The White Sox are coming in to the series losing their last game to Cleveland after reeling off three straight wins. The Sox are 1-4 on the road, as they were swept by Kansas City to open the season and have -14 run differential based on giving up 38 runs so far over 8 games (4.76 runs per game). The Sox offense ranks 27th in runs scored (24) in the Majors, while the team batting average is 19th at .227, and 27th OBP (.274.). The lineup can bop a little, ranking 19th in slugging percentage at .359. The pitching has been worse, however Chris Sale is now back from a foot injury and should right that ship slightly, although I believe he’s still on a 90-95 pitch count in his second start. The pitching ranks 26th in ERA (4.76), 29th in quality starts (2), 27th in WHIP (1.43), and 25th in batting average against (.265). Don’t under estimate this team however, as the pitching matchup’s align nicely this weekend for the White Sox and quite a few of these guys can change a game with one swing.
The Tigers are just playing unbelievable baseball right now, with contributions coming from everywhere. At 8-1, the Tigers have the best record in baseball and of course are 3-0 at home after sweeping the opening series against the Twins. The team also has the best run differential at +33 runs (4 better than KC) and have allowed the leagues fewest runs. The offense although shut down a bit in Pittsburgh still ranks 5th in runs scored (54), 2nd in batting average (.312), 3rd in on base percentage (.387), and 3rd in slugging percentage (.479). The pitching has been even better with a 1.91 ERA (1st), 5 quality starts (16th), 0.86 WHIP (1st), and .193 batting average against (1st). I’m not sure the rotation can sustain this pace, however the offense could actually be a bit better so things may balance out.
My key player of the series: Victor Martinez
Pitching Match-ups @ Comerica Park
4/18, 1:08p – Chris Sale (1-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 3.46 ERA)
Who to Watch Chicago (Last 7 Days)
- Avisail Garcia, OF – The former Tiger has been hot over the last week with a .357 batting average which included a double and 2 RBI
- Adam LaRoche, 1B/DH – LaRoche has had the most total bases (10) on the team in the past 7 days to go along with a .286 average and 1.188 OPS due to 4 walks and two homers. He also lead the team with 7 K’s in that span
- Jose Quintana, SP – Chris Sale could easily fit in to this spot with his win, however Quintana didn’t give up an earned run against Cleveland as this threw 6 innings of 3-hit ball with 6 k’s
Who to Watch Detroit (Last 7 Days)
- Shane Greene, SP – Greene flat out dominated the Pirates in his last outing, with 8 innings of 3-hit ball. He threw just 81 pitches, struck out 3, and walked no one.
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B – Miggy has just turned it on in the past week, winning player of the week honors in the AL. Between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Cabrera has a .538 batting average, 1.418 OPS, 22 total bases, 2 homers, and 7 RBI
- David Price, SP – Not as dominant as he was on opening day; however he held Cleveland to 3 hits over 5.2 innings. Price gave up 3 runs to the Indians; however none we earned and the tribe collected just 4 hits and 3 walks, while David struck out 6.
Who Not to Watch Chicago (Last 7 Days)
- Micah Johnson, 2B – The rookie has struggled recently after a hot start in spring training with just 1 hit in 12 at bats while striking out 5 times
- Adam Eaton, OF – The explosive outfielder is struggling at the dish, with .136 batting average in 22 at bats this past week, collecting 3 hits (2 doubles)
- Jeff Samardzia, SP – Has been blasted in his two starts; most recently by the Minnesota Twins. In that game, he gave up 8 hits and four earned runs in 7 innings, while striking out 6
Who Not to Watch Detroit (Last 7 Days)
- Alex Avila, C – Hasn’t recorded a hit in his last 4 games played, but has 4 walks
- Anthony Gose, OF – Has cooled off considerably with playing only half of the teams games in the past week. He is 3 for 12, but 7 strike outs in 9 outs has to be a concern
- Anibal Sanchez, SP – Took the team’s only loss of the season with 6.1 innings of work against the Pirates on Monday. Sanchez gave up 3 homers and 8 hits in that game, however he also struck out 9
Series Prediction: Detroit 2-1
Next Series: 4 vs. the New York Yankees (3-6)