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San Francisco Giants v Chicago White Sox

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Gamethread: White Sox at Twins

South Siders face off against first-place Minnesota

The White Sox need Dylan Cease to right the ship.
| Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

It’s time for the White Sox to shake off the dirt from these last two series and get it together. Even though the South Siders didn’t get a win yesterday, it was great to see Michael Kopech bounce back from his rough home opener. More often than not, over an entire season, when the starter only surrenders one run, and the bullpen puts up zeros, the Sox will win those games. So let’s put the first 10 games in the rearview mirror and see what our boys can do with the next 10.

In looming roster-move news, Keynan Middleton is at Target Field today with the White Sox, as a roster move is expected. There are some whispers about a bug moving through the clubhouse, but players are rarely put on the IL with the flu; we will update you when more information is available. The Angels selected Middleton in Round 3 of the 2013 MLB Draft. He made his major league debut in 2017 with the Angels, where he spent four seasons. Last season he struggled with ankle, toe, and elbow injuries and only pitched in 18 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks, going 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA in 17 innings. On Jan. 9, 2023, the Sox signed the free agent to a minor-league contract.

Even though it’s a rough Monday after an extended holiday weekend for some, it’s always a great day when Dylan Cease is pitching. Not only is he the best starter we’ve got, but he’s also one of the league’s elite arms. He was magnificent on Opening Day in Houston, earning the only White Sox quality start of the season. Cease matches up well against the Twins, who only own a .134 batting average and .244 slugging percentage against the righty in 90 plate appearances. He also gets a lot of swings-and-misses, with a 35.6% whiff rate. Willi Castro seems to have the best luck versus Cease, posting a .267 batting average, one home run, and two RBIs in 15 at-bats. Also, Carlos Correa is not in the lineup today due to back spasms.

The 6-4 Twins will send righthander Kenta Maeda to the mound, who is entering his fourth season with the Twins. He missed the entire 2022 season due to Tommy John surgery in September 2021. Maeda earned a tough-luck loss in his only outing so far this season despite surrendering just three hits and one run in five innings pitched. In that game, Maeda exited with some arm fatigue but has no limits on returning to the mound today. With an arsenal of five pitches, including a four-seam fastball, slider, splitter, sinker, and curve ball, the Sox look to match up well against him. In 38 plate appearances, they put up a .324 batting average and a .529 slugging percentage. Yasmani Grandal sees Maeda exceptionally well, with a .500 batting average with one home run and three RBIs in eight at-bats.

Here is the starting lineup for the White Sox:

Here is the starting lineup for the Twins:

The game is at 1:10 p.m. CST. Watch on NBCSCHI and listen in at ESPN-AM 1000.

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