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MLB Preview: Cleveland Guardians (19-23) at Chicago White Sox (16-28)

CLEVELAND GUARDIANS NOTES:

GUARDS DROP SECOND STRAIGHT TO SOX
The Guardians fell to the White Sox by a 5-run margin for a second consecutive contest, dropping a 7-2 decision on Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field…Cleveland’s current record (19-23) matches the club’s mark through the first 42 games of 2022.

Chicago’s offense replicated its 3-homer output from Tuesday night – all coming against Guards rookie PEYTON BATTENFIELD (4.1IP, 9H, 5R-ER, BB, 2SO, 3HR, 75 pitches) – while Gavin Sheets (2nd inning solo shot) and Jake Burger (4th inning 2-run shot) both went deep for a second straight night…Andrew Vaughn added a solo homer off Battenfield in the ChiSox’s 3-run 4th inning…Mike Clevinger held his former club to a pair of runs despite ample traffic on the bases over a 6.0-inning quality start (6.0IP, 6H, 2R-ER, 4BB, 5SO, 95 pitches…JOSH BELL drove in both Cleveland runs, giving the club an early 1-0 lift with his 1st-inning RBI-double ahead of drawing a run-scoring walk for Cleveland’s only tally in a 7th inning that saw the Guardians load the bases with no outs…Guardians offense went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Coming off a 5-4 homestand, the Guardians are 0-2 to begin a 6-game trip thru Chicago-AL & New York-NL…Guardians have split their last 10 decisions (5-5), though club has still dropped 17 of last 27 overall since starting year 9-6…Guardians (19-23) hold sole possession of 3rd place in AL Central, 4.0 games behind 1st-place Minnesota (24-20) and one half-game behind 2nd-place Detroit (19-22)…last season, club went 9-12 in April & 12-12 in May.

AVOIDING THE SOX SWEEP
With two straight losses to Chicago-AL, the Guardians lost their first series to the White Sox since losing 3 of 5 in Chicago from September 23-26, 2021…Cleveland has not been swept by the White Sox since July 23-26, 2015 when Chicago-AL won all four games in Cleveland…they were last swept in Chicago from May 26-28, 2014 in a 3-game set…Cleveland (111-72, .607) has the 3rdhighest win percentage among all AL teams to face the White Sox since 2013, trailing New York-AL (36-23, .610) and Los Angeles-AL (40-22, .645)…Chicago-AL has a 1,117-1,111 all-time series lead.

The Guardians have not been swept in any series since September 2-4, 2022 against Seattle in a 3-game set at Progressive Field…the last time Cleveland was swept in a road series was July 4-6, 2022 in Detroit where they lost 4 straight.

OUR BRAND OF BASEBALL
Cleveland’s 43 steals currently rank 3rd in MLB behind Pittsburgh (50) and Tampa Bay (47)…the last time a Cleveland team had 43-or-more steals through the team’s first 42 games was 1996 (49)…that team went on to win the AL Central…the Guardians 13 multi-steal games this season is 2nd in MLB behind Pittsburgh (15)…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 162 stolen bases, ahead of Texas (157) and Miami (157).

Since the start of 2019, Cleveland’s 165 sac flies rank 2nd in the AL and 3rd in MLB behind Los Angeles-NL (171) and Houston (178)…JOSÉ RAMÍREZ (25) is T3rd and JOSH BELL (21) is T12th in MLB during that stretch…the Guardians have 15 sacrifice flies this season, ranking 3rd in the AL and 7th in MLB.

The Guardians 41 infield hits rank 2nd in the AL behind Tampa Bay (46) and T5th in MLB with San Diego…Cleveland is pacing MLB with 357 infield hits since the start of 2021, 13 ahead of Tampa Bay (344)…AMED ROSARIO (59) is 2nd and MYLES STRAW (48) is T7th in MLB over that period…both Rosario and Straw lead the club with 6 infield hits this season.

PITCH TO YOUR STRENGTHS
The Guardians pitching staff has allowed the fewest walks (114) of any MLB team this season…TANNER BIBEE is T5th in MLB/ T2nd in the AL for fewest walks among pitchers with 22+ innings, allowing just 4 walks so far this season…since 2013, Cleveland’s pitching has allowed the 2nd-fewest walks (4,395) of any MLB pitching staff, behind Los Angeles-NL (4,159).

