The Tampa Bay Rays will host the Chicago White Sox in the three-game series opener Friday night from Tropicana Field. The White Sox will send 25-year old right-hander Reynaldo Lopez to the hill, and the Rays are expected to counter with 23-year old left-hander Brendan McKay. The Rays swept the White Sox in the lone series this season.
Lopez Rebounds with Gem Against Athletics
Reynaldo Lopez will be on the hill for the 20th time of the season, seeking his second straight Quality Start. Lopez was flawless in his previous start, allowing just one run (zero earned) in six innings against a pesky A’s lineup, although he received little run support and finished with the no-decision in a 3-2 White Sox’ loss. The fourth-year right-hander has not been able to put together a solid stretch of starts, and he owns a weak 5.97 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP paired with a 4-8 record in 104 innings pitched on the season. Lopez was rocked for eight runs in 4.1 innings against the Rays earlier this season, and he has now surrendered 11 runs to go with an 0-2 record in 10.1 career innings against Tampa Bay. Avisail Garcia is 1 for 3 against Lopez, while Kevin Kiermaier is 3 for 5, and Willy Adames is 1 for 3.
Yo knows oppo. pic.twitter.com/3fZ24McZ4h
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 18, 2019
Jose Abreu is playing well, recording a sharp .314 average paired with eight RBI’s on the month. The 32-year old first baseman is having another productive season, logging a .275 average with 21 home runs and 68 RBI’s. Abreu hasn’t been able to solve the Rays pitching this season, going 0 for 13 in the three meetings. Sluggers Eloy Jimenez and Tim Anderson have landed on the injured list.
The slumping White Sox are scoring an average of 4.23 runs on the season, ranking them down at 27th in the big leagues. The Chicago pitching staff holds a weak 5.18 ERA, placing them 27th in the Majors. The White Sox are 17-31 on the road entering Thursday.
McKay Makes Fourth Career Start
Brendan McKay has been recalled for his fourth start of the season in this one. McKay last pitched on July 13th and he was sharp, tossing five shutout innings against the Orioles in a no-decision. The rookie left-hander has looked good in all three starts this season, holding his opposition to a total of only three runs in 16 innings, and he has only conceded one home run and one walk. McKay posted a stifling 1.85 ERA in the Minors this season.
The 2-0 pitch…
….and it's gone. pic.twitter.com/oWhGT06swV
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 17, 2019
Tommy Pham has made the most of his three career at-bats against White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez, going 2 for 3 with two homers and three RBI’s. The 31-year old centerfielder is playing well, driving in seven runs on the month, and he is currently hitting .278 with 15 home runs and 42 RBI’s on the season. Pham is 4 for 12 with three RBI’s against the White Sox this season.
The Rays stand 19th in the Major Leagues with an average of 4.70 runs on the year. The Tampa Bay pitching staff stands second in all of baseball with a 3.39 team ERA. The Rays possess a 26-22 home record.
The Chicago White Sox are:
- 4-1 in Lopez’ last 5 starts pitching on four days of rest.
- 6-1 in their last 7 games on astroturf.
The Tampa Bay Rays are:
- 1-4 in their last 5 games after allowing more than five runs in their previous game.