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Series Preview: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox

Maybe the Indians will actually get to play this time?

Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports

The first road trip of the season kicks off today as the Cleveland Indians prepare to face the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field. Just like with the first few games of the season, however, it will be up to the weather to decide if the games can actually go on. Rain is expected today and Sunday, but hopefully it will hold off enough for these two division rivals to play.

Matchups

  • Friday, 4:10 p.m. ET: Danny Salazar (RHP) vs. John Danks (LHP)
  • Saturday, 2:10 p.m. ET: Cody Anderson (RHP) vs. Chris Sale (LHP)
  • Sunday, 2:10 p.m. ET: Josh Tomlin (RHP) vs. Jose Quintana (LHP)
There is no way to sugarcoat it: This series has the potential to be ugly for the Tribe. Chicago has a very lefty-heavy rotation, and the Indians have an atrocious lineup against left-handed pitchers. Salazar vs. Danks seems like an advantage for the Indians, but the other two games could end up being lost causes. Sale is a Cy Young candidate against any team, let alone the Indians right-handed lineup, and Quintana carried a 3.18 FIP last season -- he is not a pushover.

But, who knows. Baseball is weird and all three White Sox pitchers could have off days and the Indians could score double-digit home runs. At the very least, the Indians should be aiming to knock out the starting pitchers as soon as possible to get to the White Sox bullpen.

Upcoming schedule: The Indians will continue this road trip in Tampa Bay next Tuesday, then return home to face the New York Mets on Friday and the Seattle Mariners on April 19.

Team in a Box

Chicago White Sox

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

Record

3-1

R/G

4.00

6th

RA/G

.250

3rd

AL Central

2nd

OBP

.291

7th

HR/9

0.26

1st

Last 10

3-1

SLG

.345

11th

BB/9

2.31

5th

Streak

W1

Steals

1

T-4th

SO/9

8.74

8th

Rankings this early mean nothing, but the White Sox being towards the top of the league in runs against sounds about right for the rest of the year. They are coming off of a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics, who are not exactly a powerhouse team in 2016.

Projected lineup

  1. Adam Eaton, RF
  2. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  3. Jose Abreu, 1B
  4. Todd Frazier, 3B
  5. Melky Cabrera, LF
  6. Avisail Garcia, DH
  7. Brett Lawrie, 2B
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Austin Jackson, CF
The Chicago White Sox lineup is not a strength of the team, even with the offseason additions of Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie. Leadoff man Adam Eaton is off to a hot start, going 9-for-16 with a triple and a double in his first four games. In what is sure to be the first of many, Jose Abreu hit his first home run of the season yesterday. It is still unknown how the team will respond to the loss of their clubhouse leader, 14-year-old Drake LaRoche.