clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox series preview

Stop the presses! The Tribe won their first series in over a month over the weekend. If they hope to make it two series wins in a row, they will need to take three of four in the Windy City.

Avisail Garcia, currently the best hitter in the White Sox lineup
Avisail Garcia, currently the best hitter in the White Sox lineup
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off their first series victory in what seems eons, the Tribe wraps up this road trip with their second series in Chicago, taking on the White Sox for the third time in 2015. They split the first two game series in Chicago and the White Sox took two out of three in Progressive a week later.

  • Monday's game is at 8:10 PM (Kluber vs. Sale)
  • Tuesday's game is at 8:10 PM (Bauer vs. Quintana)
  • Wednesday's game is at 8:10 PM (Marcum vs. Rodon)
  • Thursday's game is at 8:10 PM (Salazar vs. Danks)

Since leaving Cleveland last time, the White Sox have gotten back to 0.500. Other than a four game sweep at the hands of the Twins, they have won every series since. That includes the last road trip where they won two of three in Milwaukee and swept the A's in Oakland. After this series, the Indians return home for three games with Reds and Rangers.

Division Watch: Brewers at Tigers, Reds at Royals, Twins at Pirates.

Team in a Box

Chicago White Sox

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2015 Record

17-17

Runs/Game

3.8

15th

Runs/Game

4.7

10th

AL Central

4th

OBP

314

7th

H/9

9.4

5th

Last 10

7-3

SLG

368

13th

BB/9

3.2

11th

Last 30

17-13

Steals

7

15th

SO/9

8.1

4th

The offense is still a bit of a mess with only three regulars with an OPS over 700. And the pitching staff hasn't been much better with not one starter with an ERA under 4.25. Quintana has the best FIP at 3.15. Defensively, the White Sox are not much better than the Tribe either.

-

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $100,000 one-day fantasy baseball league today. It's $3 to join and first place wins $8,000. Enter now!

-

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Tyler Flowers

R

74

214

571

54

1B

Jose Abreu

R

144

295

864

137

2B

Carlos Sanchez

S

15

267

600

60

3B

Conor Gillaspie

L

87

247

682

81

SS

Alexei Ramirez

R

133

250

642

70

LF

Melky Cabrera

S

151

259

610

69

CF

Adam Eaton

L

135

232

601

65

RF

Avisail Garcia

R

137

346

872

143

DH

Adam LaRoche

L

127

238

761

117

C

Geovany Soto

R

48

174

513

33

IF

Gordon Beckham

R

53

239

734

102

IF

Emilio Bonifacio

S

39

222

485

33

OF

J.B. Shuck

L

28

240

536

51

The only major change to the lineup is the replacement of Micah Johnson with Carlos Sanchez. Johnson had a decent average, but just a 631 OPS/80 OPS+ (79 wRC+). Sanchez was the heir apparent this year, but Johnson beat him out this spring. Sanchez had a 344/358/466 slash in AAA.

In the previous five games against the Indians, Abreu was the hitting star. An 1143 OPS and three bombs will do that. Ramirez and Eaton both cleared 800 OPS. Gillespie only had three its, but they were all doubles. Garcia and LaRoche were 600 OPS or below.

In the past two weeks, LaRoche, Abreu and Gillespie have carried the offense, all with an OPS over 900. And that offense is scoring 5 runs a game during that stretch.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Chris Sale

L

5.09

3.55

35.1

1.36

9.4

Jeff Samardzija

R

4.58

4.09

53.0

1.36

6.8

Jose Quintana

L

4.39

3.15

41.0

1.29

8.6

John Danks

L

4.66

4.75

38.2

1.37

6.8

Carlos Rodon

L

4.96

4.44

16.1

1.96

9.4

Dave Robertson

R

1.10

1.01

16.1

0.73

14.9

Jake Petricka

R

4.50

4.85

10.0

1.90

3.6

Zach Duke

L

3.18

4.50

17.0

1.47

7.9

Zach Putnam

R

4.85

4.15

13.0

1.38

11.8

Dan Jennings

L

6.32

3.60

15.2

1.60

7.5

Hector Noesi

R

5.94

5.94

16.2

2.06

5.1

Scott Carroll

R

2.84

3.15

12.2

1.26

4.3

Since the last series, there have been a few changes to the staff. Noesi was replaced in the rotation by uber prospect Rodon. Matt Albers fractured a finger and headed to the DL and both Kyle Drabek and Javy Guerra were outrighted to AAA. Replacing them are Jake Petricka (from the DL), Rodon, and Scott Carroll.

The scheduling gods were with the Tribe during the first two series as they avoided Sale, but hey definitely are not with them this time as the offense will have to deal with four straight left handed starters. The two Cy Young candidates from last year, Kluber and Sale will face off in the opener. Sale was roughed up by the Twins and Tigers (13 earned runs total) before he righted it against the Brewers last time out. The Tribe hit him very hard in 2013, but he had a 2.57 and 9.0 K/9 in his three starts last year (14 innings). Quintana beat the Indians on April 14, only allowing three hits in six innings. He has also been hot over his past four starts, 2.08 ERA in 26 innings and 9.7 K/9. Overall he has a 2.94 ERA in 10 career Tribe starts.

Rodon was the third overall pick in 2014 and debuted in late April this year. He made three relief appearances before making the rotation. He won his initial start versus the Reds but the A's tagged him for five runs in four innings last time out. Danks gave up seven runs in his two Tribe starts this year already, taking the loss in one of them. He pitched well against the Reds and A's recently. In his 24 career starts against Cleveland, he has a 5.16 ERA, 1.424 WHIP and 6.4 K/9 covering 137.2 innings. Other than Danks, Noesi and Rodon, the Tribe has gone scoreless versus every other member of the bullpen.

On the Shelf

  • RP Matt Albers [15 day DL], possible mid-May return
  • C Robert Brantly [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • RP Nate Jones [60 day DL], possible midseason return

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

2

3

400

14

18

387

2014

10

9

526

78

71

543

Last 5*

50

42

543

435

419

517

Last 10*

92

92

500

898

837

532

All-Time

1029

1060

493

8901

8961

497

*Does not include 2015 stats

Prediction: Four lefties in four days? That is too much for this lineup to conquer for another series victory. I will predict a split however, which to me is still a daunting prognostication.