The White Sox aim to guarantee at least a series split with a win over Cleveland on Tuesday. It’ll be a tall task, with reigning AL Cy Young Shane Bieber on the mound for Cleveland (29-24) in a battle between the top two teams in the AL Central. The White Sox (33-21) hold a 3 1⁄2 -game division lead after Monday’s doubleheader split.
Dylan Cease (2.98 ERA, 3.25 FIP) makes his first start against Cleveland this season, coming off of a promising May where he seemingly found his footing. Last month, Cease sported a 3.00 ERA, 1.185 WHIP and 37-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 27 innings (five starts). He reached double-digit strikeouts twice in May, and lasted at least five innings in all but one start. His strong month has put him in the 92nd percentile in whiff rate (36.3%) and 80th percentile in strikeout percentage (30.3%) among major league pitchers. Cleveland sits 29th in OBP (.291), so it’s another chance for Cease to work deep into a game and try to go toe-to-toe with Bieber.
For Cleveland, Bieber (3.13 ERA, 2.94 FIP) seems to always find another gear when he faces the White Sox. In 10 career starts against the South Siders, he owns a 2.67 ERA, 1.047 WHIP, 85 strikeouts and 15 walks. This season, he tossed nine shutout innings to outduel Lucas Giolito in a 2-0, 10-inning Cleveland win. Bieber was more pedestrian in May, with a 3.64 ERA in 29 2⁄3 innings, but the White Sox’s struggles against right-handed starters are well-documented. Scoring opportunities are hard to come by against Cleveland’s ace, and the White Sox need to take advantage whenever they’re given a chance.
Leading that charge will be José Abreu, who today was named the AL Player of the Week. He slashed .375/.483/1.191 with two homers and 10 RBIs to help the White Sox finish 6-1 against the Cardinals and Orioles.
MVP doing MVP things.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 1, 2021
José Abreu has been named American League Player of the Week for May 24-30, his sixth career weekly honor! pic.twitter.com/28jTxlHEMV
Here are today’s lineups:
NBC Sports Chicago will televise the game, and WMVP 1000 AM will have the radio coverage, while Ashley Sanders has the Six Pack of Stats. The game will start at 5:10 p.m. CST.