 ERA against him, White Sox slashing .222/.260/.411). However, those following the White Sox are quite aware that the 2020 team has a much stronger lineup than the White Sox of the 2010’s.
Tonight’s starting lineups are as follows:
Like Pineda, Yolmer Sánchez will also make his first appearance of the 2020 season. Yoán Moncada is being rested, and with Danny Mendick in a bit of a slump (.200/.226/.420 in his past 14 games), it will be interesting to see what kind of production Sánchez can bring.
The game will start at 7:10 CST, WGN 720 will have the radio coverage, and it will be televised on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network. Can the White Sox get to 23-13 against a tough Minnesota squad? We will find out soon.