“(Bleep) it, we’re the best team in the American League.”
Take that haters!
Tim Anderson spoke the truth on The Parkins and Spiegel Show on 670 The Score in February. The premonition has come to fruition. The White Sox have won 14 of their last 20 games, hold a one-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central, and have a .606 winning percentage with 20 wins and 13 losses — the BEST in the American League.
Sure, it’s May, and sure, other teams have played more games than the Sox, but where the South Siders stand at this very moment feels incredible for the players and their fans — especially after a decade of playing what can only be described as “losing ball.” Even after the losses of Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez, the Sox have still made it look like they can run away with their division, and quite possibly, the league. (At least to this viewer.)
They continue that push tonight against the Minnesota Twins.
Dallas Keuchel starts for the White Sox tonight. He comes off an impressive no-decision last week against the Cincinnati Reds allowing two hits, one strikeout, three walks, and no earned runs over seven innings. The southpaw had a rough start to the season but has quickly turned it around; over his last four starts, he holds a 2.25 ERA. On the season, Keuchel is 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA and 17 strikeouts. The Twins are batting .244 against left-handed pitching this season. They have taken a dip in the last couple of years from the southpaw-smashing team they were in 2019, but .244 remains as one of the better averages in the league.
J.A. Happ throws for Minnesota. He’s been the most reliable pitcher for the Twins, allowing no more than two runs in each of his five starts. He is 2-0, with a 1.91 ERA, and 16 strikeouts. While he’s been the team’s best pitcher this season ... he also happens to be left-handed. The White Sox lead the league with a .300 batting average against left-handed pitching, and are 7-1 in their last eight games against a left-handed pitcher.
Expect a pitchers duel ... wait, no! Expect an offensive explosion. Wait, no! AHHHHH! *Head explodes*
Chicago’s lineup has a few changes from last night. Adam Eaton and Leury García are sitting. Eaton has had a difficult time against lefties this season, batting .118, so Billy Hamilton will play center field and Danny Mendick flashes his leather in right. Nick Madrigal will follow Anderson in the 2-spot. José Abreu bats cleanup. He is two home runs shy of 100 at Guaranteed Rate Field, tied with Jim Thome for fourth place.
Here’s the lineup:
The #WhiteSox have scored nine-plus in each of their last three games (first time since 7/27-29/15).— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 12, 2021
⏰: 7:10 p.m. CT
: @ESPN1000 pic.twitter.com/HIkoTz224I
Cleveland beat the Chicago Cubs this afternoon, 2-1. A win tonight will keep the White Sox in sole possession of first place in the American League Central. It might just be time to unleash the long ball!
The game starts at 7:10 pm CT. Jason Benetti and Steve Stone call the game for NBCSChicago. Len Kasper and Darrin Jackson are on ESPN 1000. Chrystal O’Keefe has your postgame Six Pack.
So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the southpaw showdown.