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MLB Preview: Cleveland Guardians (19-21) at Chicago White Sox (14-28)


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The Chicago White Sox have lost four of their last five games, six of nine and 17 of 24 as they continue a nine-game, 10-day homestand tonight with the series opener vs. Cleveland.

RHP Lance Lynn, who has allowed four-plus earned runs in each of his last five starts, is scheduled to start for Chicago.

The White Sox opened the homestand losing two of three to Houston, including a 4-3 setback in Sunday’s series-deciding contest … the Sox held on for a 3-1 win on Saturday night after the Astros won Friday’s opener, 5-1, following a 2:10 rain delay.

Following this series vs. the Guardians, Chicago will conclude the homestand vs. Kansas City (5/19-21) before taking a seven-game trip to Cleveland (5/22-24) and Detroit (5/25-28).

The Sox went 3-4 on their last trip at Cincinnati (2-1) and Kansas City (1-3) from 5/5-11 and 3-4 on their last homestand vs. Tampa Bay (1-3) and Minnesota (2-1) from 4/27-5/4.

Chicago is a season-high tying 14 games under .500.

White Sox starters own a 5.81 ERA (37 ER/57.1 IP), .267 opp. average, 12 home runs and 54 strikeouts in the last 10 games.

The Sox have not won a series over the Guardians since taking three of fi ve from 9/23-26/21 … they are 19-29 vs. Cleveland since the start of 2020, including 9-13 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Lance Lynn owns a 2.25 ERA (6 ER/24.0 IP) with 21 strikeouts over his last four starts (three QS) vs. Cleveland.

Luis Robert Jr. has hit safely in 12 of 13 games in May, going 19-45 (.422) with five doubles, six home runs, 14 RBI, five walks, six multi-hit eff orts and a 1.443 OPS.

Robert Jr. has homered in career-long three straight games … the last White Sox to homer in four straight was Matt Davidson from 6/12-15/17 (four homers total).

The White Sox returned LHP Garrett Crochet from his rehab assignment at Class AAA Charlotte and reinstated him from the 10-day injured list, and optioned RHP Nick Padilla to Charlotte. Crochet made six rehab appearances after starting 2023 on the IL to continue recovery from Tommy John surgery … he has not pitched in a regular season game with the Sox since 10/1/21.

Luis Robert Jr. is tied for the American League lead in homers (11) and ranks among MLB leaders in average homer distance (5th, 406 ft.) and EV (5th, 107.2 mph) in 2023 … min. 10 HRs.

Eight of his 11 home runs have gone at least 400 feet, tied with Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. and Matt Olson for the most in MLB. His maximum values this season are 430 feet on 5/9/23 at Kansas City (off Jordan Lyles), and a 113.6 mph exit velocity on 5/14 vs. Houston off Hunter Brown).

Robert Jr. is averaging 412 feet and a 107.6 mph exit velocity on his 47 career home runs … both numbers lead the White Sox since the start of the 2020 season (minimum 10 home runs).

Luis Robert Jr. is hitting .422/.509/.933 (19-45) with five doubles, six homers (averaging 422 ft. and 109.4 mph EV), 14 RBI, 15 runs scored, five walks and a 1.443 OPS in 13 May games.

He ranks among MLB May leaders in average (1st), on-base percentage (1st), slugging percentage (1st), OPS (1st), runs scored (1st), total bases (1st, 42), home runs (T1st), extra-base hits (T1st, 11), hits (T2nd) and RBI (3rd).

By comparison, he hit .213/.254/.407 (23-108) with five homers, 13 RBI and a .662 OPS over 28 games in March/April.

The last White Sox to win American League Player of the Month honors was 1B José Abreu in August 2021.

Chicago pitchers rank second in MLB with 402 strikeouts, trailing Minnesota (415) … White Sox starters rank second in the major leagues in strikeouts (240), trailing the Twins (270).

Chicago and Cleveland meet 13 times in 2023, including seven games at Guaranteed Rate Field and six at Progressive Field.

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

The White Sox went 7-12 last season, going 3-6 at Guaranteed Rate Field and 4-6 at Progressive Field.

The Sox hit .223/.273/.357 with 19 homers, owned a 3.99 ERA (75 ER/169.0 IP) and were outscored by a 96-72 margin.

Chicago has lost three straight and fi ve of the last seven at home vs. Cleveland, and is 17-21 overall since the start of 2021.

Chicago is 4-6 vs. the American League Central this season … it will play 13 straight games vs. the division from 5/16-28.

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 Sox recorded three straight winning seasons vs. the division from 2019-21, their longest streak since 1997-2009.

The Sox tonight begin a stretch of 16 consecutive games without a day off and are 7-7 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).

Chicago has homered in 12 of its last 14 games since 4/30 (18 total homers), and hit 21 over its last 17 contests since 4/27.

The Sox have recorded seven multi-homer eff orts and been held without a home run just three times over the last 17 games.

The White Sox nine-game home run streak from 4/30-5/9 marked their longest since 7/30-8/10/21 (11 straight games).

The White Sox are batting .273/.339/.443 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, fourth in OPS (.782) and sixth in slugging percentage.

Tim Anderson owns a .350/.379/.555 (143-409) slash line vs. LHP since 2019, and Hanser Alberto is hitting .346/.366/.493 (172-497) … Anderson and Alberto rank 1-2 in MLB in average vs. left-handers since the start of 2019.

Luis Robert Jr. is 9-24 (.375) with three homers and seven RBI vs. LHP in 2023 and hitting .352/.415/.614 lifetime.

