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Gamethread: White Sox at Rangers

The South Siders begin a key four-game set in Texas and look to do the impossible: Win three games in a row

Cleveland Guardians v Chicago White Sox - Game One
Johnny Cueto looks to stay dominant as the White Sox continue to chase Cleveland and Minnesota in the division race.
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

After a rough series opener against Kansas City, the Chicago White Sox (53-51) were able to bounce back and secure the series win to go 4-2 on the homestand.

How, they travel into the land of 98% humidity to take on the 46-58 Texas Rangers. Recently, it’s been quite the struggle for the South Siders to actually win the first game of the series, but now that they are back above .500, maybe they are turning a new leaf? Perhaps it was Jake Diekman this team needed all along.

The last time the White Sox were even two games above? When they were 6-4, on April 20. After some very in-depth and exhaustive research (conspiracy theories in my brain), the likely cause of our downfall was Dallas Keuchel’s outing that day —old friend alert! — where he gave up 10 runs in two innings against the Guardians, evidently casting a spell on the White Sox, causing them to essentially forget how to baseball, and go on to lose another six games. That, my friends, was the real trade deadline move: Eliminating Dallas off of the roster. Rick was just way ahead of us this whole time.

Never forget:

Johnny Cueto (4-4) and Yasmani Grandal are the battery tonight to (hopefully) power the Good Guys to THREE games above .500. Cueto has been a phenomenal addition this year, coming in as our “fifth” starter due to early-season injuries, and becoming one of our most reliable pitchers. He now has a 2.86 ERA and a 4.20 FIP throughout his 14 games, and while he may not strike a lot of guys out (60 in 88 innings) he also doesn’t walk them very often, with a 2.25 BB/9 rate (6.2% walk rate). And for reference, Dylan Cease and Lucas Giolito are more in the 3.5-4/BB range (8-10%). Let’s hope the Sox can actually give their pitcher some run support tonight.

Attempting to end a three-game skid, Cole Ragans is on the bump tonight for the Rangers, making his major league debut after a few rough years recovering from Tommy John surgery and a subsequent UCL tear. He was quickly promoted to Triple-A this year, posting a 3.08 ERA throughout his 18 minor league starts in both Double-A and Triple-A, also racking up 113 strikeouts while walking 31. Ragans is a lefty, against whom one would assume the White Sox might be able to hold their own; however, they also have a bad habit of making unknown or middling pitchers look like All-Stars.

The South Siders will look to “King of August” José Abreu to stay red hot as we ease into the month. José is showcasing that the month of August should be changed to “Abreu,” because it’s clear he owns that month now.

Eloy Jiménez has been taking José’s lead, barreling into the this series and just absolutely crushing the ball. Over the last two weeks, José and Eloy are slugging .543 and .747, respectively, combining for five doubles, six homers, and 16 RBIs. Eloy has truly been exceptional, slashing .459/.475/.757, amounting to a ridiculous 1.232 OPS. And don’t sleep on Gavin Sheets, as he has boasted a strong .891 OPS over his last eight games. With Luis Robert back in the lineup after being out with a virus, this will be the first time that the White Sox “core” (Robert, Anderson, Moncada, Abreu, Grandal, Jiménez) will make a start together since the 2021 playoffs. Who needs trade deadline acquisitions?!?

Let’s take a look at the Rangers lineup tonight.

You can find the game broadcasted in its usual places: NBCSCH and AM 1000 radio. Let’s get three in a row!