Saturday, June 22, 2024
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MLB Preview: Chicago White Sox (20-30) at Cleveland Guardians (21-27)


The Chicago White Sox have won four of their last five games, six of eight, seven of 10 and 13 of 22 as they continue a seven-game trip today with the series finale at Cleveland.

RHP Michael Kopech, who worked a career-high 8.0 scoreless IP in his last outing on 5/19 vs. Kansas City, is scheduled to start.

The White Sox and Guardians have split the first two games of this series … the Sox held on for a 4-2 win last night after the Guardians took Monday night’s opener, 3-0.

Following today’s series finale at Progressive Field, the Sox will conclude the trip with four games at Detroit before returning to Chicago for a six-game, seven-day homestand vs. the Angels (5/29-31) and Tigers (6/2-4).

The White Sox are in fourth place in the American League Central but just 5.5 games behind fi rst-place Minnesota.

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

Chicago is trying to win three consecutive series for the first time this season, and is 13-9 over the last 22 games since 4/30 following a 7-21 start to the season … White Sox pitchers own a MLB-best 2.37 ERA (28 ER/106.1 IP) in 12 games since 5/11.

Chicago starters own a 2.61 ERA (20 ER/69.0 IP), .202 (50- 247) opp. average and 56 strikeouts in the last 12 games (9 QS).

White Sox relievers own a 0.98 ERA (3 ER/27.2 IP), .133 (12- 90) opp. average and .415 OPS in the last nine games … eight of the games have been scoreless and three have been hitless.

Michael Kopech faced just 24 batters, retired the first 16 and surrendered just one hit in his last start on 5/19 vs. Kansas City.

Luis Robert Jr. has hit safely in 18 of 21 games in May, going 27-75 (.360) with seven doubles, eight home runs, 16 RBI, six walks, eight multihit eff orts and a 1.202 OPS.

Andrew Benintendi is 13-35 (.371) with six doubles and three RBI during his 10-game hitting streak.

Chicago scored three times in the seventh inning and limited Cleveland to two hits in the fi nal three frames in its 4-2 win.

Romy Gonzalez snapped a 2-2 tie with a game-winning, two RBI double in the seventh … the White Sox tied the game on José Ramirez’s error allowing Andrew Vaughn to score.

Yasmani Grandal hit a game-tying solo homer in the fifth before the Guardians reclaimed the lead in the sixth inning.

Dylan Cease (2 ER/6.0 IP) earned the win … Keynan Middleton (hold), Joe Kelly (hold) and Kendall Graveman (save) combined to allow two hits with two strikeouts in 3.0 scoreless IP in relief.

Andrew Benintendi extended his hitting streak to 10 games, and Luis Robert Jr. recorded the Sox only multihit effort.

Michael Kopech took a perfect game into the sixth inning and allowed just one hit with 10 strikeouts in a career-high 8.0 scoreless IP in his last start on 5/19 vs. Kansas City … he also took a no-hitter into the sixth on 5/2 vs. Minnesota.

Kopech became the fi rst White Sox to face the minimum 24 batters through eight innings since LHP Carlos Rodón took a perfect game into the ninth inning on 4/14/21 vs. Cleveland.

Kopech became just the third pitcher in club history to work 8.0-plus IP and allow one or zero hits with 10-plus strikeouts and zero walks (Stathead) … the last MLB pitcher to record those numbers was Toronto’s Alek Manoah on 9/13/21 vs. Tampa Bay.

Chicago is 13-9 (.591) since 4/30, the best record among American League Central clubs and tied for sixth-best in the AL. The White Sox 3.69 ERA since 4/30 is the fi fth-best in the AL and seventh-best in the major leagues.

A breakdown of the White Sox fi rst 50 games this season:

12-9 .258 101 4.6 26 .314 .416 .730 3.69 197.1 12 81 27 185
7-21 .227 106 3.8 26 .288 .367 .655 5.88 243.1 8 159 44 272

White Sox starters own a 2.61 ERA (20 ER/69.0 IP), .202 (50-247) opp. average and 56 strikeouts over the last 12 games since 5/11 … they rank first in WHIP (1.03), and second in ERA and opponents average in MLB during that span.

Starters have allowed three runs or less 10 times, two or less eight times and one or less fi ve times … the rotation since 5/11:

6-3 2.61 1.03 9 690 50 22 20 6 21 56 7.3 .202 .599

Chicago has won three of five games … there are four games remaining at Guaranteed Rate Field and four at Progressive Field.

