Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The Chicago White Sox have been stagnant late, but still have a huge lead over AL Central with their 71-51 record this season. Lucas Giolito will take the ball here as he comes from a loss against the New York Yankees where he went four innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with three innings and eight strikeouts.
The Tampa Bay Rays come from a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles and lead AL East with a record of 75-47 so far. Veteran Michael Wacha will be on the mound as he comes off a loss against the Minnesota Twins, allowing seven runs on 11 hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings of work.
Working on the road
The Chicago White Sox have been one of the better offensive teams in baseball, as their 752 OPS ranks eighth. They have no problem scoring races as their lineup produces 4.97 runs per game. Fight this year. Chicago has done well on the road this season as their running average jumps up to 5.02 runs per. Match in 57 road matches this year. First baseman Jose Abreu has taken the lumber with him everywhere he goes as he has a .819 OPS with 25 home runs and 89 RBIs this season. If the White Sox can stay healthy, this lineup can be considered one of the deepest in the game.
Lucas Giolito has done quite well for himself this season according to his Baseball Savant page, as he is in the 85th percentile in barrel percentage, 77th percentile in xERA, 76th percentile in strikeout percentage and 72nd percentile in percentage with hard hit. His exit speed of 88.3 MPH this season is the highest since 2018. Giolito throws four lanes (fastball, changeup, slider, curveball) and his shooter has been the most dominant as it has a .202 stroke average with a .394 swallowing percentage. He faced the Rays once already this season and was not part of the decision as he went six innings and allowed three runs on four hits with two trips and seven strikeouts.
Rays opposite ERAs
The Tampa Bay Rays have been an offensive team in the middle of the pack this season as they are 11th with a .740 OPS. Looking at the last 30 days (27 games), the rays only follow the Cincinnati Reds in the form of OPS (.842), while there are on average 6.59 runs per game. Fight in this span. Tampa shows how strikeouts are overrated, as they currently lead the sport with 1,206 strikeouts, but are one of the best offensive teams in the game today. Left-back Randy Arozarena has done well this season as he has an .821 OPS with 16 home runs and 54 RBIs while stealing 11 bases on 18 attempts. If the Rays can continue to score as well as they have been, it will be hard to write them off.
Michael Wacha has struggled this season according to his Baseball Savant page, as he is in the first percentile in xBA, second percentile in xERA, 17th percentile in barrel percentage and 17th percentile in whiff percentage. His 10.0 barrel percentage is the highest in his entire career. Wacha also has a four-pitch arsenal (fastball, cutter, changeup, curveball), and the cutter has been hit the most as it has a .375 stroke average with a .59 swallowing percentage. He last faced the White Sox in 2018 as a member of the St Louis Cardinals, and in one start he went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits with three
- Chicago: 6-0 in their last 6 during Game 1 of a series
- Chicago: 42-19 in their last 61 games as a road favorite