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 2⁄3 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?
Tonight’s matchup between @JustinVerlander & Dylan Cease is rare. From @astros & Per Elias, prior to tonight, the last time opposing qualifying starting pitchers both had sub-2 ERAs & at least 20 starts was on September 11, 1985 when Mets Dwight Gooden faced Cardinals John Tudor.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 16, 2022
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.