The White Sox are hitting .270/.306/.448 with seven homers, own a 2.25 ERA (11 ER/44.0 IP) and a 20-13 edge in runs scored.

The Sox are 5-7 and have been outscored by a 44-35 margin in the last 12 games at Progressive Field since 4/20/22 … eight of the games have been decided by three runs or less.

Chicago is 20-23 since the start of 2021, including a 10-11 mark at Progressive Field (15 games decided by three runs or less).

Chicago is 10-8 vs. the American League Central, including a 3-6 mark on the road … it currently is in a stretch of 13 straight games vs. the division (6-2 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.

The White Sox bullpen owns a 2.57 ERA (19 ER/66.2 IP) and .198 (48-242) opponents average with 58 strikeouts and just five home runs allowed over 21 games in May.

Sox relievers rank among the MLB May leaders in opp. average (2nd), WHIP (2nd, 1.08), opp. OPS (2nd, .598) and ERA (3rd).

By comparison, relievers recorded a 6.68 ERA, .290 average, .885 OPS and a 1.76 WHIP in the fi rst 29 games from 3/30-4/30.

Joe Kelly has retired 34 of the last 36 batters he has faced, including 16 by strikeout … he owns a 10.2 scoreless IP streak.

The Sox currently are in a stretch of 16 straight games without a day off and are 12-9 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.

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

The White Sox have homered in 16 of its last 22 games since 4/30 (26 total homers), and hit 29 in its last 25 games since 4/27.

The Sox have recorded nine multi-homer efforts and been held without a home run just seven times over the last 25 contests.

Chicago is 16-17 when homering, 7-7 when hitting multiple homers and 4-13 when going homerless this season.

Luis Robert Jr. (13) and Jake Burger (10) lead the White Sox in home runs this season.

Robert Jr. is tied for fi fth in MLB with nine 400-plus foot homers in 2023 … the Mets’ Pete Alonso leads the majors with 12 … 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 ranks second in MLB with 10.10 at bats per home run this season (min. 100 plate apps.) … he is averaging 405 feet on his 19 career home runs, and 13 have traveled an estimated 400-plus feet.

Luis Robert Jr. is hitting .360/.429/.773 (27-75) with seven doubles, eight homers (averaging 427 ft. and 108.6 mph EV), 16 RBI, 20 runs scored, six walks and a 1.202 OPS in May (21 G).

He ranks among AL May leaders in runs scored (1st), total bases (1st, 58), extra-base hits (1st, 15), home runs (T1st), slugging percentage (2nd), OPS (2nd), hits (T4th), on-base percentage (T5th), average (6th), doubles (T6th) and RBI (T9th).

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).

The White Sox and Tigers will play 13 times in 2023: six times at Guaranteed Rate Field and seven at Comerica Park.

The Sox went 12-7 last season, going 5-5 at home and 7-2 on the road, and outscored the Tigers by a 100-59 margin.

Chicago is 33-15 vs. Detroit since the start of the 2020 season, including a 14-7 mark at Comerica Park … the Sox have won seven of eight on the road following last year’s OD loss in Detroit.

Is scheduled to make his 10th start of the season, sixth on the road and first against the Cleveland Guardians.

Has recorded 5.0-plus IP in seven of his nine starts this season and 6.0-plus IP four times, allowing just one run in three of those outings.

Went 0-3 with a 7.01 ERA (20 ER/25.2 IP), 1.71 WHIP and .280 (28-100) opponents average in five April starts… the 7.01 ERA is his highest monthly ERA in his career.

Is limiting left-handed hitters to a .177 (14-79) batting average this season, the fourth-best among American League right-handed starters with at least seven starts.

Has received zero runs of support in four of his nine starts this season and three or more just twice … his four outings with zero runs of support are tied for second-most in the majors behind Ryan Yarbrough (5).

Has gone 9-14 with 3.86 ERA (85 ER/198.0 IP), .210 (151-719) opponents average and 194 strikeouts in 42 career starts … is 3-3 with 3.90 ERA (24 ER/55.1 IP), .225 (47-209) opponents average and 80 strikeouts in 40 career relief appearances.

Has recorded 100-plus strikeouts in each of his last two seasons (2021-22).