Cleveland pitchers rank 1st in the league with 17 saves this season…EMMANUEL CLASE leads MLB with 14 saves this year, 3 more than any other MLB closer…his 56 saves since 2022 are 6 more than any other MLB closer, ahead of Kenley Jansen (50)… Cleveland’s staff also ranks 1st in MLB with a 22.2% inherited runners score rate…NICK SANDLIN ranks T7th/T4th in MLB this season with a 14.3% inherited runner scoring rate and is 1 of 4 MLB pitchers to inherit 14+ runners and allow 2-or-fewer to score…since 2013, Cleveland’s 27.1% inherited runner score rate is 2nd in MLB, trailing Los Angeles-NL’s 26.9%.

PUT 4 ON THE BOARD
Cleveland is 13-3 when scoring 4-or-more runs and 6-20 when scoring 3-or-fewer runs in 2023…their .813 (13-3) win percentage when scoring 4+ runs ranks 3rd in the AL this season…since the start of last season, the Guardians are 91-16 (.850) when scoring 4+ runs, holding the 4th-highest win percentage among MLB clubs.

WIN % WHEN SCORING 4+ RUNS, AL TEAMS IN 2023
TEAM WIN% RECORD
Tampa Bay .875 28-4
Houston .815 22-5
Cleveland .813 13-3
New York-AL .808 21-5
Detroit .800 16-4

Cleveland is 700-183 (.792) when scoring 4+ during the Terry Francona era (since 2013), holding the 2nd-highest win percentage in MLB behind Los Angeles-NL (764-154, .832)…during that span, Cleveland is 164-511 (.243) when scoring 3-or-fewer runs, good for the 3rd-best winning percentage in the AL and 6th-best in MLB… despite this record, Cleveland has scored 4-or-fewer runs in all but one game during the month of May including an 11-game streak from April 30 to May 12, the 2nd-longest streak in MLB behind Pittsburgh’s 14-game streak that lasted from April 30 to May 16… marked the longest streak by a Guardians club since another 11- game stretch from July 20-July 31, 2010.

WIN % WHEN SCORING 4+ RUNS, SINCE 2013
TEAM WIN% RECORD
Los Angeles-NL .832 764-154
Cleveland .793 700-183
New York-AL .783 729-202
St. Louis .780 700-197
Houston .777 696-200

TODAY’S STARTER – 41 LOGAN ALLEN LHP
ALLEN ON THE ROAD
W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2023 0-1 3.60 1 1 5.0 4 2 2 2 8
Career 0-1 3.60 1 1 5.0 4 2 2 2 8

ALLEN’S MLB CAREER
W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2023 1-1 3.43 4 4 21.0 24 8 8 7 24
Career 1-1 3.43 4 4 21.0 24 8 8 7 24

TODAY’S START
The 24-year-old left-hander is making his fifth career MLB start, second on the road, in the finale of this 3-game set with the Chicago White Sox.

Looking to bounce back from his shortest start of the season (4.1IP) on Friday against Los Angeles-AL…opened his career with 3 straight starts of 5.0+ innings with 2-or-fewer earned runs.

Allen was originally selected by Cleveland in the 2nd Round (56th overall) of the 2020 MLB Draft out of Florida International University…entered the season as Cleveland’s #8 prospect according to MLB.com…he is starting on five days of rest.

LAST TIME OUT
He last toed the rubber on Friday in a 5-4 defeat to the Los Angeles-AL…he did not factor into the decision, working his shortest outing of the season, allowing 3R/ER over 4.1 innings… the left-hander worked through the first 3.0 innings without allowing a run, notably getting back-to-back strikeouts against Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani with runners on first and second in the 3rd frame…he would give up all 3 of his runs in a 4-hit 4th inning…after allowing the first three batters of the 5th inning to reach, Allen struck out the next batter before being pulled…with 3R/ER allowed, he is the first Cleveland pitcher since TRISTON MCKENZIE in 2020 to allow 3-or-fewer runs in their first 4 starts.

