After eight games in 2022, the White Sox were 6-2 and leading the AL Central. After eight games in 2023, the South Siders are 3-5. Their starting pitching has an ERA of 6.30, and the bullpen is off to an even worse start, with a 9.62 ERA. The hitting is trying to pick up some slack, hitting well against both righthanders (.274) and southpaws (.333), but when your pitching is that bad, not much can help.
Old friend Vince Velasquez will face off against this struggling Chicago club. Velasquez, who pitched in 27 games for the White Sox last season, signed a one-year, $3.15 million contract with the Pirates this offseason. With the hype videos Pittsburgh provided, you would think they signed an ace. The truth of the matter is the 30-year-old righthander has a 4.94 career ERA. He has pitched 4 2⁄3 innings this season. In his lone start of 2023, he gave up three earned runs on five hits, issued one walk, and struck out three.
If you would like to read up about the pitcher for the White Sox this afternoon, I suggest first you look for a domestic violence organization to support, and then if you still feel like it, you can google his stats.
Pedro Grifol’s lineup continues its consistency tonight. Tim Anderson leads things off at shortstop. After a two-homer game yesterday, Luis Robert Jr. looks to continue to flash his power in the 2-spot. After one week of play, Robert leads the league in WAR, and the team in RBIs and HRs. Andrew Benintendi finds himself back in the 3-spot and in left field after an off-day yesterday. Yoán Moncada looks to extend his seven-game hit streak to open the season, and bats cleanup. While Andrew Vaughn has struggled defensively at first base, to put it lightly, he does have seven RBIs to start the year. Behind him in the lineup is known right-handed pitching killer Gavin Sheets. Yasmani Grandal is behind the plate and batting seventh. Fresh off of his first MLB home run, Oscar Colás is getting back-to-back days in right field, batting eighth. Elvis Andrus is batting ninth and playing second base.
The Pirates are off to an unexpected hot start, with Bryan Reynolds leading the way. The left fielder has hit five home runs in seven games. Derek Shelton lines up his ball club as below:
First pitch tonight is at 5:35 p.m. CST. The game is being broadcast on NBCSC and can be heard on ESPN 1000.