Chicago White Sox (52-78) vs. Minnesota Twins (68-63)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, August 31st, 1:10 pm EST
Miguel Gonzalez (7-10, 4.30 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (6-10, 6.35 ERA)
Line: Minnesota -155/+145
The White Sox take on the Twins in the final game of a three game series on Thursday. The White Sox have actually playing pretty well lately, having won four of five coming in, but the Twins beat them 6-4 in the opener on Tuesday. The Twins have been a pleasant surprise all year, and are currently five games over .500 and hold the second and all important wild card spot.
They are throwing Bartolo Colon to the mound on Thursday, and I’ve said it before, but I’d be surprised if this isn’t the never-aging-one’s last year. He’ll be opposing Miguel Gonzalez who has pitched relatively well this year in a very tough spot. The White Sox aren’t known for giving their starters much run support.
Gonzalez looks for eighth win
Eight wins is hardly something to celebrate for 130 games into a season, but I’ve actually been very impressed with how Miguel Gonzalez has pitched. He’s had very little run support all year, and his ERA is a respectable 4.30. He’s done all this while on a team that gave up long ago, trading their best pitcher, which made Gonzalez have to go up in the rotation and he’s responded by pitching better.
In fact, his last four starts have been his best stretch of the season. He’s gone 2-0 with two no decisions and has pitched well in every single one of those starts. He’s given up a total of four earned run in 28 innings, and really could have had three or four wins during this stretch. Still, going 2-0 with the White Sox right now is pretty impressive.
Colon turns 45 next year
In the second month of the baseball season next year, Bartolo Colon will be turning 45 years old. It will be interesting to see if he will make it that far. His coming back to pitch year after year has been amazing, but I think this year may mark the end. He has finally started acting his age, and his ERA is 6.35 on the year.
In his defense, he has pitched better since he came over from the Braves. While he accumulated an ERA of over eight while pitching in the NL, his ERA has been a respectable 4.04 since coming to the Twins. He is also 4-1 over his last five starts, despite giving up eight home runs in that span. If he keeps winning, the Twins can live with that.
The Chicago White Sox are:
- 1-5 in Gonzalez’s last 6 road starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- 2-7 in Gonzalez’s last 9 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
The Minnesota Twins are:
- 6-2 in their last 8 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- 14-6 in their last 20 games on grass.
- 4-1 in Colon’s last 5 starts.
I was tempted to bet against Bartolo Colon here, but the Twins have won four of his last five starts and maybe he’s pitching well just because that’s what he does when he smells a playoff race. Not too confident here, but I’ll go with Minnesota.