Chicago White Sox (45-72 SU, 61-56 RL, 56-56-5 O/U) vs. Texas Rangers (59-60 SU, 68-51 RL, 53-63-3 O/U)
MLB: Friday, August 18, 2017, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas, 8:05 pm ET
Lines: Texas -185, Chicago +175; Over/Under: 11.5
It’s the continuation of a matchup between American League foes in different situations in the Lone Star State. The Chicago White Sox play the second game of a four game set against the Texas Rangers Friday night. Chicago was swept in their two game set against the Dodgers on the road, falling 5-4 in the finale Wednesday. Texas swept the Tigers at home in their three game set as they took the finale 12-6 Wednesday. The pitching matchup for Thursday’s series opener saw Reynaldo Lopez pitch for the White Sox against the Rangers’ Tyson Ross. First pitch was set for 8:05 pm ET.
Chicago White Sox Stuck in AL Basement
Chicago is the worst team in the American League and entered Thursday losers of four straight. The White Sox had their chances at an upset in Wednesday’s game but gave it away: Chicago led 4-2 in the ninth before giving up three runs to lose in walk-off fashion. Nicky Delmonico (two runs, two RBI) had three hits for the White Sox while Leury Garcia (run, RBI) and Jose Abreu (run, RBI) each had a pair of hits. Carlos Rodon recorded a no-decision despite a quality start: he threw 7.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Jake Petricka (1-1) took the loss as he allowed two runs on three hits without retiring a batter.
James Shields takes the ball for his 14th start of the year for the White Sox: he missed nearly two months earlier this season with a lat strain. He is 2-4 with a 5.90 ERA, a 1.573 WHIP, 32 walks and 58 strikeouts over 68.2 innings. The long ball has already plagued Shields as he has allowed 18 homers already this season after giving up 31 in 114.1 innings a year ago. He recorded a no-decision in his last start, which came against Kansas City at home Saturday. Shields went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in a 5-4 White Sox loss. He is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, four walks and 20 strikeouts over 18 innings in his last three starts. Shields makes his 15th career start against the Rangers in this contest: he is 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.055 WHIP over 101.1 innings of work. He is 3-3 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.141 WHIP over 54.1 innings in his eight career starts at Globe Life Park.
Texas Rangers Staying in Wild Card Race
Texas swept Detroit and has wins in six of their last seven games entering Thursday night’s contest. The Rangers entered Thursday two games behind the Angels for the second wild card spot in the American League. Elvis Andrus (three runs, four RBI), Delino DeShields Jr. (run) and Nomar Mazara (run, three RBI) each had three hits in the game for Texas. Mazara (his 15th), Adrian Beltre (his 13th), Joey Gallo (his 35th) and Andrus (his 16th) each homered in the win. Cole Hamels (8-1) picked up the win after allowing four runs on eight hits with five walks and four strikeouts over six innings of work.
Andrew Cashner takes the mound for his 20th start of the season for the Rangers in this contest. He missed one start with neck stiffness but hopes to return and build on recent momentum: he is 7-9 with a 3.32 ERA, a 1.325 WHIP, 44 walks and 59 strikeouts over 114 innings of work. Cashner took a tough loss in his last start, which came against the Mariners at home Saturday. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in a 2-1 Rangers loss. Cashner is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, three walks and 12 strikeouts over 20 innings in his last three starts. He makes his fourth career appearance and second start against the White Sox here: he is 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP over eight innings of work. Cashner is 4-3 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.268 WHIP over 56 innings in nine career starts at Globe Life Park.
- White Sox are 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
- White Sox are 1-5 in their last 6 Friday games
- White Sox are 1-9 in their last 10 during game 2 of a series
- Rangers are 5-0 in their last 5 home games vs. a right-handed starter
- Rangers are 5-0 in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- Rangers are 6-0 in their last 6 games vs. a right-handed starter
The White Sox are stuck as the American League’s worst team as their attempted rebuilding project continues. Texas had won five straight heading into Thursday’s game and is still in the mix of the wild card race even after dealing Jonathan Lucroy, Jeremy Jeffress and Yu Darvish at the trade deadline. Cashner has pitched well of late while Shields is winless in his last seven starts. Look for the Rangers to roll to the win here and stay in the wild card race.