Spent his first full season in the major leagues in 2021, pitching out of the bullpen (40 games) while making four starts … opted out of the 2020 season for personal reasons … missed the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery (performed on 9/18/18).

Was acquired by the White Sox from Boston with OF Luis Basabe, RHP Víctor Díaz and INF Yoán Moncada in exchange for LHP Chris Sale on 12/6/16.

Earned the win on 5/19 against Kansas City, working a career-high 8.0 scoreless IP, allowing just one hit while striking out a season-high 10 batters … marked his third career double-digit strikeout game (last on 8/12/22 vs. Detroit; career-high 11) … threw 98 pitches (65 strikes).

Retired the first 16 batters he faced until Michael Massey recorded a single in the sixth inning … faced the minimum 24 batters through 8.0 IP.

Departed the game in the ninth with the Sox leading, 2-0 … reliever Kendall Graveman recorded a 1-2-3 ninth to earned the save … it was the first time since Philip Humber’s perfect game on 4/21/12 at Seattle that Sox pitchers faced the minimum 27 batters in a game.

Owned a 75.0 first-strike percentage and 17.3 swinging-strike percentage (20 swing and misses) vs. 24 batters … threw 69 four-seam fastballs (96.9 mph avg; 99.4 mph max), 15 sliders (86.5 avg; 89.2 max), seven changeups (89.5 mph avg; 90.9 max) and seven curveballs (81.9 avg; 82.9 max).

On 5/19 against Kansas City, Kopech became the third pitcher in franchise history to work 8.0-plus IP and allow one or zero hits with 10-plus strikeouts and zero walks (Baseball Reference/Stathead).

The other two Sox to accomplish the feat are Floyd Bannister (9/13/87 at Seattle) and Gary Peters (7/15/63
vs. Baltimore).

The last MLB pitcher to record those numbers in a start was Toronto’s Alek Manoah on 9/13/21 vs. Tampa Bay.

Has gone 3-2 with a 1.92 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, .121 (21- 173) opponents average and 50 strikeouts over nine career starts in May … his 1.92 ERA and .121 opponents average are career monthly bests.

Ranks third in ERA and fifth in WHIP in the majors among pitchers with at least nine starts in the month of May since 2021.

Has allowed 11 runs as a starter in May, the least amount allowed in a single month for his career.

Went 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA (3 ER/23.0 IP), 0.78 WHIP, .103 (8-78) opponents average and 21 strikeouts over four May starts in 2022.

His four-seam fastball has held the opposition to a .199 (69-346) batting average, the 10th-lowest in Major League Baseball among starting pitchers since 2022 … opponents own a .223 (23-103) average on his fastball this season, the second-lowest in MLB.

Has the highest four-seam fastball usage (63.3%) among MLB starting pitchers this season … led MLB starters with at least 2,000 pitches thrown in four-seam fastball usage (61.6%) last season.

Owns a 29.5 swing-and-miss percentage with his four-seam fastball, the 12th-highest percentage in the majors this season.

His 31 strikeouts with the four-seamer is the 11th-best in MLB this year.


After taking Monday’s opener by a 3-0 margin, the Guardians fell to Chicago-AL by a 4-2 final on Tuesday night at Progressive Field to even the series, as the club is 1-1 to begin a 6-game homestand against Chicago-AL (1-1, one-to-play) and St. Louis (3 games)… Cleveland has still won 3 of 4 and 6 of last 10 home games (10-13 at home overall) entering this afternoon’s finale.

WILL BRENNAN gave Cleveland an early lift with his one-out solo homer in the 3rd off Dylan Cease (6.0IP, 5H, 2R-ER, 2BB, 3SO, HR, 88 pitches), who turned in his second quality start in 6 days against the Guardians…Cleveland’s second tally came in the 6th after JOSH NAYLOR doubled home AMED ROSARIO, who reached on a lead-off walk…LOGAN ALLEN (6.0IP, 7H, 4R-3ER, BB, 4SO, HR, 85 pitches) got through 6.0 frames holding a 2-1 lead, allowing just a 2-out solo homer to Yasmani Grandal in the 5th…fortunes turned after Allen came back out for the 7th, as all five batters he faced prior to exiting reached base on a sequence that included a single, two doubles and a walk scattered around a fielding error that tied the game…Romy Gonzalez delivered the goahead blow for the Southsiders with a 2-run double to end Allen’s outing…Cleveland brought the tying run to the plate in both the 8th and 9th innings, but did not score.

