Saturday, June 22, 2024
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MLB Preview: Chicago White Sox (19-29) at Cleveland Guardians (20-26)

CHICAGO WHITE SOX NOTES:

WHITE SOX AT A GLANCE
The Chicago White Sox have won three straight games, five of six, six of eight and 12 of 20 as they begin a seven-game trip tonight with the series opener at Cleveland.

RHP Jimmy Lambert is scheduled to make his first start of the season and fifth of his career tonight for Chicago.

The White Sox yesterday completed a 6-3 homestand and three-game sweep of Kansas City with a 5-2 win … the Sox went 2-1 vs. Cleveland and 1-2 vs. Houston to open the homestand.

Following this three-game series at Progressive Field, the Sox will conclude the trip with four games from 5/25-28 at Detroit.

Chicago is in fourth place in the American League Central but just 6.5 games behind first-place Minnesota.

The Sox went 6-3 on their last homestand vs. Houston (1-2), Cleveland (2-1) and Kansas City (3-0) from 5/12-21 and 3-4 on their last trip at Cincinnati (2-1) and Kansas City (1-3) from 5/5-11.

TONIGHT’S STORYLINES
The White Sox are looking to extend their winning streak to a season-high four games, and trying to move within nine games of the .500 mark for the first time since 4/24 (7-16).

The White Sox are 12-8 over their last 20 games since 4/30 following a 7-21 start to the season.

Chicago starters own a 2.61 ERA (18 ER/62.0 IP), .199 (44- 221) opp. average and 53 strikeouts in the last 10 games (8 QS).

Jimmy Lambert will become just the sixth starting pitcher used by the White Sox this season.

Luis Robert Jr. has hit safely in 16 of 19 games in May, going 24-67 (.358) with seven doubles, eight home runs, 16 RBI, six walks, seven multi-hit eff orts and a 1.255 OPS.

Joe Kelly has retired 31 of the last 32 batters he has faced, including 16 by strikeout … he owns a 9.2 scoreless IP streak.

ROSTER MOVES
The White Sox today recalled RHP Jesse Scholtens from Class AAA Charlotte … he takes the roster spot of RHP Mike Clevinger, who was placed on the 15-day injured list yesterday (retroactive to 5/18) with right wrist inflammation.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP
The White Sox scored five unanswered runs from the fourth through the seventh inning en route to a 5-2 win over Kansas City to complete its first sweep of the season.

Luis Robert Jr. cut the Sox deficit to 2-1 with a solo home run in the fourth, and Romy Gonzalez gave the Sox the lead with a two-run, game-winning triple in the fi fth.

Andrew Benintendi added a sacrifice fly in the fifth and a RBI single in the seventh.

Lance Lynn (2 ER/6.0 IP) earned his third win of the season … three Chicago relievers combined to work 3.0 hitless IP with four strikeouts … Joe Kelly earned his first save of the season.

Robert Jr. hit his eighth home run in May, and Gonzalez (3-3, 3B, 2 RBI) recorded the Sox only multi-hit effort.

FOR STARTERS
Jimmy Lambert will be the sixth starting pitcher used by the White Sox this season … the other four MLB teams to use six or fewer starting pitchers are Toronto (five), Baltimore (six), Pittsburgh (six) and Washington (six).

THE TIMES ARE CHANGIN’
Chicago is 12-8 (.600) since 4/30, the sixth-best winning percentage in the American League during that span … its 3.79 ERA since 4/30 is the fifth-best in the AL and eighth-best in MLB.

During the 20-game stretch, the White Sox have won their first four series of the season, and recorded their first sweep (5/19-21 vs. Kansas City) and winning homestand (5/12-21).

A breakdown of the White Sox over their last 20 games compared to their 7-21 start to the season:

W-L AVG R R/G HR OBP SLG OPS ERA IP QS ER HR SO
12-8 .267 97 4.9 25 .322 .431 .753 3.79 180.1 11 76 25 178
7-21 .227 106 3.8 26 .288 .367 .655 5.88 243.1 8 159 44 272

ROTATION SENSATION
White Sox starters own a 2.61 ERA (18 ER/62.0 IP), .199 (40-199) opp. average and 53 strikeouts over the last 10 games since 5/11 … they rank second in MLB in WHIP (1.00) and third in ERA and opponents average during that span.

