With an amazing 43 runs in their past five games (OK, not quite as amazing when you consider the opposition, but still ...), the White Sox look for their sixth straight win in Detroit today. Dallas Keuchel will be on the mound, and oddsmakers like their chances.
The Tigers, meanwhile, will be trying to tame the brand-new-to-MLBers Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger and relative old-timer Andrew Vaughn, who combined for five hits and four RBIs last night. They’re using a lefty to try to accomplish that, which may make it difficult.
Detroit southpaw Tyler Skubal actually has about even splits, with lefthanders having a higher batting average but lower OPS against him. (Tyler Skubal, you must admit, is a terrific baseball name.) He has a huge, seven-pitch, repertoire, none of which emulate Tug McGraw’s or Fernando Valenzuela’s most noted delivery, but Skubal does include a change and a splitter, which could have movement that justifies calling one of them the Skubal Screwball, which I hope Jason and Stoney do at least twice.
Skubal, who uses his four-seamer about half the time, followed by a slider and change, is 4-7 with a 4.06 ERA, but threw seven innings of one-hit ball against the Astros last time out. He’s faced the White Sox twice this year, giving up just four hits and one run and striking out 11 in five innings for the win the first time, and getting a no-decision with a bare-minimum “quality” start the next (perhaps you can tell I have disdain for such “quality starts”).
The White Sox lineup will be without Yoán Moncada, still out with a bruised hand, and Yasmani Grandal, who felt calf tightness last night and left the game, but all three of the Baby Sox are in.
Keuchel will be facing a Detroit lineup that is last in the American League in both runs per game and OPS. But it did manage to put up 16 runs in 14 innings of a doubleheader Wednesday, albeit against a Cleveland staff that is pretty much down to putting uniforms on hot dog vendors. In his one start against the Tigers this year he gave up one earned run in six innings, which was followed by a bullpen collapse that meant a narrow 9-8 win. Surprisingly, he’s only 4-3 against Detroit in his career.
You’d think Keuchel would have faced Miguel Cabrera roughly 65,814 times, but it turns out it has only been 26, and Cabrera is 4-for-21 with five BBs and five Ks against him. Keuchel has had problems with Jonathan Schoop and Jeimer Candelario, each with a .375 BAA.
First pitch is slated for 3:10 p.m. Central. NBCSCH on the idiot box, WMVP 1000 on the boombox.