Thursday, July 18, 2024
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MLB Preview: Chicago White Sox (52-80) at Baltimore Orioles (82-49)


The Chicago White Sox have lost 11 of their last 16 games and 23 of 34 as they continue a brief three-game trip tonight at Baltimore, owners of the best record in the American League. RHP Jesse Scholtens, who owns a 3.62 ERA in 13 games (four starts) on the road this season despite an 0-5 record, is scheduled to start for the White Sox. The Sox opened the trip last night with a 9-0 loss to the Orioles in which they were limited to two hits. Following this series and a day off on Thursday, the White Sox are home for three games vs. Detroit (9/1-3) before taking a six-game, seven-day trip to Kansas City (9/4-6) and Detroit (9/8-10). The Sox went 3-4 homestand on their last homestand vs. Seattle (1-2) and Oakland (2-2) from 8/21-27 and 2-3 on their last trip to the Cubs (1-1) and Colorado (1-2) from 8/15-20.

The White Sox are hitting .291/.328/.483 (94-323) with 23 doubles, 13 home runs and 46 runs scored (5.1 R/G) over the last nine games. Tim Anderson needs three hits to become the 19th player in history to record his first 1,000 career in a Sox uniform (STATS) … Anderson is 9-28 (.321) with four doubles and four multihit eff orts in six games since completing his five-game suspension. Andrew Benintendi is batting .353/.405/.647 (12-34) with three homers and five RBI over his last nine games … Benintendi has homered three times in his last seven games (two in first 117). Yoán Moncada is hitting .328/.368/.547 (21-64) with eight doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI over his last 18 games. Baltimore-area native Gavin Sheets is 14-26 (.600) with two homers and eight RBI in his last eight games against the Orioles.

The Orioles lead the season series, 3-1, recording a 9-0 victory last night after winning two of three games in Chicago from 4/14-16 … the White Sox were unable to hold three-plus run leads in their two losses at home. The Sox are hitting .214/.278/.366 (28-131) with a 6.50 ERA (26 ER/36.0 IP) and have been outscored, 29-14 … they have issued 31 walks in the four games. The Orioles won the 2022 season series, 5-2, taking three of four games in Chicago from 6/23-26 and two of three at Camden Yards from 8/23-25. Chicago’s 7-0 record against Baltimore in 2021 marked the first time in franchise history it swept a season series of seven-plus games.


Is scheduled to make his eighth start (22nd appearance) of the season and first against the Orioles. Ranks among American League rookies (minimum 50.0 IP) in first pitch strike percentage (4th, 66.9), quality starts (T9th, three), and ERA (T12th, 4.15). Went 0-3 with a 2.88 ERA (8 ER/25.0 IP) in eight appearances (three starts) from 7/16-8/6. Recorded three consecutive quality starts from 8/1-12, tied for the longest streak by a White Sox pitcher this season. Has held opponents to a .174 (12-69) average with eight walks and 18 strikeouts in his first inning pitched. Made his MLB debut on 4/7/23 at Pittsburgh, a day after his 29th birthday, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 3.0 IP in relief. Signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training with the White Sox on 12/20/22 … had his contract selected on 4/7, was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte on 4/13 and recalled on 5/22. Was originally selected by San Diego in the ninth round of the 2016 draft out of Wright State (Ohio) University.

Did not factor in the decision on 8/24 vs. Oakland after allowing a season-high tying five runs on six hits (three home runs), one hit batter and four strikeouts in 5.2 IP. The three home runs allowed were a career high … had allowed a total of three over his previous nine appearances (28.0 IP) … exited in the sixth inning with the game tied, 5-5 … Chicago lost, 8-5 Owned a 70.8 first-strike percentage and 9.9 swinging-strike percentage (10 swing and misses) vs. 24 batters … threw 91 pitches (58 strikes) with the following pitch breakdown: 43 four-seam fastballs (92.9 mph avg; 94.6 mph max), 32 sliders (85.4 avg; 87.3 max), 15 curveballs (73.4 avg; 74.9 max) and one changeup (85.6 max).

Is the only MLB pitcher (minimum 120 PA) who hasn’t surrendered a home run to a left-handed hitter this year. Is looking to become the 12th White Sox pitcher (14th
time) to accomplish the feat in a single season and first since Carlos Rodón and Chris Sale (2015). Is limiting left-handed hitters to a .211/.293/.257 (23-
109) slash line with 12 walks and 25 strikeouts in 2023.