They have allowed three runs or less nine times, two or less seven times and one or less four times.

A breakdown of the Sox rotation since 5/11:

W-L ERA WHIP QS IP H R ER HR BB SO SO/9.0 AVG OPS
6-4 2.61 1.00 8 61.0 44 20 18 5 18 53 7.7 .199 .584

WHITE SOX VS. CLEVELAND GUARDIANS
Chicago won two of three over Cleveland last week in the first series of the season between the clubs … there are four games remaining at Guaranteed Rate Field and six at Progressive Field.

The two clubs play six times over nine days from 5/16-24.

The White Sox are hitting .330/.354/.560 with six homers, own a 2.00 ERA (6 ER/27.0 IP) and a 16-8 edge in runs scored.

The White Sox went 7-12 last season (4-6 at Progressive Field).

Chicago is 19-22 since the start of 2021, including a 9-10 mark at Progressive Field (13 games decided by three runs or less).

CENTRAL DIVISION DYNAMICS
Chicago is 9-7 vs. the American League Central, including a 7-2 mark at Guaranteed Rate Field … it currently is in a stretch of 13 straight games vs. the division (5-1 record).

Following this week’s trip, the Sox will play just three games vs. the AL Central (6/2-4 vs. Detroit) through the All-Star break.

The White Sox went 37-39 vs. the AL Central in 2022 (18-19 at home; 19-20 on the road) after going 69-47 from 2020-21.

REST WHEN YOU CAN
The Sox currently are in a stretch of 16 straight games without a day off and are 11-8 during the current stretch of 29 games in 30 days from 5/2-31 (only off days in May are 5/1 and 5/15).

The 29-game stretch includes 15 games at home, 14 on the road and 20 vs. the American League Central … the White Sox play six of seven series from 5/5-28 vs. teams below .500 (at Cincinnati, at/vs. Kansas City, vs./at Cleveland and at Detroit).

POSTING PUNCHOUTS
Chicago pitchers rank second in MLB with 450 strikeouts, trailing Minnesota (464) … White Sox starters rank second in the major leagues in strikeouts (255), trailing the Twins (302).

Lance Lynn ranks seventh among American League pitchers with 67 strikeouts, and Reynaldo López is tied for sixth among AL relievers with 28 strikeouts.

LONGBALL LOGISTICS
The White Sox (Jake Burger and Luis Robert Jr.) are one of six MLB teams with multiple players to hit 10-plus home runs this season, joining Atlanta (four), the Angels (three),Tampa Bay (three), the Dodgers (two) and the Yankees (two).

The White Sox have homered in 15 of its last 20 games since 4/30 (25 total homers), and hit 28 in its last 23 games since 4/27.

The Sox have recorded nine multi-homer eff orts and been held without a home run just six times over the last 23 contests.

Chicago is 15-17 when homering, 7-7 when hitting multiple homers and 4-12 when going homerless this season.

LONGBALL LOGISTICS, PART II
Luis Robert Jr. (T2nd, 13) and Jake Burger (T1th, 10) rank among the American League home run leaders this season.

Robert Jr. is tied for fourth in MLB with nine 400-plus foot homers in 2023, trailing Pete Alonso (11), Ronald Acuña Jr. and Jorge Soler (10) … is averaging 407 ft. and 107.2 mph on his 12 homers, including max values of 430 ft. on 5/9 at K.C., and 113.6 mph on 5/14 vs. Houston.

Robert Jr. has recorded 400-plus foot distances on 34 of his 49 career home runs … he leads the Sox since the start of 2020 with homer averages of 411 feet and 107.6 mph exit velocity (min. 10 home runs).

Burger leads MLB with 9.30 at bats per home run this season (minimum 100 plate appearances) … he is averaging 405 feet on his 19 career home runs, and 13 have traveled an estimated 400-plus feet.

HOORAY FOR MAY
Luis Robert Jr. is hitting .3589/.434/.821 (24-67) with seven doubles, eight homers (averaging 427 ft. and 108.6 mph EV), 16 RBI, 20 runs, six walks and a 1.255 OPS in May (19 G).

He ranks among AL May leaders in home runs (1st), runs scored (1st), total bases (1st, 55), extra-base hits (1st, 15), slugging percentage (2nd), OPS (2nd), doubles (T4th), hits (T5th), RBI (T5th), average (7th) and on-base percentage (8th).

