The Chicago White Sox (24-31) will head to St. Petersburg to take on the Tampa Bay Rays (29-30) after dropping five of their last six to the Red Sox and Tigers, here is our series preview. And be sure to check back for the latest series preview on the afternoon of the first game of each series this season.
Previewing the White Sox
The White Sox head to the Sunshine State in a tail-spin, losers of five of their last six contests and seven games under .500, their worst mark of the season.
The White Sox will turn the ball over to Jose Quintana who has been dismal over his last five starts, and pretty bad overall to date in 2017, entering play with a 2-7 record and an ERA inching towards six on the campaign. In what should have been a match-up of a pair of pitchers that would dominate the trade market in July, the White Sox are just hoping that Quintana can get on track and make a quality start on Tuesday evening.
Quintana is 0-3 with a 7.67 ERA over the course of his last five starts, but claims that he doesn’t feel the pressure of the slow start, “I feel good, my arm is good. I stay hungry, and I want to eat. I want to compete.”
Outside of Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu, the White Sox haven’t gotten much help offensively as of late, and even Abreu is riding a cold streak entering tonight’s series opener versus the Rays. Tim Anderson has been creeping back into relevance since the Los Angeles series in early May, and hopefully the young shortstop can continue to show flashes of his rookie season moving forward.
The White Sox will have their work cut out for them in the first two games of the series as they square off against two solid starting pitchers in Archer and Jake Odorizzi in games one and two, and while they haven’t faced the Rays yet, the White Sox are 2-7 against the American League East this season. The White Sox are also just 12-20 on the road this season, while they boast a 12-11 record at home, highlighting the struggles on the road this season.
Previewing the Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays on the flip-side are 16-13 at home this season, and just one game under .500 overall on the campaign as they enter play today at 29-30, sitting in 4th place in the American League East. While the Rays haven’t been world beaters to this point, they do possesses the starting pitching to give the White Sox problems in this series, and they definitely have the offensive firepower.
The Rays however are on the skids as well, returning home this week after being swept by the Mariners at Safeco Field, losing all three games to the M’s by a combined score of 28-7. The starting pitching was not great, and the Rays offense, which enters play leading the American League in home runs was anything but sleepless in Seattle. The series loss sunk the Rays under .500, and put a damper on a pair of previous series wins in visits to Minnesota and Texas on their last road trip.
If the Rays’ charged up power bats can snap out of the mini-funk that they experienced this past weekend, they should be able to fare pretty well against an extremely shaky White Sox starting pitching staff that has been as bad as they have been all season over the last two weeks.
Thursday: TBD vs. TBD
How to Watch / Listen
Tuesday: 6:10 pm – WGN, WLS-890AM
Wednesday: 6:10 pm – CSN-Chicago, WLS-890AM
Thursday: 6:10 pm – CSN-Chicago, WLS-890AM
Jose Quintana finally snaps his string of horrid starts and keeps the Rays’ bats quiet in game one, as the White Sox win the opener over Chris Archer and the Rays in a low-scoring affair.
The Rays pounce on Mike Pelfrey in game two of the series on Wednesday evening and even up the series on the strength of a solid outing by Odorizzi and a trio of long-balls against Pelfrey.
Game three is still up in the air in regards to pitching match-ups, so I will hold off on a prediction for the time being.