The White Sox rank seventh in the American League and 13th in MLB with a .264 (87-330) RISP average.

The Sox are hitting .236/.324/.441 with 59 RBI and a .765 OPS with RISP over the last 22 games.

All four of Andrew Vaughn’s home runs this season have tied the game or given Chicago the lead, including a game-ending, three-run shot in the ninth inning on 4/30 vs. Tampa Bay.

Vaughn leads the White Sox with 16 contests with a hit and RBI, and 33 games reaching base safely (hit, walk or HBP).

Vaughn ranks seventh and Andrew Benintendi (.409) ranks eighth among American League average with RISP leaders.

The White Sox went 3-15 during Tim Anderson’s 10-day injured list stint (sprained left knee) from 4/11-5/1.

Since the start of the 2020, the Sox are 155-118 when Anderson is in the starting lineup and 68-85 when he does not start.

During that span, the Sox are 127-78 when Anderson records a hit, 74-32 when he records a multi-hit eff ort, 96-47 when he scores a run and 27-3 when he homers.

Anderson ranks second in MLB since the start of 2019 with 53 three-hit games (Sox are 37-16), trailing Freddie Freeman (60).

Anderson needs three homers to become the fourth player in White Sox history to record 100 homers and 100 stolen bases.

RHP Liam Hendriks currently is on an injury rehab assignment with Class AAA Charlotte … he has made fi ve appearances with Charlotte, allowing fi ve earned runs on six hits, including two home runs, with four strikeouts over 4.0 IP. Hendriks began the season on the injured list to continue his recovery from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma … he announced on 4/20 that he is cancer free.

Is scheduled to make his ninth start of the season, fourth at home and first against the Cleveland Guardians.

Has allowed 12 runs in the first inning in 2023 … surrendered 13 runs (11 earned) in the first in 21 starts in 2022.

Has surrendered 11 home runs this season … has allowed a homer in seven of his eight starts, including in each of his last four.

Ranks among MLB active pitchers in HR/9.0 IP (6th, 0.94), SO/9.0 IP (7th, 9.10), opponents average (9th, .242), wins (9th, 124), starts (9th, 293), opponents SLG (10th, .384), IP (10th, 1,749.2), strikeouts (11th, 1,769), opponents OPS (11th, .696), ERA (12th, 3.62), WHIP (12th, 1.27) and opponents OBP (12th, .312).

Signed a two-year contract extension with a club option with the White Sox on 7/17/21 … the Sox hold an $18-million option for 2024 with a $1-million buyout.

Is a two-time All-Star (2012 and 2021) … has finished fifth in the AL Cy Young Award voting in 2019, sixth in 2020 and third in 2021 … was a member of the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Suffered his fifth loss of the season on 5/10 at Kansas City, allowing seven runs on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 5.0 IP … allowed homers to Michael Massey (solo) in the fourth inning and Nick Pratto (tworun) in the fifth … surrendered four runs in the first.

Left the game in the sixth with the White Sox trailing, 7-1 … threw 98 pitches (68 strikes).

Owned a 65.4 first-strike percentage and 5.1 swinging-strike percentage (eight swing and misses) vs. 26 batters … threw 35 four-seam fastballs (92.4 mph avg; 94.1 mph max), 28 cutters (88.2 avg; 91.2 max), 12 sinkers (91.2 avg; 92.4 max), 11 curveballs (80.8 avg; 82.2 max), 11 changeups (84.2 avg; 86.1 max) and one sweeper (82.2 max).

Recorded his 24th career double-digit strikeout performance and fifth with the Sox on 4/29 vs. Tampa Bay.

Ranks 12th in the majors with 689 strikeouts since 2019 … teammate Lucas Giolito (759) ranks sixth.

Has struck out at least five batters in 84 of his 103 starts since 2019, the 10th-highest total in the majors.

Is 11-9 with a 3.72 ERA (68 ER/164.1 IP), .221 (138- 625) opponents average, one complete game, one shutout and 191 strikeouts in 29 home starts since 2021 … made one start in Dyersville, Iowa at the “Field of Dreams” Game on 8/12/21 vs. New York-AL.

Has gone 11-9 with a 3.62 ERA (64 ER/159.1 IP) in 28 starts at Guaranteed Rate Field since 2021.

Ranks among American League home leaders (min. 150.0 IP) since 2021 in opponents OBP (6th, .273), opponents average (7th) and strikeouts (11th).

Owns a career .229/.284/.353 (808-3,524) opponents slash line against right-handed hitters.

His .229 opponents average vs. right-handers is the eighth-lowest mark among active pitchers in the majors.

Ranks 10th in MLB with 1,749.2 IP since 2011 … is one of 13 active pitchers in MLB with 1,700.0-plus career IP.

Has thrown 100-plus pitches 67 times since 2019, the most in the majors during that span.

Has thrown 29,908 pitches since 2011, seventh-most during that span, and the most among MLB pitchers with less than 1,900.0 IP during that span.

Is scheduled to make his 14th career start against the Cleveland Guardians, eighth at home and sixth at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Has allowed three runs or fewer in 10 of his 13 career starts and has struck out seven-plus in five.

Is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA (6 ER/24.0 IP) and 21 strikeouts in his last four starts against Cleveland.

Went 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA (14 ER/28.0 IP) in five starts last season.

Has gone 12-8 with a 3.99 ERA (71 ER/160.1 IP) in 28 starts against the American League Central since 2021.

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