The last White Sox to win American League Player of the Month honors was 1B José Abreu in August 2021 … Abreu also is the last Sox to hit 10-plus home runs in a month (11 in August 2020).

SOUTHPAW SUCCESS
Chicago is hitting .360/.422/.551 in the last 13 games vs. LHP.

The White Sox are batting .273/.340/.442 vs. left-handed pitching since the start of the 2019 season … during that span, the Sox lead MLB in average, rank second in on-base percentage, fifth in OPS (.781) and sixth in slugging percentage.

Tim Anderson (.349) and Hanser Alberto (.345) rank 1-2 in MLB in average vs. left-handers since the start of 2019.

Luis Robert Jr. is 11-28 (.393) with three homers and seven RBI vs. LHP in 2023 and hitting .355/.417/.617/1.033 lifetime.

STARTER – #50 JIMMY LAMBERT RHP
LAMBERT AT A GLANCE
Is scheduled to make his sixth career start (68th appearance) tonight, his fourth career start against Cleveland and third on the road.

Has pitched to a 2-1 record with a 6.23 ERA (12 ER/17.1 IP), .286 (20-70) opponents average, 11 walks and 22 strikeouts across 19 relief outings in 2023.

Ten of his 19 outings have been scoreless this season and has not allowed an earned run in 13 appearances …has struck out multiple batters in seven out of his last 14

His younger brother, Peter, pitches for the Colorado Rockies.

Underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019.

Was selected by Chicago in the fifth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Fresno State University.

START YOUR ENGINES
Owns a 1-3 record with a 4.42 ERA (9 ER/18.1 IP) with seven walks, 14 strikeouts and a .264 (19-72) opponents average in his five career starts.

Last made a start on 4/20/22 at Cleveland, suffering the loss after allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and a career-high five strikeouts.

Tossed a career-high 5.0 IP on 9/7/21 when he started at Oakland, earning the win after allowing one run on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

2023 SEASON REVIEW
Has not appeared in a game since 5/12 (a span of nine days and eight games).

Started the season with four straight scoreless outings (3.1 IP), limiting opponents to a 0.91 (1-11) average with three walks and two strikeouts.

Did not allow an earned run until 4/14 vs. Baltimore, his eighth appearance of the year … went 0-0 with one unearned run allowed on two hits with four walks and seven strikeouts over his first seven appearances compared to a 2-1 record with a 8.76 ERA (12 ER/12.1 IP), .340 (18-53), five home runs allowed, seven walks and 17 strikeouts.

VS. CLEVELAND GUARDIANS || A.L. CENTRAL
Is scheduled to make his ninth career appearance (fourth start) against Cleveland.

Has gone 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA (8 ER/16.0 IP), .254 (16-63) opponents average, eight walks and 13 strikeouts in his career against the Guardians.

Is 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA (6 ER/10.1 IP), .318 (14-44) opponents average, four walks and 11 strikeouts in his three starts against Cleveland.

Has limited Cleveland to two total home runs over his 16.0 IP (1.13 HR/9).

Has gone 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA (1 ER/3.1 IP) over four relief appearances this year against American League Central teams.

Is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA (17 ER/38.2 IP) in 31 career appearances (five starts) against the division.

CLEVELAND GUARDIANS NOTES:

GUARDS GET SWEPT IN SUNDAY DOUBLEHEADER
In the wake of Saturday’s rainout, the New York Mets took both games of a split doubleheader from Cleveland on Sunday at Citi Field, as the Guardians dropped the matinee, 5-4, ahead of a 2-1 defeat in the nightcap…all 3 games of the weekend series were one-run affairs decided in the 8th inning-or-later.

Rookie TANNER BIBEE (6.0IP, 7H, 2R-ER, 4BB, 3SO, WP, 99 pitches) put forth a competitive effort opposite Max Scherzer (6.0IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 5SO, 86 pitches) in G1’s 5-4 loss, but received no run support from a Guardians offense that was held scoreless until a 4-run rally in the 8th; the late push was highlighted by a 2-run HR from JOSÉ RAMÍREZ that momentarily put Cleveland ahead 4-3… following a lead-off walk to start the 9th, Starling Marte ended the contest with a 2-run homer off TREVOR STEPHAN.

