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Gamethread: Astros at White Sox

This one is shaping up to be a pitcher’s duel for the history books

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals
Tough task: Dylan Cease puts his 1.96 ERA on the line, and he is facing a team whose starting pitcher is putting his 1.85 ERA on the line.
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Things look a bit better than they did a few days ago, when the White Sox (60-56) lost three out of four against the Royals (48-69). Since then, the South Siders have won four consecutive games. Extending the streak to five will be tough, however, as beating the Astros (75-42) is no easy task.

Dylan Cease, 26, will start on the mound for the White Sox. Cease enters this game with a 1.96 ERA, a 2.60 xERA, and a 2.75 FIP in 128 23 innings. As a result of those excellent numbers, he has accumulated 3.6 fWAR. Incredibly, Cease has not allowed more than one earned run in a start since May 24. In his 14 starts since then, Cease has a 0.66 ERA and a 2.75 FIP. Hitters are slashing only .172/.266/.252 against him in that time frame, so yeah, he has been good.

Justin Verlander, 39, will start for Houston. This is shaping up to be a memorable pitching matchup, as Verlander is also having a terrific season (no surprise there). Verlander has a 1.85 ERA, a 2.90 xERA, and a 2.91 FIP in 136 innings, rendering him a 4.0-fWAR pitcher. Throughout his career, Verlander has made 46 starts against the White Sox, and he has a 3.72 ERA in those games. So, the White Sox have done better than most teams against Verlander, who has a career ERA of 3.26.

How historic is this pitching matchup?

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

The first pitch is scheduled to take place at 7:10 p.m. Central. As usual, NBC Sports Chicago will televise the game, and WMVP 1000 AM will have the radio coverage. Can the White Sox win their fifth game in a row? We will find out soon.