Is 0-4 with a 4.81 ERA (18 ER/33.2 IP) in his last 10 games (five starts), holding opponents to two earned runs or less in seven with three scoreless efforts. Has tallied a career-high six strikeouts two of his last five starts, recording at least two strikeouts in each of his last seven outings. Leads the team and ranks 14th in the American League with a 66.9 first pitch strike percentage (minimum 60. IP).

Is 0-3 with a 5.30 ERA (21 ER/35.2 IP), .291 (41-141) opponents average, 12 walks and 27 strikeouts in seven starts (three quality), compared to a 1-3 record with a 2.76 ERA (9 ER/29.1 IP), .213 (23-108) opponents average, 10 walks and 19 strikeouts in 14 relief outings this year. l Is 0-2 with a 4.58 ERA (10 ER/19.2 IP) in four road starts in 2023.

Recorded three consecutive quality starts from 8/1-12, tied for the longest streak by a White Sox pitcher this year … Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn also have recorded three straight QS this season.

Is scheduled to make his first career appearance against Baltimore. Marks his 16th team faced and eighth as a starter. Is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA (3 ER/8.0 IP), .371 (13-35) opponents average, one walk and four strikeouts in two starts against the American League East.


BLANK SPACE: The Orioles shut out the White Sox last night, 9-0, in the opener of the three-game set in Charm City…Marked Baltimore’s ninth shutout of the season and first since August 23 vs. Toronto (7-0); the O’s have recorded 24 shutouts since the start of 2022, tied for the third-most in the AL and sixth-most in MLB during that time…The nine-run margin of victory was Baltimore’s largest in a shutout since a 10-0 win on May 30, 2022 at Boston…The Birds improved to 29-14 in series openers and 13-9 in series openers at home…O’s pitchers allowed just two hits, their third time surrendering two or fewer hits this season, joining April 3 at Texas (1 H) and April 22 vs. Detroit (2 H). Grayson Rodriguez earned the win after tossing 6.0 scoreless innings on one hit and one walk with six strikeouts, his fourth consecutive quality start…Marked his second scoreless start of at least 6.0 innings, joining 6.1 shutout frames on July 28 vs. New York-AL…The one hit allowed last night marked a career low. Anthony Santander slugged his 25th home run of the season, a three-run shot in the eighth inning…The blast came on the 11th pitch of the at-bat, the longest at-bat by an Oriole to result in a homer since Santander hit a long ball on the 12th pitch of an at-bat on June 27, 2022 at Seattle…Is the first O’s switch-hitter to hit at least 25 homers in consecutive seasons since Eddie Murray (1987-88).

SWEEPLESS IN BALTIMORE: With tonight’s game, the Orioles will have gone 82 consecutive series of at least two decisions (no ties) without being swept…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that would be the fifth-longest such streak in MLB history, trailing the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals (124), 1906-09 Chicago Cubs (115), 1903-05 New York Giants (105), and 1922-24 New York Yankees (83)…Baltimore’s current streak is the longest in O’s history, ahead of 46 consecutive sweepless series from 1971-72…The Birds have not been swept in a series of at least two games since May 13-15, 2022 at Detroit (0-3), and not at home in a series of at least two games since August 27-29, 2021 vs. Tampa Bay (0-3).

WHAT’S TRENDING: The O’s have won five of their last six games, eight of 10, 11 of 15, 16 of 23, 19 of 27, 25 of 37, and 33 of 47…At 82-49 (.626), the Orioles have the best record in the AL and second-best in MLB (see box at right)…With their 82nd win last night, the O’s clinched a winning season for the second straight year; they are the first team in the AL to clinch a winning record this season, and second in MLB behind the Braves, who won their 82nd game on August 23…The Birds are 33-14 (.702) since July 5, tied with the Mariners for the best record in the AL and second-best in MLB during that time, behind only the Dodgers (34-11, .756)…The team had a season-best eight-game winning streak from July 5-16, Baltimore’s longest since a 10-gamer from July 3-13, 2022…The O’s are 144-98 (.595) since June 2022, the second-best record in the AL and fourth-best in MLB during that time. The O’s hold a 2.5-game lead over the Rays in the AL East.

FEELS GOOD TO BE HOME: The Orioles are nearing the end of a nine-game homestand against the Blue Jays (2-1), Rockies (2-1), and White Sox (1-0)…After the current homestand, the O’s embark on a nine-game road trip from September 1-10 with three games each at Arizona, Los Angeles-AL, and Boston…The team has scheduled off days the next two Thursdays. The Orioles are 41-25 (.621) at home this season, the third-best home record in the AL and fifth-best in MLB; with their 41st home win last night, the O’s have clinched a winning record at home for the second straight year.