G2’s 2-1 affair featured another pitchers duel between SHANE BIEBER (8.0IP, 7H, 2R-ER, 2BB, 4SO, HR, 106 pitches) and Justin Verlander (8.0IP, 3H, 1R-ER, 0BB, 5SO, HR, 98 pitches)…Ramírez tatooed his second home run of the day in the 1st inning, drilling a 418-foot solo blast into the upper deck in RF…Francisco Lindor tied the game with a lead-off solo shot in the 6th…the Metropolitans manufactured the winning run in the 8th, as a pair of singles set the table for Jeff McNeil’s go-ahead sac fly.

Coming off a 5-4 homestand, the Guardians went 1-5 on just completed 6-game trip thru Chicago-AL (1-2) & New York-NL (0- 3)…Guardians have dropped 20 of last 31 overall since starting year 9-6…Guardians (20-26) sit in 3rd place in AL Central standings, 4.5 games behind 1st-place Minnesota (25-22) and one game behind 2nd-place Detroit (-3.5G, 20-24)…last season, club went 9-12 in April & 12-12 in May.

TALKIN’ BOUT CHI-TOWN
The Guardians open up this six-game homestand with a 3-game series with the Chicago White Sox, the second of four series against their divisional opponent and first at home…the two clubs played each other from Tuesday-Thursday last week with the White Sox taking two of three contests…Chicago-AL won the first two matchups, 8-3 and 7-2, before Cleveland won the third tilt powered by a strong start from LOGAN ALLEN (5.2IP, 7H, 1R/ER, 1BB, 5SO) and a 2-run 8th-inning highlighted by an RBIsingle from CAM GALLAGHER (1-for-4, RBI, 2SO)…during the Terry Francona Era (since 2013), the Guards are 7-3 in season series’ against the Sox and 112-72, their most wins against any AL Central opponent and the most wins of any team against ChicagoAL during that span…in his career, Francona is 142-97 against the Sox his 3rd-most career wins vs. any opponent behind Kansas City (145-93) and Detroit (146-98).

Since 2013, the Clevelanders are 58-32 overall against ChicagoAL at Progressive Field and 1,112-1,118 all-time.

RUNNERS BEWARE
Guardians outfielders totaled 3 outfield assists in Sunday’s doubleheader, upping their total to 11 this season, leading MLB with Kansas City…WILL BRENNAN’s 5 outfield assists is T2nd in MLB with ATL’s Ronald Acuña Jr., TEX’s Adolis García, NYM’s Starling Marte and LAA’s Hunter Renfroe and one behind PHI’s Nick Castellanos…STEVEN KWAN (3) is T13th and GABRIEL ARIAS (2) is 25th…Cleveland is the only team with three players in the top 25…since the start of 2022, the Guardians are 1st in the AL and 2nd in MLB with 42 outfield assists, one behind Cincinnati.

PATIENCE AT THE PLATE
The Guardians are currently 1st in the AL and 3rd in MLB with a 23.0 swing and miss percentage trailing Arizona (22.0%) and Washington (21.7%)…Cleveland is the only team in MLB with 3 players ranking in the top-15 for lowest swing and miss percentage with STEVEN KWAN (3rd, 10.5%), MYLES STRAW (5th, 12.5%) and JOSÉ RAMÍREZ (15th, 15.4%).

Kwan is also second in MLB behind Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman (6.3%) with a 7.3% first pitch swing rate…since debuting last season, Kwan has an 8.5% first pitch swing rate, taking first pitches at a higher rate than any other MLB hitter, as no other player has a mark below 12.0% in that span…as a club, the Guardians swing at the first pitch at a 27.1% rate, the 2nd-lowest rate in MLB behind Milwaukee (26.5%).

CUTTING IT CLOSE
The Guardians lead MLB with 22 one-run games this season, owning a 9-13 record in such contests…Cincinnati and Los Angeles-AL are next closest teams with 18 one-run games… Cleveland has played 67 such games since 2022 and have a .552 win percentage (37-40), 5th in the AL…32 of the club’s 46 games (69.5%) have been decided by 2-or-fewer runs this season, owning a 16-16 record in those games.

The Guards have 407 one-run games since 2013, the 2nd-fewest in MLB over that stretch, but the 5th-best win percentage in MLB and 2nd in the AL (.533, 217-190) behind New York-AL (.543, 435- 236)…Atlanta leads MLB with a .551 (244-199) winning percentage over that period.

