Friday night will feature an American League showdown as the Texas Rangers (9-10) do battle with the Chicago White Sox (9-9). The White Sox will host this one at Guaranteed Rate Field, with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 pm ET.
This will be a three-game series between the two, and both teams should be well-rested after enjoying an off-day on Thursday.
The Rangers come into this series playing some decent baseball. They took two of three from the Los Angeles Angels in their last series and have now won three of their last four. On Wednesday, they beat the Angels 7-4 behind a quality start from Mike Foltynewicz.
The White Sox have also won three of their last four, including an 8-5 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday. In the win, the White Sox slugged four home runs, including two from reigning A.L. MVP Jose Abreu. After their game was postponed Wednesday, Chicago actually enjoyed back-to-back days off.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Rangers’ starter Dane Dunning (1-0, 0.60 ERA). He was traded this offseason from Chicago to Texas in the Lance Lynn deal. On Friday, he will look to take down his former club.
The White Sox have not officially announced their starter, although the expectation is that it will be righty Dylan Cease (0-0, 3.86 ERA) taking the mound. In his last outing, a 7-4 loss to the Red Sox, Cease went just under five innings allowing two earned runs and striking out six.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the White Sox hold a big advantage. They currently rank sixth in the majors in scoring, averaging 4.94 runs per game. The Rangers fall to 21st averaging 3.89 runs.
Defensively, it is again Chicago with the edge. They rank 10th in runs allowed per game at 4.17. The Rangers rank 15th, allowing opponents 4.47 runs.
Rangers Out To Prove They Are Better Than Expectations
While the Rangers are just 9-10, they are still within striking distance in the A.L. West. Despite their start, there still aren’t too many people expecting them to do much this season as they are still just +11000 to win the division. For the Rangers, they hope to prove the naysayers wrong.
Leading the way on offense for Texas is the first baseman, Nate Lowe. He is currently hitting .254/.346/.493 with a team-leading five home runs and seventeen runs batted in.
Nick Solak has also performed admirably, hitting .279/.380/.471 with four home runs and nine runs batted in.
While these two have hit well, the Rangers would love to see the power come alive in outfielder Joey Gallo. Always considered a true three-outcome player, he has the walks (20) and the strikeouts (23), but he only has a single home run to date. The Rangers still await a power surge from the slugger.
White Sox Want To Find Consistency
At 9-9, the White Sox are probably fortunate to be in second in the A.L. Central and just a game and a half behind the Royals. At +100, they are still expected to win the division, but they need more consistency in all facets of the game.
Offensively, the team has been led in the power department by Jose Abreu and Yermin Mercedes, who both have four home runs apiece. Abreu and Adam Eaton lead the team in runs batted in with fourteen.
While many of the White Sox are finding their stride at the plate, they would still love to get third baseman Yoan Moncada rolling. In 60 at bats, he is hitting just .200/.310/.283 with a single home runs and eight runs batted in.
Have To Like White Sox To Win
While it is certainly possible that Dane Dunning has a “revenge game” against his former team, the smart bet still seems to be on the White Sox. They are just too good on offense, and Dylan Cease is certainly capable of keeping the Rangers’ offense in check.
Take Chicago to win this one outright.
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