THE ALLEN WRENCH
After striking out 8 in his start on April 30 at Boston, he became the 2nd pitcher in franchise history to record 8+ strikeouts in their first 2 starts (16SO, 11.0IP), last done by Herb Score (18SO, 17.0IP) in 1955…he is the 16th pitcher in MLB history to begin a career with 2 consecutive starts of 8+ strikeouts, last accomplished by Tampa Bay’s Taj Bradley earlier this season.

In his first career start, a 7-4 victory against the Marlins on April 23, Allen’s 8 strikeouts were the 4th-most in Cleveland franchise history for a Major League debut…the left-hander also became the third pitcher in franchise history to throw 6.0+ innings, record 8+ strikeouts and hold an opponent to one-or-zero runs in an MLB debut, the first since TRISTON MCKENZIE on August 22, 2020…Luis Tiant first
accomplished the feat on July 19, 1964, in a complete game shutout.

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
Allen has had success against the top half of the lineup through his first 4 career starts, holding the first four hitters to a combined .186 (8-for-43) average with 13 total strikeouts and 3 RBI…for comparison, the last five hitters in the lineup have a .364 (16-for44) average with 11 strikeouts…batters in the second spot of the lineup are 1-for-12 and cleanup hitters are 2-for-12 when facing the rookie…batters in the eighth and ninth spot are 7-for-15 off the left-hander through his first 4 starts.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX NOTES:

WHITE SOX AT A GLANCE
The Chicago White Sox have won two in a row but lost six of 11 and 17 of 26 as they continue a nine-game, 10-day homestand today with the series finale vs. the Cleveland Guardians.

RHP Dylan Cease, who worked 6.0 scoreless IP in his last outing on 5/13 vs. Houston, is scheduled to start for Chicago.

he White Sox have taken the first two games vs. Cleveland after losing two of three vs. Houston to open the homestand.

Following today’s matinee vs. the Guardians, Chicago will conclude the homestand this weekend vs. Kansas City 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.

TONDAY’S STORYLINES
The White Sox are looking to match their season-high winning streak (three), record their first sweep of the season and first over Cleveland since 9/11-13/20 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

White Sox starters own a 3.03 ERA (12 ER/35.2 IP), .217 (28-129) opponents average and 30 strikeouts over the last six games … they have allowed three earned runs or less five times.

The Sox are 21-29 vs. Cleveland since the start of the 2020 season, including 11-13 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Dylan Cease is 2-0 with a 0.51 ERA (1 ER/17.2 IP), 16 strikeouts and one homer allowed in his last three starts vs. Cleveland.

Jake Burger has homered in three straight games (second time this season), and is hitting .346/.397/.962 (18-52) with three doubles, a triple, nine homers and 18 RBI at home in 2023 … 17 of his 19 career homers have come at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Luis Robert Jr. has hit safely in 13 of 15 games in May, going 20-53 (.377) with five doubles, seven home runs, 15 RBI, five walks, six multi-hit eff orts and a 1.327 OPS.

LAST NIGHT’S RECAP
The White Sox scored in four of the first six innings, and hit three home runs, en route to a 7-2 win over Cleveland.

The Sox scored a run in the second, three in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth, including home runs by Gavin Sheets, Andrew Vaughn and Jake Burger.

Mike Clevinger snapped his six-start winless stretch after allowing two runs on six hits with five strikeouts over 6.0 IP.

Reynaldo López, Joe Kelly and Kendall Graveman combined to strikeout three over 3.0 scoreless and hitless IP in relief.

Burger homered in his third consecutive game and Sheets homered in his second straight as the Sox recorded back-to-back games with three-plus home runs for the fi rst time this season.

GUARDIAN OF THE GALAXY
Dylan Cease is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA (11 ER/36.2 IP), 34 strikeouts and two home runs in his last seven starts vs. Cleveland … he has allowed one run or less fi ve times, including four scoreless outings, during the seven-start span.

He is 2-0 with a 0.53 mark (1 ER17.0 IP), .224 (13-58) average and 11 strikeouts lifetime at Guaranteed Rate Field (3 GS).

LUIS DIGS THE LONG BALL
Luis Robert Jr. ranks second in the American League in home runs (12) and ranks second in MLB with nine homers of 400-plus feet, trailing Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. (10).