DOWN ON THE FARM
TRISTON MCKENZIE threw 3.0 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits with 4 strikeouts in his first rehab appearance for Triple-A Columbus on Saturday…his fastball topped out at 95.3 mph and averaged 92.6 mph…he threw 52 pitches, 29 for strikes.

GAVIN WILLIAMS struck out 9 batters over 6.0 innings, inducing 19 swing-and-misses…he has 56 strikeouts over 40.0 innings this season, a 12.6 SO/9…through 8 starts, he boasts a 3-1 record with a 1.58 ERA (7ER/40.0IP)…batters are hitting .154 (21-for-136) against him.

JOHNATHAN RODRIGUEZ reached base three times on Sunday, going 2-for-3 with a 2-run home run and one walk for Double-A Akron…he now has a 13-game on-base streak, the 2ndlongest streak in the system…he is hitting .319 (15-for-47) with 3 home runs, 10 RBI and a .421 OBP.

AUSTIN PETERSON picked up his first professional win Saturday, twirling 5.0 scoreless innings with 6 strikeouts for Low-A Lynchburg…he has not allowed a run over his last three appearances (14.0IP) and owns a 2.25 ERA (8ER/32.0IP) on the year.

TONIGHT’S STARTER – 70 HUNTER GADDIS RHP
GADDIS’ MLB CAREER
W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2023 0-1 6.86 5 4 19.2 22 15 15 6 13
Career 0-3 10.00 7 6 27.0 37 30 30 9 18

GADDIS AT HOME
W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2023 0-1 14.40 2 1 5.0 8 8 8 1 4
Career 0-3 16.78 4 3 12.1 23 23 23 5 9

TONIGHT’S START
The 25-year-old right-hander is slated to make his 5th start this season, 2nd at home, in the first of a 3-game set with the Chicago White Sox…he was added to the Guardians pitching rotation to start the 2023 season after TRISTON MCKENZIE suffered a right major teres strain in his final spring start on March 26 vs. Cincinnati..this will be his 7th career start after making 2 spot starts in 2022 and 4 starts to begin the 2023 campaign…

After four starts this season, Gaddis was optioned to AAA Columbus on April 19 before being recalled as the 27th man for a
doubleheader on April 22 against Miami, where he made a relief appearance…he was optioned back to Columbus the following day.

This is his second career outing against Chicago-AL and his third career start against the AL Central.

LAST TIME OUT/LAST START
Gaddis last appeared on April 22 in G1 of a doubleheader against Miami after being called up as the 27th man…he made his first career relief appearance in the 8th and 9th innings where he retired all 6 Marlins hitters he faced…he finished 2.0 innings of perfect baseball while adding a strikeout and throwing 15 of his 19 pitches for strikes…he became the 2nd Cleveland reliever this season to finish an outing with 2.0+ perfect innings since ELI MORGAN on April 8 vs. Seattle (2.0IP, 3SO).

Gaddis did not factor into the decision in his last MLB start, a 4-3 defeat against the Detroit Tigers on April 18 in G1 of a doubleheader…Gaddis tossed 5.0 innings with a strikeout, allowing hits, 3 runs (earned) and a walk…after a walk and single, a Javier Báez sacrifice fly gave Detroit a 1-0 lead in the 1st…Gaddis went through the 2nd-4th innings unscathed before running into some trouble in the 5th…3 of the first 4 hitters started the 5th with singles, capped by a Báez RBI base hit…Riley Carpenter followed in the next at-bat with a game-tying RBI double before Gaddis retired the final two Tigers hitters to end his outing.

OUT FOR REVENGE
Gaddis has faced the White Sox once before in his career, taking the loss in an 8-2 defeat in his second career MLB spot start on September 15, 2022 at Progressive Field…Gaddis finished the outing with 4.0 innings pitched, 8 hits, 7 runs (earned), a walk, and 3 strikeouts…6 of the 7 runs he allowed came from 5 ChicagoAL home runs as Gavin Sheets, Andrew Vaughn, Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, and Elvis Andrus all went yard in the 2nd-4th innings…the 5 home runs were the most allowed by Gaddis in his professional career and a club record, tying Gary Bell (4/29/1962 vs. Min-2) and Luis Tiant (4/18/1969 at BOS).

Mikey Balhan Sports

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