Chicago White Sox (46-73 SU, 63-56 RL, 56-56-5 O/U) vs. Texas Rangers (60-61 SU, 68-53 RL, 53-63-3 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, August 20, 2017, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas, 3:05 pm ET
Lines: Texas -182, Chicago +172; Over/Under: 11.5
It’s the conclusion of a matchup between American League foes in different situations in the Lone Star State. The Chicago White Sox play the final game of a four game set against the Texas Rangers Sunday afternoon. The teams split the first two games of the series: the Rangers claimed a 9-8 victory in the series opener Thursday night while the White Sox countered with a 4-3 win on Friday. The pitching matchup for Saturday’s third game of the series saw Derek Holland pitch for the White Sox against Texas’s Martin Perez. First pitch was scheduled for 8:05 pm ET.
Chicago White Sox Playing for the Future
Chicago managed to get the win Friday to square the series but the fact remains that the White Sox are playing for the future. Tim Anderson led the White Sox with three hits in the win while Jose Abreu (run) and Nicky Delmonico (two runs, three RBI) each had two hits. Delmonico hit a pair of homers, giving him five: his inside the park homer in the eighth inning proved to be the winning run. James Shields recorded a no-decision after tossing 5.1 innings and giving up two runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Gregory Infante (1-1) got the win with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief while Juan Minaya pitched the ninth for his first save of the year.
Miguel Gonzalez gets the ball to make his 20th start of the year for the White Sox in this contest. He is 6-10 with a 4.67 ERA, a 1.478 WHIP, 41 walks and 65 strikeouts over 113.2 innings of work. Gonzalez recorded a tough no-decision in his last start, which came Tuesday at home against the Dodgers. He threw six innings, allowing a run on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in an eventual 6-1 White Sox loss. Gonzalez is 1-1 with a 5.17 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP, four walks and eight strikeouts over 15.2 innings in his last three starts. He makes his seventh career start against the Rangers in this contest: he is 2-3 with a 4.54 ERA and a 1.515 WHIP over 33.2 innings of work. Gonzalez is 1-2 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP over 22.2 innings in his four career starts at Globe Life Park.
Texas Rangers Still in Wild Card Hunt
Texas dropped the second game of this series, missing a chance to make up some ground in the wild card picture. The Rangers entered Saturday 1.5 games behind the Angels and Twins, who are tied for the second AL wild card spot. Texas had six hits in the game with no player accounting for more than one. Mike Napoli (two runs, two RBI) hit his 25th homer in the loss while Delino DeShields Jr. drove in the other run for the Rangers. Andrew Cashner recorded a no-decision as he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts over 5.2 innings. Ricky Rodriguez (0-1) took the loss as he allowed a run on three hits in his inning of work.
A.J. Griffin is expected to make his 12th start of the year for the Rangers in this contest. He missed more than two months earlier this season with a left intercostal strain. Griffin is 6-3 with a 5.07 ERA, a 1.218 WHIP, 18 walks and 46 strikeouts over 55 innings of work this season. He picked up the win in his last outing, which came at home against the Tigers Tuesday. Griffin gave up one run on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts over five innings in a 10-4 Rangers victory. Griffin is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, six walks and 11 strikeouts over 16 innings in his last three starts. He lost his lone career start against the White Sox, which came with the A’s back on June 9, 2013. Griffin threw 7.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts in a 4-2 A’s defeat. He is 6-2 with a 4.62 ERA and a 1.308 WHIP over 15 starts covering 78 innings of work at Globe Life Park in his career.
- White Sox are 1-6 in Gonzalez’s last 7 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance
- White Sox are 1-8 in Gonzalez’s last 9 road starts
- White Sox are 0-6 in Gonzalez’s last 6 starts with 4 days of rest
- Rangers are 7-1 in their last 8 games vs. a right-handed starter
- Rangers are 6-1 in their last 7 home games vs. a right-handed starter
- Rangers are 6-1 in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
The White Sox are the worst team in the American League and as such, are best suited to try and play spoiler at this point in time. Chicago has a bright future if their prospects pan out but to quote Hannibal Smith from the A-Team: “Remember, it’s always darkest right before it goes completely black.” That’s where the team is right now. Texas is right in the midst of the competitive AL wild card race: look for them to pick up the win in this contest to keep that going.