He is averaging 407 feet and a 107.2 mph EV on his 12 homers in 2023 … his maximum homer values this season are 430 feet on 5/9/23 at Kansas City, and a 113.6 mph EV on 5/14 vs. Houston.

Robert Jr. has recorded 400-plus foot distances on 34 of his 48 career home runs … he leads the White Sox since the start of the 2020 season with homer averages of 412 feet and 107.6 mph exit velocity (minimum 10 home runs).

HOORAY FOR MAY
Luis Robert Jr. is hitting .377/.459/.868 (20-53) with fi ve doubles, seven homers (averaging 421 ft. and 109.2 mph EV), 15 RBI, 17 runs scored, five walks and a 1.327 OPS in May (15 G).

He ranks among AL May leaders in on-base percentage (1st), slugging percentage (1st), OPS (1st), runs scored (1st), total bases (1st, 46), home runs (1st), extra-base hits (1st, 12), RBI (2nd), average (3rd) and hits (T4th).

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

POSTING PUNCHOUTS
Chicago pitchers rank second in MLB with 419 strikeouts, trailing Minnesota (432) … White Sox starters rank second in the major leagues in strikeouts (252), trailing the Twins (280).

WHITE SOX VS. CLEVELAND GUARDIANS
Chicago is 2-0 this season with five 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 .373/.397/.680 with six homers, own a 1.50 ERA (3 ER/18.0 IP) and a 15-5 edge in runs scored.

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

Chicago has lost three of five overall and five of the last eight at home since 2022 and is 19-21 overall since the start of 2021.

CENTRAL DIVISION DYNAMICS
Chicago is 6-6 vs. the American League Central … it currently is in a stretch of 13 straight games vs. the division (2-0 record).

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.

LONGBALL LOGISTICS
The White Sox have not hit three-plus homers in three or more consecutive games since 7/27-29/10 (also three).

Chicago has homered in 14 of its last 16 games since 4/30 (24 total homers), and hit 27 over its last 19 contests since 4/27.

The Sox have recorded nine multi-homer efforts and been held without a home run just three times over the last 19 games.

Jake Burger leads MLB with a 7.90 AB/HR ratio this season (minimum 80 plate appearances) … he is averaging 405 feet on his 19 career home runs, and 13 have recorded 400-plus feet.

REST WHEN YOU CAN
The Sox currently are in a stretch of 16 straight games without a day off and are 9-7 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).
SOUTHPAW SUCCESS
Chicago is 23-60 (.383) in the last 10 games vs. LHP.

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 9-25 (.360) with three homers and seven RBI vs. LHP in 2023 and hitting .351/.414/.611/1.025 lifetime.

NO RISP, NO REWARD
The White Sox rank seventh in the American League and 13th in MLB with a .260 (91-350) RISP average. The Sox are hitting .232/.313/.436 with 66 RBI and a .749 OPS with RISP over the last 24 games.

AS TA GOES, SO GO THE WHITE SOX
Since the start of the 2020, the Sox are 157-118 when Anderson is in the starting lineup and 68-85 when he does not start.

During that span, the Sox are 129-78 when Anderson records a hit, 75-32 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.

REINFORCEMENT ON THE MEND
RHP Liam Hendriks currently is on an injury rehab assignment with Class AAA Charlotte … he has made fi ve appearances with Charlotte, allowing five earned runs on six hits, including two home runs, with four strikeouts over 4.0 IP.

Hendriks began 2023 on the IL to continue his recovery from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (announced on 4/20 he is cancer free).

ON DECK: VS. KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Kansas City won three of four from 5/8-11 at Kauffman Stadium.

Chicago is hitting .212/.271/.333 with three home runs, owns an 7.29 ERA (27 ER/33.1 IP) with two quality starts and has been outscored by a 27-13 margin vs. the Royals this season.

The White Sox are 19-23 vs. the Royals since the start of the 2021 season (outscored 169-159) after going 9-1 in 2020.

STARTER – #84 DYLAN CEASE RHP
CEASE AT A GLANCE
Is scheduled to make his 10th start of the season (100th career), sixth at home and first vs. the Cleveland Guardians.

