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Gamethread: White Sox at Blue Jays

Lance Lynn looks to help the South Siders open their series up north with a win

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
Redo: Though Lance Lynn pitched admirably last time he faced the Blue Jays, he got a no-decision due to some poor luck.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping two out of three in Tampa against the Rays (77-48), the White Sox (72-53) head north of the border to face the Blue Jays (64-58).

Lance Lynn will start on the mound for the South Siders, who have a 9.5-game lead in the AL Central. Lynn enters with a 2.26 ERA, 2.63 xERA, 3.28 FIP, and 3.2 fWAR/4.5 bWAR. There is still over a month left, but Lynn finds himself among the frontrunners of the American League Cy Young race. This will be Lynn’s second start against Toronto this season. In the first one, which took place on June 9, Lynn pitched seven innings and only allowed one run. He struck out nine batters and did not issue any walks. Despite that masterpiece, the White Sox lost that game by a score of 6-2 due to a poor performance by the bullpen.

Alek Manoah, a 23-year-old rookie, will start for the Blue Jays, and this will be his second career start against the White Sox. His first was that game on June 9, when he pitched five innings, allowing two runs (one earned). The right-hander struck out four while issuing two walks. Manoah enters play with a 3.34 ERA, 3.47 xERA, 4.06 FIP, and 0.7 fWAR/1.3 bWAR. Manoah’s four pitches are a four-seam fastball (which he throws 36% of the time), a slider (27%), a sinker (27%), and a changeup (10%). Manoah is good at limiting sharp contact, as his average exit velocity allowed is in the 87th percentile among MLB pitchers.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Unfortunately, Tim Anderson remains out of the starting lineup. All White Sox fans hope that he will make a quick return, as the All-Star shortstop is having a great season (.303/.330/.460, 3.4 fWAR/3.8 bWAR).

Considering the 9.5-game lead entering tonight’s game, this is good news and probably understandable.

This afternoon, James Fegan made the following announcement:

Indiana Hoosier Jonathan Stiever surged up the prospect rankings during his excellent 2019 season. Unfortunately, he was unable to continue his positive momentum during 2020, when there was no minor league season. This season, Stiever has pitched almost exclusively in Triple-A Charlotte, where he has not exactly set the league on fire (5.84 ERA, 4.54 FIP, 4.51 xFIP). The good news is that Stiever had a strikeout rate of 10.7 K/9, and the inflated ERA is partially a result of the hitter-friendliness of Truist Field. Best of luck to Stiever with his recovery, and we hope to see him making an impact with the White Sox soon.

Also, Jared Kelley, who was probably the best second round pick of the 2020 draft on paper, is fighting the injury bug. However, it seems likely that he will return to play in 2021. Let’s hope that turns out to be the case.

The first pitch is scheduled to take place at 6:07 p.m. Central. As usual, NBC Sports Chicago will televise it, and WMVP 1000 AM will have the radio coverage. The last time the White Sox got 73 wins in a season was 2016 (72 in 2019, followed by an odd year, to say the least). Time to get that elusive victory.