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Gamethread: White Sox at Mariners

Yermín Mercedes looks to continue his extraordinarily fast start to the season

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels
Carrying the offense: Yermín Mercedes earned AL Player of the Week by going 9-for-14 with a home run and two doubles. He will bat fifth tonight.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After opening the season with a disappointing series in Anaheim, the White Sox (1-3) are back in action tonight. This game will be the first of a three-game series in Seattle against the Mariners (2-1).

Carlos Rodón will make his first appearance of the 2021 season this evening. Rodón, who was selected third overall by the White Sox in 2014, is beginning the season as the team’s fifth starter. Rodón, a 28-year-old lefthander, has a 4.14 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 4.33 xFIP, and has been worth 7.0 fWAR in his career. Staying healthy has been difficult for Rodón, as he has only pitched 42 13 innings in the past two seasons. This is a trend that hopefully will not continue as the White Sox enter the thick of the contention window.

Justus Sheffield, a 24-year-old lefthander, will start for the Mariners. Like Rodón, Sheffield was selected in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft. As he was drafted out of high school, Sheffield has less major league experience (94 innings), but his performance last season was solid. In 55 13 innings in 2020, Sheffield posted a 3.58 ERA, 3.17 FIP, and 4.27 xFIP. Per FanGraphs, Sheffield was worth 1.6 WAR, a great total considering the length of the season.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

This afternoon, the league announced that Yermín Mercedes was named American League Player of the Week.

Mercedes went 9-for-14 with a home run and two doubles (.643/.643/1.000) during the series in Anaheim. Very well done to Mercedes, and as White Sox fans, his performance has been a thrill to watch. Mercedes looks to continue his rampage tonight, as he will bat fifth and play DH.

On another note, while Tim Anderson is not headed to the injured list, it appears unlikely that he will play in Seattle.

This game will start at 9:10 p.m. CST. NBC Sports Chicago will televise tonight’s game, and I imagine that is where most White Sox fans will be heading. However, ESPN will also air tonight’s game (national coverage on back-to-back nights, crazy stuff). Let’s enjoy the ride, and hopefully, the South Siders will get their second win.