Has allowed one run or less while tossing 5.0-plus IP in 24 starts since 2022 … the 24 starts are the most in baseball ahead of the Dodgers’ Julio Urías (23), the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (20) and Rangers’ Martín Pérez (20).

Is 0-2 with a 6.60 ERA (22 ER/30.0 IP) and .315 (39-124) opponents average in his last six starts.

The White Sox are 5-4 in his starts this season … has recorded three quality starts.

Needs two wins for 40 in his career.

According to STATS, he is the fastest White Sox pitcher to reach 600 career strikeouts (495.1 IP).

Ranks second in MLB since 2021 in SO/9.0 IP (11.52), fourth in strikeouts (507), is tied for sixth in wins (29) and ranks 10th in opponents average (.211).

Established career bests last season in ERA (2.20), strikeouts (227), wins (14), IP (184.0), WHIP (1.11) and opponents average (.190).

Was the 2022 AL Cy Young Award runner up and has been named American League Pitcher of the month twice in his career (June and July 2022).

LAST START
Received a no decision on 5/13 vs. Houston, allowing four hits with two walks and five strikeouts over 6.0 scoreless IP … marked his first scoreless start of the season … tossed 6.0-plus IP for just the third time … retired 15 of the last 18 batters faced.

Departed the game in the seventh with the White Sox leading, 1-0 … threw 97 pitches (58 strikes) … the White Sox would go on to win, 3-1.

Owned a 69.6 first-strike percentage and 13.4 swinging-strike percentage (13 swing and misses) vs. 23 batters … threw 44 four-seam fastballs (95.4 mph avg; 97.8 mph max), 42 sliders (85.8 avg; 88.3 max), eight knuckle curveballs (80.7 avg; 82.2 max) and three changeups (77.9 avg; 79.3 max).

35TH AND SHIELDS
Is 5-4 with a 2.09 ERA (25 ER/107.2 IP), .194 (75-387) opponents average and 118 strikeouts in his last 18 starts at home dating back to 5/29/22 … his 2.09 ERA is the fourth-lowest by a White Sox pitcher over a 18-start span in Guaranteed Rate Field history.

Owns a 15-8 record, 2.96 ERA (80 ER/243.1 IP), .202 (178-880) opponents average and 297 strikeouts in 44 starts (22 quality) at Guaranteed Rate Field since 2020.

Ranks among American League home leaders since 2020 in strikeouts (2nd), ERA (4th), opponents average (5th) and wins (T8th).

LIGHTS OUT IN THE SUN
Is 10-4 with a 1.71 ERA (24 ER/126.1 IP), .185 (85-460) opponents average and 155 strikeouts (11.04 per 9.0 IP) over 22 day starts since the start of last season.

His 1.71 ERA in day games since 2022 is the fifth-lowest in baseball and third-lowest among pitchers with at least 10 starts during the day.

UNDER PRESSURE
Opponents are hitting .250 (10-40) with RISP, .174 (4-23) with RISP/two outs and .143 (1-7) with the bases loaded this season.

Owns a career .211 (90-426) opponents average with RISP, the fifth-lowest mark in the majors since 2019.

THE 2023 OPENER
Was the 70th pitcher and 41st right-hander to start on Opening Day for the White Sox.

Became the first White Sox to start OD following a Top 2 Cy Young finish since Jack McDowell in 1994 … McDowell won the American League Cy Young in 1993.

Tied a franchise OD record with 10 strikeouts (also McDowell in 1991).

Joined Walter Johnson (1916), Mike Mussina (1998) and Jared Weaver (2012) as the only pitchers in MLB history to record 10-plus strikeouts and no walks on OD.

VS. CLEVELAND GUARDIANS || A.L. CENTRAL
Is scheduled to make his 10th career start against Cleveland and fourth at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Has allowed just one run over 17.0 IP in three career home starts vs. Cleveland.

Is 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA (5 ER/28.1 IP), .257 (28-109) opponents average and 28 strikeouts over his last five starts against the Guardians … three of those starts were scoreless efforts.

Has gone 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA (12 ER/15.0 IP), .274 (17-62) opponents average in three starts vs. the American League Central this season, but is 7-3 with a 1.84 ERA (17 ER/83.1 IP), .205 (62-303) opponents average and 96 strikeouts over his last 17 starts vs. the division.

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