Guardians have dropped 21 of last 33 overall since starting year 9-6…Guardians (21-27) sit in 3rd place in AL Central standings, 3.5 games behind 1st-place Minnesota (25-24) and one game behind 2nd-place Detroit (-2.5G, 21-25)…last season, club went 9-12 in April & 12-12 in May.

With the loss last night, Chicago-AL and Cleveland will play their first rubber match since September 26, 2021, a game that the White Sox won, 5-2, to take a 3-game set at Progressive Field… of the 19 games and 7 series between the two teams last season, they played 2 3-game sets (both were swept by Cleveland), a pair of 2-game sets, 2 4-game sets, and a makeup game…the Guards hold a 3-4 record in rubber matches this season, going 2-2 at home…last season, Cleveland finished 8-6 in rubber matches with a 4-2 record at Progressive Field.

Against Chicago-AL, Cleveland holds a 1,113-1,119 (.499) record all-time…last year, the Guards won the season series 12-7, and have won the season series against the White Sox in 7 of the previous 10 seasons under TERRY FRANCONA…Cleveland’s last series victory against the Southsiders was a 3-game sweep in Chicago from September 20-22 last season…since 2013, Cleveland has the most wins of any MLB team against the White Sox, and their 113-73 (.608) record against Chicago-AL is the 3rdhighest win percentage of any AL team in that span behind Los Angeles-AL (40-22, .645) and New York-AL (36-23, .610).

As Cleveland’s longest-tenured player on its roster, JOSÉ RAMÍREZ ranks near the top of several categories in the franchise’s record book…after recording a triple in yesterday’s contest, Ramírez (534) needs just two extra-base hits to pass Nap Lajoie (535) for 6th-most extra-base hits in club history…with 169 career go-ahead RBI, he is two go-ahead RBI away from passing Carlos Baerga (170) for 5th-most in Cleveland history…he has 198 career home runs as a Clevelander, and is 3 homers away from passing Travis Hafner (200) for 9th-most in franchise history… recently recording his 300th and 301st career doubles, Ramírez is also six doubles away from passing Ken Keltner (307) for 6th-most among any Cleveland hitter…he also has 97 career game-winning RBI, needing 8 more to pass Jim Thome (104) for the most in club

Terry Francona currently owns a career record of 1,895-1,613, putting him at 16th all-time in manager wins (Elias)…with 7 more victories he will pass Hall-of-Famer Bill McKechnie (1,899-1,724) and Gene Mauch (1,901-2,037), cementing himself at 14th alltime…among active managers, he ranks 3rd, behind TEX’s Bruce Bochy (2,033-2,047) and HOU’s Dusty Baker (2,121-1810).

Francona spent four years in Philadelphia from 1997-2000, amassing a record of 285-363…he spent eight seasons with Boston, winning 2 World Series, owning a record of 744-552 and having fewer than 90 wins in only two of those seasons…in his 11 years in Cleveland he has gone 866-698, winning 4 AL Central titles and reaching the World Series in 2016.

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 19 one-run games…the 22 one-run games in the team’s first 48 contests are the most by the club since 1967 when the team went 9-14 in one-run affairs…Cleveland has played 67 such games since 2022, ranking 5th among MLB teams, and have a .552 win percentage (37-30 record) that ranks 5th in the AL…33 of the club’s 48 games (68.8%) have been decided by 2-orfewer runs this season, owning a 16-17 record in those games… Cleveland’s 33 games decided by 2-or-fewer-runs lead MLB this season, just ahead of Los Angeles-AL’s 32.

The Guards have 407 one-run games since 2013, the 2nd-fewest in MLB over that stretch, but the 6th-best win percentage in MLB and 3rd in the AL (.533, 217-190) behind New York-AL (.544, 237- 139) and Los Angeles-AL (.534, 236-206)…Atlanta leads MLB with a .551 (244-199) winning percentage over that period.

