After a thrilling victory against the Royals, the White Sox (24-15) are back in business tonight in Minneapolis. This will be the first of a three-game series against the Twins (13-25), and it is the first of a six-game road trip.
Dallas Keuchel will start on the mound for the South Siders. Keuchel’s most recent start was also against the Twins, and although he picked up the win, it was not a strong performance. In five and two-thirds innings, Keuchel allowed six runs (all earned) on eight hits. In 43 2⁄3 innings this year, Keuchel has a 4.53 ERA, 4.67 FIP, and a 4.62 xFIP, making him a 0.3-WAR pitcher.
For the second time in the past week, going up against Keuchel will be left-hander J.A. Happ. In 31 2⁄3 innings this season, Happ has a 4.26 ERA, 4.21 FIP, and a 5.52 xFIP. As a result, he has been worth 0.3 WAR, according to FanGraphs. During his 15-year career, the former Northwestern Wildcat has accumulated 21.7 WAR. Happ struggled even more than Keuchel did the last time they faced each other. In three and one-third innings, Happ allowed nine runs (all earned) on nine hits. The White Sox have crushed left-handed starters since the beginning of the 2020 season, but Happ had an even tougher time than most.
Since Opening Day of 2020, the White Sox are 21-2 in games where the opposing starting pitcher is left-handed (22-2 including the postseason). The White Sox are hoping to continue this trend tonight.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
José Abreu had quite the eventful series against Kansas City, and it ended on an extremely high note. However, due to an injury, he is not in the starting lineup tonight.
White Sox say José Abreu will miss Twins series with left ankle inflammation suffered during his slide into home plate yesterday. X-rays were negative. MRI showed inflammation. They expect him to play in New York— James Fegan (@JRFegan) May 17, 2021
Best wishes to Abreu as he recovers from this ankle injury. It is a relief that he is expected to return to play after the series in Minnesota.
Nick Madrigal, who had a strong April (.369 OBP), is having trouble so far in May (.200 OBP). Madrigal finds himself batting second, and like most White Sox, his numbers are better against left-handers. Hopefully, he can break out of the slump tonight.
It has been an exciting season, and the White Sox earned some recognition, being named MLB’s top team in the latest power rankings.
First pitch is scheduled to take place at 6:40 p.m. CST. NBC Sports Chicago will televise it, and WMVP 1000 AM will have the radio coverage. Can the White Sox get their 25th victory already? Tune in to find out.