AGAINST THE WHITE SOX: The O’s and White Sox are meeting for their second and final series of the season this week…Baltimore took two of three games at Guaranteed Rate Field from April 14-16…The Orioles are 8-3 against Chicago-AL since the start of 2022 after being swept in the season series (0-7) in 2021…The O’s can secure their second straight season series victory over the White Sox with a win in either of the next two games.

MAKING THEIR PITCH: The O’s have a 3.49 ERA (177 ER/456.2 IP) since July 1, the third-best team ERA in MLB during that time behind Seattle (3.17) and Toronto (3.39)…The Orioles have gone 34-17 (.667) over that period, the second-best record in the AL and third-best in MLB… Baltimore posted a 4.33 ERA (346 ER/719.1 IP) through June, ranked 18th in MLB. BIG TIME RUTSCH: Adley Rutschman is slashing .289/.354/.404 (33-for-114) with five doubles, one triple, two home runs, 19 runs, 15 RBI, 11 walks, one hit-by-pitch, and one stolen base in 28 games since being moved to the leadoff spot on July 29; the team is 19-9 (.679) in those games. Rutschman’s 205 times on base are the most by a primary catcher since Kansas City’s Salvador Perez reached safely 210 times in 2021, per STATS; his times on base this year are the fourth-most by a primary catcher in O’s history (since 1954) and three behind Chris Hoiles (1993) for the third-most.

QUICK HITS: Scheduled to make his 27th start of the season, 16th at home, and second career start against the White Sox tonight…Set a career high with 22 appearances (21 GS) in 2022, 11 appearances at home (10 GS), and 11 on the road…Owned an 8-7 record with a 3.23 ERA (45 ER/125.1 IP) and 87 strikeouts…Made six starts of 5.0-or-more scoreless innings, tied for seventh-most in the AL…Acquired by the Orioles along with INF Breyvic Valera, OF Yusniel Diaz, RHP Zach Pop, and INF Rylan Bannon in exchange for INF Manny Machado on July 18, 2018…Originally selected by the Dodgers in the 14th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of UNLV.

LAST TIME OUT: Earned his 12th victory of the campaign on August 23 vs. Toronto after working 6.0 scoreless innings on five hits and five strikeouts…Marked his third scoreless start of the campaign and his first since May 10 vs. Tampa Bay…Did not issue a walk for the fifth time this season (last: 6/13 vs. TOR)…Also marked his third straight quality start and 13th of the season…Threw 94 pitches, 60 strikes.

CAREER AGAINST THE WHITE SOX AND AL CENTRAL: Slated to make his second-career start against Chicago-AL tonight…Last time out against the White Sox on June 23, 2022 at Guaranteed Rate Field, earned the win…Pitched a scoreless 5.2 innings with seven hits, one walk, one hit batter, and four strikeouts; left with two runners on, who were stranded… Threw 93 pitches, 60 strikes…Making his eighth career start against the AL Central…Dealt the loss last time out against the division on June 30 vs. Minnesota…Allowed a career-high tying seven runs (also: 9/30/20 at BOS) on seven hits (2 HR) with two walks, one hit batter, and five strikeouts in a season-low-tying 3.0 innings (last: 4/1 at BOS)…Left with two runners on base, who later scored…Threw 89 pitches, 53 strikes….Sports a 2-5 record
with a 6.68 ERA (24 ER/32.1 IP) in seven career outings against the AL Central.

CUTTING DOWN: Kremer has recorded 36 strikeouts via his cutter this season, the fifth-most in MLB entering today’s games…Opposing hitters are slashing .221/.284/.463 (33-for-149) against his secondary pitch…In 2022, Kremer punched out 27 batters with his cutter, while opponents slashed .259/.292/.356 (45-for-174).

SWEET VICTORY: Kremer’s 12 wins this season are second on the team (Gibson, 13), tied for third in the AL, and tied for eighth in MLB entering play today…His 12 victories are also a career high, surpassing his eight wins in 2022…The Orioles own a 19-7 edge in his 26 assignments this season, including victories in eight of his last nine since July 5 and in 11 of his last 13 starts since June 13.

ENJOYING THE NIGHT LIFE: Kremer owns a 10-3 record with a 3.76 ERA (40 ER/95.2 IP) and 10 quality starts in 17 night assignments this season…His 10 victories after dark are tied for the AL lead and are tied for third-most in MLB entering tonight’s games…The Orioles own a 13-4 edge in his night starts, including four consecutive wins from July 5-August 4.

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