White Sox Series Preview: Buccos Come to Town

This year for the Chicago White Sox has been full of excitement for the team and their fanbase. They just completed 10 games in just nine days while going 7-3 during the process. Sox players had some impressive performances come from both their offense and pitching. Jose Abreu could barely miss a pitch and Dallas Keuchel and Dylan Cease pitched gems.

White Sox are back at Guaranteed Rate Field to play a struggling franchise in the 7-17 Pirates. The Sox play two games at home this Tuesday and Wednesday. They will then wrap up the season series against the Pirates in Pittsburgh on September 9.

Sox had Monday off. This season they are 1-1 in games after a day off.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh has one of the youngest teams in Major League Baseball this season. It has shown on the field as they sit in dead last in their division and hold a .292 winning percentage which is the worst in the MLB.

There has been very little to get excited about for Pirates fans as their struggles have come from everywhere on the field. Currently, the Pirates rank near the bottom in most hitting and pitching statistics.

Pirates pitching has given up 133 runs in 215.2 innings while posting a 5.05 ERA (8th worst in MLB). The Sox do also have a perfect opportunity since they tend to strike out a ton and barely draw walks. The Pirates 1.97 strikeout-to-walk-ratio is last in all of baseball.

It is hard to find brights spots in their lineup too. The Pirates best hitter this season, Phillip Evans was recently put on the 60-day IL. Besides him only one guy bats .300 or batter. Pirates do not score a ton either with just 102 runs in 24 games. Prior to their last series, they were only scoring about 3.71 runs per game. It jumped to 4.25 after scoring 24 runs in three games.

One bright spot though is that they do not ground into double plays often- only nine this season (a league-best).

Third baseman Colin Moran has been the Pirates’ best hitter as of late. He hit .667 with three runs extra-base hits and five runs in the Pirate last series. He did leave the last game with a possible concussion and it is not clear if he’ll play against the White Sox.

Fielding has not been so great either. Their 23 errors are tied for the most in the MLB. The Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants also have 23.

The Pirates are coming off a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers. That series may have motivated them enough to try and win some more ball games. Fortunately, for the Sox, Pirates

Mound Matchups

  • Tuesday, 7:10 CT: RHP Lucas Giolito (2-2, 3.89) vs. LHP Steven Brault (0-0, 3.00)
    • Giolito has allowed 3 hits in 11 at-bats to Pirates batters. Gregor Polanco holds two of them with one being a double.
    • Sox batters are 4 for 16 for their career against Brault.
    • In his 2020 starts, Brault has pitched 12 innings, giving up three hits and no runs while striking out nine.
  • Wednesday, 1:10 CT: LHP Dallas Keuchel (4-2, 2.65) vs. Trevor Williams (1-4, 3.70)
    • Pirates Batters are 2 for 14 for their career against Keuchel
    • Keuchel is coming off his longest outing of the season. He went eight 6-hit innings, allowing just walk and a run, and striking out three Cubs batters.
    •  Sox batters are 8 for 28 for their career against Williams.
      • Abreu- 3/6, 2 2B, BB, K
      • Anderson- 2/5. HR, 2 RBI

Who’s Hot

  • Jose Abreu– 7/12, 6 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 2 BB, 2.726 OPS in CHI series.
  • Eloy Jiménez- 5/13, 2 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R, K in CHI series.
  • Sox Starters- 17.1 IP, 11 H, 5 R/5 ER, 6 BB, 12 K, 2.63 ERA
  • Sox Bullpen- 8.2, 7 H, 2 R/2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 2.20 ERA

Who’s Not

  • Tim Anderson– 3/14, R, 2B, BB, 5 K, a GDP in CHI series.
  • Luis Robert– 2/11, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, BB, 7K in CHI series.

Final Thought

Baseball this season has shown that it will not slow down for anyone. The White Sox need to take advantage of series against last-place teams like the Pirates. This season, they are 11-3 in games against teams below .500. But Sox are going to be at their home ballpark where they are just under .500 with a 7-8 home record.

The Sox last played the Pirates in 2018 and before that in 2015. They have 8-straight losses against Pittsburgh with their last win coming on June 17, 2010. It likely comes to an end this year.

Featured Photo: Chicago Sun-Times

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