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Gamethread: White Sox at Dodgers

South Siders look to snap skid, against a Hall-of-Famer

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers
Andrew Vaughn, burning the basepaths.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox look to snap a three-game losing streak at the back end of tonight’s late slate against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who still find themselves three games back of a surprising Diamondbacks resurgence in the NL West. The White Sox have returned to the comfortable familiarty of 5.5 games back in the AL Central, and three games behind a Cleveland squad whose offense is finally showing some signs of life.

The Dodgers look to take the series tonight with Clayton Kershaw, currently on pace to run a sub-three ERA for the 13th time in 16 major league seasons. Now 35, Kershaw leads the National League with eight wins, and while he no longer has anything resembling an overpowering fastball, he’s fully embraced the “wily veteran” stage of his career, throwing his slider nearly half the time and holding hitters to a .175 batting average against it.

This will be the fifth time in his career that Kershaw has faced the Sox, and first since 2017. He’s got a 2.88 ERA in those four previous starts, working out to eight earned runs in 25 innings pitched. The only one of those four that the Sox one was the first one, a June 2008 contest that was Kershaw’s seventh career start. Here’s what the starting lineups looked like, in case anyone’s interested:

June 26, 2008. What a time.
Baseball Reference

Sometimes I think the world would be a little more utopian if Carlos Quentin had taken a deep breath after missing a pitch in September 2008.

Anyway, here’s what today’s White Sox lineup looks like, highlighted by Andrew Vaughn’s turn for a promotion to the 2-spot, and Eloy Jiménez’s return to the fold after a four-and-a-half game absence.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, are running out what’s more or less their best lineup against righties, minus Max Muncy, who’s hitting just .191 but is tied for third in the NL with 18 home runs. Keep an eye out for more damage from last night’s star, the resurgent Jason Heyward, who’s got a 139 OPS+ with the platoon advantage, as well as the also resurgent J.D. Martinez, who has a 155 OPS+ against same-handed pitchers this year.

First pitch is at 9:10 p.m. CT, and it will be nationally televised on ESPN as well as the typical radio broadcast on WMVP AM 1000.