Baseball

Series Preview – White Sox vs Tigers: Amongst The Rubble

vs.

RECORDS: White Sox 7-10   Tigers 8-9

GAMETIMES: Thursday 12:10, Friday 6:10, Saturday and Sunday 12:10

TV: WGN Thursday and Sunday, NBCSN Friday and Saturday

SPARKY’S SPAWN: Bless You Boys

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Ivan Nova vs. Tyson Ross

Carlos Rodon vs. Jordan Zimmerman

Ervin Santana vs. Daniel Norris

Reynaldo Lopez vs. TBD

PROBABLE SOX LINEUP

Leury Garcia – CF

Yoan Moncada – 3B

Jose Abreu – 1B

Yonder Alonso – DH

Eloy Jimenez – LF

Tim Anderson – SS

Welington Castillo – C

Yolmer Sanchez – 2B

Ryan Cordell – RF

PROBABLE TIGERS LINEUP

Josh Harrison – 2B

Nick Castellanos – RF

Miguel Cabrera – DH

Niko Goodrum – 1B

Jeimer Candelario – 3B

Dustin Peterson – LF

Gordon Beckham – SS

Grayson Greiner – C

Jacoby Jones – CF

 

The Sox are seeing the two other sides to the rebuilding troika of the AL Central this week. After taking two of three from the Royals at home, the Sox will head to Detroit for the first time on the season. The Tigers are supposed to be a year or two or three behind the Sox in their recycle, yet are a game ahead of them in the current standings. But nothing other than the Marlins being an affront to nature is working out as it was supposed to yet.

The Tigers though are at least speeding to where they’re supposed to be. They’ve lost four in a row and five of the last six, after getting off to a hotter start than anyone would have guessed. And the offense would seem to be the big culprit. They’re last in all of MLB with their 45 runs scored, or just over two per game. There are only three semi-regulars producing at even above average at the moment, and one of them is Gordon Beckham and his hair that can never die. Niko Goodrum is taking advantage of his first everyday role, and a pretty high walk-rate of 15%. But other than that, there’s nothing here. Even Ervin Santana might find safe-haven here working through this lineup. Miggy Cabrera just might make you cry…well, Sox fans will probably really enjoy the decrepit version of one of their greatest tormentors. Josh Harrison literally has a wRC+ of 0. He technically doesn’t exist. The Tigers would be just as good sending no one to the plate as they are sending Harrison right now. It would be equal. He’s already been worth -0.5 WAR. In 17 games. That’s….that’s just amazing.

The rotation has held it together for now, but is taking some serious hits. Matt Moore was lost for the season a few days ago with knee-knack, and Michael Fulmer never made the bell. Jordan Zimmerman takes up space as he kind of always has the past five years, and Tyson Ross is also here in his role of “Official Seat-Filler For Subpar Teams’ Rotations.” The Sox will miss either or both of Matthew Boyd and Spencer Turnbull, who have done most of the good work so far, though one could go Sunday. Daniel Norris, who is somehow only 25, will slide back into the rotation after coming out of the pen for the start of the year. If you can’t tell Norris, Ross, and Zimmerman apart, no one will blame you. If you can…well, you may want to think about some changes in your life.

The Tigers are carrying the third best bullpen ERA in the AL, even though they have the 10-lowest strikeout-rate and middling walk numbers. You can go up to get a beer when Daniel Stumpf comes in, as not much will happen. He’s striking out nearly 15 hitters per nine innings, but he’s also walking nearly five. The fielders can all work on their arm-balances when he comes jogging in.

As for the Sox, they’ll begin their post-Daniel Palka era in right field, which we know you’re excited for. Palka was punted back to Charlotte after his only good game, which seemed a tad cruel but entirely justified. Ryan Cordell will be the first to start out there, and 27-year-0lds coming up from the minors are definitely always worth paying attention to. Carson Fulmer is also up to replace Lucas Giolito on the roster.

Grey weekend in Detroit. Just seems right.

 

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