Earlier today, the Sox announced several roster moves:
The South Siders kick off a six-game homestand tonight, hosting the AL West-leading Texas Rangers for the next three games. Texas comes to town with a 44-27 record and arguably one of the best offenses in all of baseball. Their overall team batting average is .272, with an outstanding league-leading .341 OBP. That’s a lot of traffic on the basepaths, and if there’s anything we know for sure about the 2023 Chicago White Sox, it’s that the pitching staff allows a plethora of baserunners. If there was a good time to face the Rangers, though, it’s now, as they’ve lost seven of their last eleven games.
Tanner Banks heads to the bump tonight with a spot start. Seeing as he just pitched on June 16, it seems his role tonight is most likely that of an opener. The 31-year-old has spent the majority of 2023 pitching for Triple-A Charlotte. He is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 11 2⁄3 innings over six appearances with the big league club. He didn’t fare very well in his outing against the Mariners last Friday, surrendering two runs on three hits in 2 2⁄3 innings and getting the loss. Banks faced Texas in two relief outings last season and gave up two earned runs on one hit and five walks over four innings. Of the current Texas players, Adolis García is the only one with a hit off of Banks. The Rangers can expect to see a four-pitch mix from Banks: 4-seam fastball (43.9%), slider (23.8%), curveball (16.5%), and changeup (15.9%).
Opposite Banks, the Rangers will send Andrew Heaney to the bump. The veteran signed a two-year, $25 million deal with Texas as a free agent this past off-season. Heaney has struggled a little in his last three outings and exited his previous start on June 14 after only 3 2⁄3 innings. Overall, in his 13 games this year, he’s 4-4 with a 4.05 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 66 2⁄3 innings. Throughout his career, he has made seven appearances against the Sox, and he is 3-1 with a 5.45 ERA. Of the players in the South Side lineup, he’s faced Elvis Andrus the most. Andrus has been successful off of him, going 9-for-29 with three home runs and a double. Heaney relies on four pitches: 4-seam fastball (58.1%), slider (22%), changeup (19.8%), and curveball (.1%). Hopefully, the Good Guys can knock that four-seamer around tonight!
Here is the starting lineup for the White Sox:
Here is the starting lineup for the Rangers:
The game is at 7:10 p.m. CST. Watch on NBCSCHI and listen in at ESPN-AM 1000. Additionally, Héctor Lozano and Ozzie Guillén have the Spanish broadcast tonight on NBCSCHI+.