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Series preview: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox

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The Tribe has managed a 0.500 record on this trip so far. Last up is a series with the White Sox in Chicago as the Indians slimmest of slim playoff lives still glimmer.

The intimidating Chris Sale is having a great 2015
The intimidating Chris Sale is having a great 2015
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

After taking two of three from the Tigers in a fashion I could not imagine, the Tribe looks to complete this road trip in Chicago with the rival White Sox. The teams split a two gamer at Progressive in April and then the Tribe lost two of three in Chicago a week later. They swept the White Sox at Comiskey in mid-May during one of their few hot streaks, but the Sox returned the favor in July when they took all four games in Progressive.

  • Monday 2:10 PM: Trevor Bauer (R) vs. Chris Sale (L)
  • Tuesday 8:10 PM: Carlos Carrasco (R) vs. Carlos Rodon (L)
  • Wednesday 8:10 PM: Josh Tomlin (R) vs. Jeff Samardzija (R)

The Upcoming Schedule: With this road trip complete, the Tribe head home for three straight divisional series. First up will be the Tigers for four games, then the Royals visit for four and then these White Sox for three.

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Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is running a $1,000,000 fantasy football league for week 1. It's $5 to enter and first place wins $100,000. Click here to join.

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Playoff Watch: Twins at Royals, Blue Jays at Red Sox, Astros at A's, Orioles at Yankees, Rangers at Mariners, Dodgers at Angels, Rays at Tigers.

Team in a Box

Chicago White Sox

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2015 Record

65-70

Runs/Game

3.9

14th

Runs/Game

4.2

10th

AL Central

4th

OBP

307

12th

H/9

9.0

10th

Last 10

6-4

SLG

383

15th

BB/9

2.8

7th

Last 30

15-15

Steals

55

12th

SO/9

8.5

3rd

The last meeting with the White Sox was very painful for the team and its fans. The Sox came into Progressive swept a four game set, outscoring the Indians 26-5 in those four games. Ouch. That got them out of the basement, and the Tribe into it. Since then, they have hovered between third and fourth in the division and now trail the Indians by just a game. They just finished a three game sweep in Kansas City, pummeling the Royals 25-7 in the three games.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Tyler Flowers

R

314

221

628

73

1B

Jose Abreu

R

562

293

857

133

2B

Carlos Sanchez

S

352

231

594

61

3B

Tyler Saladino

R

211

240

605

65

SS

Alexei Ramirez

R

525

255

646

74

LF

Melky Cabrera

S

578

274

707

92

CF

Adam Eaton

L

577

277

777

115

RF

Avisail Garcia

R

513

266

696

90

DH

Adam LaRoche

L

467

213

648

80

IF

Gordon Beckham

R

218

209

579

57

C

Geovany Soto

R

186

236

771

113

OF

J.B. Shuck

L

128

282

725

101

OF

Trayce Thompson

R

44

366

1068

193

IF

Leury Garcia

S

7

333

762

122

C

Rob Brantly

L

5

000

000

-100

1B

Mike Olt #

R

20

211

368

68

# includes stats with Cubs

The offense has improved quite a bit since July, but overall still resides near the bottom in most categories.

The offense has a 278/325/394 slash in the past two weeks with eight homers in twelve games. Beckham, Ramirez, Eaton and Abreu all leading the charge with over 800 OPS. Sanchez, Soto, Saladino and LaRoche are all sub-600 OPS.

In the thirteen Tribe games, Abreu has a 940 OPS, 4 HR and 10 RBi, Cabrera has a 857 OPS, 2 HR and 10 RBI, and old Tribe killer Ramirez has driven in 9 on six doubles. LaRoche, Garcia and Flowers all have sub-500 OPS.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Jeff Samardzija

R

4.87

4.14

188.1

1.30

7.0

Chris Sale

L

3.29

2.32

177.2

1.05

12.1

Jose Quintana

L

3.60

3.20

177.1

1.32

7.8

John Danks

L

4.60

4.36

154.2

1.38

6.3

Carlos Rodon

L

4.10

4.02

118.2

1.50

9.3

Dave Robertson

R

2.45

2.09

55.0

0.84

11.9

Zach Duke

L

3.50

4.46

54.0

1.32

10.0

Dan Jennings

L

4.57

3.58

45.1

1.43

7.5

Jake Petricka

R

4.26

3.59

44.1

1.58

6.1

Matt Albers

R

1.57

3.94

28.2

1.26

7.2

Daniel Webb

R

2.55

5.05

24.2

1.62

6.2

Nate Jones

R

2.13

2.90

12.2

0.79

13.5

Erik Johnson

R

4.50

8.64

6.0

0.83

4.5

Frankie Montas

R

0.00

1.14

1.0

0.00

9.0

This time the Tribe opens with Chris Sale, who has been a K machine lately. In his last five starts, covering 34.2 IP, he has a 2.34 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 13.8 K/9. Yikes. He pitched 8 great innings on May 18 for a no decision, and seven dominant innings in a 10-3 win on July 25. Rodon has also been fantastic over the last month. He has a 1.85 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 in 34 IP. He was great on May 20, taking a no decision and pitched 6.2 of shutout ball, striking out 9, in a 2-1 win on July 26. The series wraps up with their only righty, Samardzija. He hasn't been too good lately, 6.16 ERA, 1.66 WHIP and 9.1 K/9 in 30.2 IP covering his last five starts. He has 6 shutout innings in an April 22 win, and just 1 run in eight innings on July 23.

The bullpen has been pretty good these past two weeks, with a 2.50 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 11.0 K/9. In the 13 Tribe games, they have been excellent, 1.91 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 12.7 K/9 covering 28.1 IP. Jennings is the only one they have scored multiple runs off of.

On the Shelf

  • RP Zach Putnam [15 day DL], no timetable for return

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

5

8

385

32

52

291

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

1032

1065

492

8919

8995

496

*Does not include 2015 stats

Prediction: I think the Tribe struggles in the first two games, but somehow ekes out another 2-1 series win.