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Gamethread: Athletics at White Sox

Lynn looks to shut it down, while Moncada hopes to continue cleaning up in the fourth spot

MLB: San Diego Padres at Chicago White Sox
Lance Lynn is shooting for greater efficiency in his start today vs. the A’s.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Repeat after me:

Seven days until the regular season.
Seven days until the regular season.
Seven days until the regular season.

And before you know it, White Sox baseball is here!

There are six spring training games left for the South Siders, and their bats look to stay red-hot against the Oakland Athletics this afternoon in Glendale. The Sox had a hard time finding their groove early on in the preseason but as Tony La Russa tightens the roster to the team’s regular season starters, it looks like exactly what the fans expected — a powerhouse team that’s going to rock the city of Chicago for years to come.

You may think that’s a bold prediction but, like, have you seen them? The team has gone 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, and even Danny Mendick is hitting monster dingers!

Hot off of a victory against their crosstown rival Chicago Cubs, the Sox look to Lance Lynn to shut down the A’s. Lynn has had a successful spring with 11 23 innings pitched, 2.31 ERA, and 17 strikeouts. The 6´6´´ “Tonka Truck” (a nickname given to Lynn by teammate Dallas Keuchel) is the dependable veteran starter the White Sox have been looking for the last couple of years – Racking up 292 13 innings across 46 starts for the Texas Rangers.

If spring training is any indication of how his regular season will look, we’re all in. He has found himself in a bit of trouble with baserunners this spring allowing nine hits and nine walks, but rarely did they cross the plate. Lynn is expected to be third in the rotation that was officially rounded off today with La Russa naming Carlos Rodón as the No. 5 starter.

The lineup today features a majority of your Opening Day starters, as Nick Madrigal and Yasmani Grandal are back on the field today. Andrew Vaughn gets the DH nod. Yoán Moncada will continue to hit cleanup because it’s ABSOLUTELY working. And with Adam Engel out due to injury and Adam Eaton taking a rest day, Billy Hamilton will start in right field.

Here’s the lineup:

Oakland throws 29-year-old Sean Manaea on the bump. In 6 23 innings this spring, he has a 4.05 ERA and nine strikeouts. Manaea finished the 2020 season at 4-3 with an ERA of 4.50 in 11 starts and pitched one game in the playoffs, taking the loss against the Houston Astros. Fun Fact: He hails from Valparaiso in northwest Indiana — or better yet, White Sox territory.

The Athletics are 10-9 in spring training and are predicted to take the AL West in 2021. Oakland has had a couple of injuries recently, but it looks like Chicago will see a majority of the A’s Opening Day starters as well. These two teams could see each other again in the postseason, but the White Sox have the clear pitching and hitting advantage.

Plus, Liam Hendricks sits in our bullpen now, and with Chicago’s ability to score runs in the late innings, it doesn’t look good for any team.

The game starts at 3:05 p.m. CT. NBCSCH will have coverage, along with ESPN1000. MLB.TV will have the game for its subscribers.

The countdown begins: Seven days until White Sox baseball!