The White Sox enter with some confidence after salvaging a four-game series split versus the Houston Astros. Chicago won each of the final two games to claw their way back towards the .500-mark. The White Sox are just three-games below .500 at the moment with a 23-26 overall record, but they are 10 games back of the Twins in the AL Central race. Can Chicago cut into its deficit in the division with a successful weekend series versus the first place Twins?
Jimenez catching fire at the plate after IL stint
The White Sox welcomed back rookie outfielder Eloy Jimenez earlier this week for their series against the Astros after missing nearly a month on the injured list. Jimenez went 0-for-7 during his first two games back off of the IL, but he appears to be heating up in a hurry at the plate. The 22-year-old slugger proceeded to launch three home runs over his next two games, bringing his season total to six in just 94 at-bats this year.
It is absolutely absurd how hard Eloy Jimenez hit this baseball pic.twitter.com/ywKUOUB0YS
— Mike (@ChiSoxFanMike) May 24, 2019
Chicago is scheduled to turn to emerging young right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, who has flashed signs of brilliance during an up-and-down campaign. He’s been lights out as of late, tossing quality starts in six of his last seven outings, including each of his last three trips to the mound. He owns a 2.28 ERA over his last three outings, but Lopez enters with a 3-4 record and a 5.13 ERA in 10 starts this season.
The 25-year-old made four starts versus the Twins in 2018, compiling a 1-1 record and a 3.46 ERA in 26 combined frames. According to Baseball Savant, he’s managed to limit Twins hitters to an invisible 0.098 batting average in 98 plate appearances. StatCast projects Minnesota for an expected batting average of .176 and an expected slugging percentage of .407 off of Lopez heading into Friday’s matchup.
Berrios developing into ace for Twins
The Twins have slugged their way to the best record in the big leagues and they are hitting home runs at a record-breaking clip. They are currently on pace for 324 home runs, which would shatter the single-season record of 267 set a year ago by the New York Yankees.
Right-handed ace Jose Berrios will toe the rubber for the AL Central-leading Twins in Game 1 versus the White Sox on Friday. Berrios enters with a 6-2 overall record to go along with a 3.39 ERA in 10 starts this season. The 24-year-old has shown a penchant for pitching deep into games this season, opening the year with eight consecutive outings of six innings of work or more. Berrios pitched into the seventh or later on five of those occasions, but he’s failed to complete six frames in each of his last two starts.
— Over The Top Sports (@OverTheTopSport) May 19, 2019
Berrios was spectacular versus Chicago in 2018, going 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA in five outings versus the division-rival White Sox. He is 7-1 with a 2.12 career ERA in nine starts against them dating back to 2016.
According to Baseball Savant, Berrios has held the current White Sox roster to a slim batting average of just .197 in 125 plate appearances. StatCast data projects Chicago hitters for an expected batting average of .205 and an expected slugging percentage of .379 off of Berrios heading into Friday’s start.
- White Sox are 5-12 in Lopez’s last 17 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- White Sox are 2-5 in Lopez’s last 7 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance.
- White Sox are 0-4 in Lopez’s last 4 road starts.
- Twins are 14-3 in Berrios’ last 17 home starts vs. a team with a losing record.
- Twins are 4-1 in Berrios’ last 5 starts during game 1 of a series.
- Twins are 24-6 in Berrios’ last 30 home starts.