Welcome y’all, it’s Country Music Night at the ballpark, as the White Sox (28-35) take on the Marlins (35-28) in the opener of this three-game series. The Sox split the doubleheader yesterday with the Yankees and are now in third place in the AL Central, only 3.5 games back of the now under-.500 Minnesota Twins.
Onto the Marlins: The Fishes are hot, hot, hot, winning six in a row and eight of their last 10. The Sox hitters face Eury Pérez, who last time out against the A’s pitched five innings of shutout baseball with five Ks on the night. The 20 year-old hasn’t pitched more than five innings all season, so don’t expect a long outing, but do expect little to no runs while he’s out there as the 6´8´´ righty has a 2.25 ERA so far in 24 innings pitched. They also have contact machine Luis Arráez, who is hitting .403 so far this season.
Dylan Cease starts it for the Pale Hose, boasting a not-very-great 4.63 ERA on the season. His previous outing against the Tigers wasn’t terrible, giving up a run in 5 1⁄3 innings and striking out six en route to a no-decision. His 2023 season is not at all what anyone hoped, but maybe having a good outing against a now-contending Marlins team is just what he needs to rebound.
The lineup shakes out a little more like it usually does after that doubleheader yesterday. Jake Burger is in the 6-spot, but his 1.242 OPS and 11 home runs at Guaranteed Rate Field suggest he should be higher up in the lineup. A struggling Tim Anderson leads off once again and one would have to question why he and Andrew Benintendi are at the top of the lineup given their lack of production and .265 and .266 batting averages.
Can the Sox catch some Fish this evening? Or will that pointy Marlin nose burst their bubble in trying get closer to first in the worst division in baseball?
First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. CT, broadcast is on NBC Sports Chicago and ESPN AM 1000.