Atlanta 244-199 .551
Milwaukee 233-193 .547
New York-AL 237-199 .544
St. Louis 241-209 .536
Los Angeles-AL 236-206 .534
Cleveland 217-190 .533

Cleveland’s 46 steals currently rank 4th in MLB behind Pittsburgh (53), Tampa Bay (53) and Oakland (48)…the last time a Cleveland team had 46-or-more steals through the team’s first 48 games was 1999 (49)…that team went on to win the AL Central…the Guardians 13 multi-steal games this season is 2nd in MLB behind Pittsburgh (16)…the Guards hold an 11-2 (.846) record in such games, holding the highest win percentage among teams with 9-or-more multi-steal games…since 2022, Cleveland leads MLB with 165 stolen bases, ahead of Miami (162) and Texas (158).

2023 1-0 3.64 4 4 21.1 22 11 11 9 11
Career 21-5 3.33 66 50 297.1 266 116 110 78 221

2023 2-2 4.06 9 9 51.0 52 24 23 15 239
Career 33-18 3.57 122 84 522.0 496 230 208 145 398

The 28-year-old right-hander is scheduled to make his tenth start, fifth at home, this afternoon in the finale of this 3-game series with the Chicago White Sox…is starting on 4 days rest; is 10-2 with a 3.04 ERA (51ER/151.0IP) in 28 career starts on 4 days rest…the Guardians are 6-3 in Quantrill starts this season.

His last start came on May 19 at New York-AL in a 10-9 defeat… he did not factor into the decision, throwing 5.2 innings, allowing 3 runs (earned) on 6 hits with 6 strikeouts against 0 walks…after working through the first 4.0 frames without allowing a run, the Mets plated two runs in the 5th inning with a solo home run from Francisco Alvarez and an RBI-single from Jeff McNeil…Brett Baty later took Quantrill deep with a solo shot to lead off 6th frame…he recorded two more outs before Mark Canha singled, ending his day…he has yet to allow 4-or-more earned runs in a start in May.

This will be his 11th career appearance and 7th career start against the White Sox…his last start against Chicago-AL came on July 22, 2022, an 8-2 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field…Quantrill got the win, allowing 2 runs (earned) over 5.0 innings with 4 strikeouts and one walk…in his 10 appearances against the Sox he owns a 2-1 record with a 2.87 ERA (12ER/37.2IP)…he’s looking to secure his third straight win against Chicago-AL.

Quantrill has yet to allow an earned run in his 2 starts against the AL Central this season, shutting out Minnesota over 7.0 innings on May 7 and Detroit over 6.0 innings on April 19…in 39 appearances (26 starts) against the AL Central, he’s 16-3 with a 2.98 ERA (56ER/169.0IP), his lowest mark vs. any division…his last divisional loss came on July 5, 2022 against Detroit, since then he has gone 8-0 with a 2.63 ERA (15ER/51.1IP) in 9 starts vs. the AL Central, rattling off 5 consecutive victories…his 8 wins against the division during that stretch is T1st with SHANE BIEBER and his 2.63 ERA is 4th.

In 48 games/38 starts at Progressive Field, Quantrill possesses a 15-2 record with a 3.05 ERA (77ER/227.1IP) and 159 strikeouts… among pitchers with 20-or-more starts at Progressive Field since it opened in 1994, he possesses the ballpark’s highest win percentage (.882), ahead of Orel Hershiser (21-5, .808).

After losing two straight home starts for the first time since 2019 to start the 2023 season, Quantrill bounced back by earning the win on May 7 against Minnesota, followed by a quality start (6.0IP, 6H, 3R/ER 3BB, 2SO) on May 13 against Los Angeles-AL…earlier this season, his 14-game home win streak was snapped after suffering the loss to Seattle on April 8, ending the longest home win streak in Progressive Field history…entering this season, he had not lost a start at home since September 9, 2019 when he was with San Diego, a span of 36 starts…overall, he boasts a 21-5 record with a 3.33 ERA (110ER/297.1IP) across 66G/50GS at home during his career.

In Quantrill’s last 25 games, he has a 12-2 (.857) record, holding the 2nd-highest win percentage among all MLB pitchers in their last 25 starts behind Los Angeles-NL’s Tony Gonsolin (17-2, .895)…as a club, Cleveland has won 21 of Quantrill’s last 25 starts.

Quantrill has opened May with a quality start in 3 of his 4 outings…his 2.77 ERA (8ER/26.0IP) in May is the lowest in Cleveland’s starting rotation…during his career, he has made 23 appearances/14 starts in May, owning a 3.35 ERA (36ER/96.2IP) with a .251 opposing batting average

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