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Gamethread: Rays at White Sox

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Two of MLB’s best pitchers are in action for the first game of the series

MLB: Game Two-Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox
Best of the best: Starter Lance Lynn goes up against Tyler Glasnow, and both pitchers are set up to be on this year’s AL All-Star team.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game will not be on national television, but it is certainly a marquee matchup. The Tampa Bay Rays (42-24) enter with MLB’s best record, while the White Sox (41-24) are No. 2, just a half-game behind. Tampa Bay leads Boston by three games in the AL East race, while Chicago leads Cleveland by 5 12 games in the AL Central. The South Siders’ lead in the AL Central is the largest among all division leaders.

On top of how well these two teams are playing this season, the pitching matchup is set up to be a memorable one. Lance Lynn, who is playing exceptionally well, will start for the White Sox. Lynn has a 1.23 ERA, a 2.61 xERA, and a 2.97 FIP in 65 23 innings. Lynn has accumulated 2.0 fWAR, a very high total considering that it is still only June 14.

On the other side, 27-year-old righthander Tyler Glasnow will try to keep the White Sox in check. In 84 innings, Glasnow has a 2.57 ERA, a 2.78 xERA, and 2.85 FIP. Glasnow, whose fastball velocity and curveball spin rate rank in the 94th percentile (Baseball Savant), gets tons of whiffs (12.5 K/9). Glasnow has already accumulated 2.3 fWAR. One of his only weaknesses is that when hitters do manage to put the bat on the ball, it often gets his sharply. But, even with that downside, this will be a difficult test for White Sox hitters.

A late change to the batting order results in the following starting lineup for the White Sox:

Tampa Bay’s starting 10 will consist of the following:

Yoán Moncada has a cold, so he is not in tonight’s lineup. Leury García will take his place at third base.

For a change, the White Sox announced a positive update to a player’s health.

While there is no set date for Eloy’s return to the majors, he is trending in the correct direction with his recovery. The middle of the White Sox’s order is more intimidating when Jiménez is there, so having him back as the season winds down would be a significant win.

Tonight’s game will start at 7:10 p.m. CST, and NBC Sports Chicago will have your TV coverage. As usual, WMVP 1000 AM and WRTO 1200 AM will have your radio coverage. A win would allow the White Sox to surpass the Rays as the team with MLB’s best record. Let’s get it done.