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Know Your Enemy: Texas Rangers

Catch up on some old friends and take a peek at the pitching matchups this weekend


The White Sox host the Texas Rangers for a three-game set over the weekend, and while this doesn’t promise to provide a ton of crucial preview data for you, hey, you’re here already, have a look.

The White Sox are 26-29 and in third place in the AL Central, five games back of Minnesota, two behind the Guardians for second place, and 3 12 ahead of Detroit, who is left with zero arms but nonetheless have been creeping back out of oblivion of late. Chicago’s -57 run differential indicates two things: Tony La Russa is managing better than last year (by pure run diff, the White Sox should be 21-34), and the Pale Hose are on pace for a 63-99 record for the season (in spite of how atrocious the AL Central is, that record will fall short of the playoffs).

In terms of sheer record, Texas is our closest comp in the American League, in third place in the AL West at 26-30. The Rangers are 9 12 back of the Astros for first, but just a half-game behind the Angels to creep into second. (Yes, it bears repeating, an Angels team that just lost 14 STRAIGHT games still has a better winning percentage than the White Sox.) Texas sports a +5 run differential and a record that should be 29-27, indicating manager Chris Woodward isn’t doing a very good job. Texas projects to an 83-79 record at the moment, which is nice, but still short of the playoffs.

Ex-White Sox Factor

Want to check in on some ex-White Sox? OK.

Marcus Semien has been lambasted in his first Rangers season for low average and starting out with zero power, but he’s up to a 1.1 WAR that would place him second on the White Sox among all hitters. But, we have Josh Harrison so.

Former White Sox farmhand Steele Walker (!) is up with the club and because of the damn trade the White Sox made a few years back we all have to endure endless obnoxious Steele Walker Texas Ranger nonsense ad infinitum. Walker has one hit in 12 ABs, and it was a home run.

Dane Dunning has not been great, and as likable as he is, on a contending team he should not in the starting rotation — maybe not even the 2022 White Sox rotation! He’s 27, so there’s not a lot of ceiling left, in 2020 pitching to a 4.41 ERA and 1.332 WHIP. He will miss the White Sox on this go-around, so there’s no Dane Dunning Revenge Game in Chicago this weekend.

Speaking of ...

Pitching Matchups

It shapes up as a grab-bag pitching weekend for the White Sox. Sure, tonight is a hobo assortment of relievers, as both Texas and Chicago are throwing bullpen games.

Saturday, it’s Lucas Giolito vs. Martín Pérez, and while you might be cackling that we got our ace going on a beautiful Saturday afternoon game, well, Pérez is sporting an 1.56 ERA that doesn’t seem legal. Still, the Rangers have not seen Giolito very well, while — wait for it — Leury García has done superbly (.357) vs. Pérez in a 15-PA sample size. Leadoff, baby!

Sunday we got Miggy Kopech and his 1.98 ERA facing Jon Gray (5.28 ERA) of the Rangers. If there’s win to pencil in this weekend, it’s here. And watch out for AJ Pollock (.385) against Gray.

DraftKings Corner

Hey friends, do you like sports? Do you also like gambling? Well, SBNation and South Side Sox have just the link for you. Stop by and visit the DraftKings Sportsbook and you can learn that before the opening game of the series, the White Sox are -140 on the moneyline and and -1.5/+145 on the run line ... I don’t know what those things mean, but I bet if you click the link you do! Or will!