Hi, it’s me again. Tonight the Chicago White Sox have another late-night, West Coast matchup, this time against the Oakland Athletics. This is an important four-game set, as are the rest of the games from this point on. Taking three or four games from this series is ideal, and that starts that with a win tonight.
Tony La Russa is also looking to be back with the team as early as next week, but there is nothing confirmed as of now.
For another AL Central update, the Minnesota Twins lost both games of their doubleheader against New York last night, and tied 2-2 with the Yankees in the sixth inning. As of right now, the Twins and White Sox are tied for second place in the division. The Cleveland Guardians lost against the Kansas City Royals yesterday, but are off tonight before visiting Minnesota for a weekend series.
Who better to have on the mound to close the gap in the division than Dylan Cease?
If only by virtue of staying healthy, Cease may now have moved into favorite status for the Cy Young, holding a 13-6 record with a 2.13 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. In his last outing against the Twins ... well, we know how that went. Just a remarkable performance, although the no-hitter was broken up with two outs in the ninth inning. The game before that, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cease only allowed two hits. So if everything goes as planned, tonight he will allow no hits! In all seriousness, It’s amazing to watch him grow each and every game, and hopefully he can continue his dominance through the end of this season.
The South Siders will face lefty JP Sears, who has a 5-1 record, 2.37 ERA, and 1.11 WHIP. He made his MLB debut this season with the Yankees in July, before being dealt over to Oakland as part of the Frankie Montas trade. Sears reported to Triple-A, but was recalled by the A’s in August. He has had solid outings the last few times out, and went six innings with six hits, two runs, and five strikeouts last week against the Baltimore Orioles. Sears uses three pitches, with his fastball being the go-to, at 61.3%. He follows with a slider (23.1%), and changeup (15.6%). In other words, if the White Sox can get a hold of Sears’ fastball, we should expect some solid contact at the plate tonight.
Elvis Andrus will continue to lead it off, followed by Yoán Moncada and José Abreu. Red-hot Eloy Jiménez will serve as the DH, followed by AJ Pollock and Andrew Vaughn in the outfield corners. Romy González gets the start at second, Seby Zavala is behind the plate, and Adam Engel is in center.
Game time is at 8:40 p.m. CT. Watch on NBCSCHI and listen in at ESPN 1000.