The Chicago White Sox have struggled in 2013 and come in to St.Petersburg with a record of 34-48 and in last place in the AL Central. They are an injured team as Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd, Paul Konerko, and Jesse Crain are all on the disabled list but this did not stop them from taking two out of three games this past weekend from the Baltimore Orioles.
Yesterday, after the Orioles tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the ninth but Adam Dunn hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the inning and in his excitement after the game said:
"I'm not writing this year off, don't know what everyone else is saying or thinking, but I'm not writing this year off yet. We're capable of running off some significant wins in a row. Hopefully this is the start of something good."
The White Sox are coming in to town at least energized by winning a series against one of the best teams in baseball and like the Rays are looking to build momentum leading up to the All-Star break.
The Rays will face right hander Dylan Axelrod and left handers Chris Sale and John Danks this weekend. They are 30-30 versus right handed pitchers and 15-10 versus left handed starters. They also hit LHP (.291/.352/.452) much better than RHP (.246/.320/.405).
The White Sox hit RHP (.250/.302/.387) slightly better than LHP (.230/.287/.354). The pitching match ups are as follows:
Friday 7:10 p.m. Jeremy Hellickson (7-3, 4.90 ERA) vs Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 4.57 ERA)
Sat 7:15 p.m.Matt Moore (11-3, 3.65 ERA)vs Chris Sale (5-7, 2.79 ERA)
Sun 1:40 p.m. David Price (2-4, 4.65 ERA) vs John Danks (2-5, 4.38 ERA)
The White Sox offense has been in the lower half of the American League this season. They have scored the fewest runs in the American League at 3.06, average the 3rd fewest runs per game at 3.76, hit the 3rd fewest HR (79), and have the second lowest OPS (.678).
|Alejandro De Aza||79||350||10||40||10||7.70%||24.00%||0.258||0.314||0.411||0.315||93||0.3|
The White Sox bullpen consists of 6 right handers and 1 left hander. Their pen holds the AL Lead with 19 losses, allow the 5th most inherited runners to score (29.6%), while having the 3rd highest ERA (4.17) and 2nd highest batting average against (.259).
The Starting Pitching:
Made 5 starts in June without recording a decision and pitching to a 5.88 ERA (17 ER/28 IP). The opposition hit .358/.431/.642 against him including 8 home runs. His control was suspect as well striking out 15 while walking 14. He will be looking to put his struggles behind him and build off his last start against the Cleveland Indians on June 29th when he went 6 innings and only allowed 3R/ER on 6 hits.
The ACE of the White Sox staff is having another outstanding season but has fallen victim to the old no run support bug which is why he has a 5-7 record but an ERA of 2.79. In June he made 6 starts and went 0-5 with a 3.19 ERA. He held the opposition to a .215/.267/.304 slash line and struck out 53 batters while only walking 9 in 42.1 innings of work. His last start came on June 30th against the Cleveland Indians and he took the loss giving up 3R/ER in 8 innings of work but Justin Masterson shut the White Sox out en route to a 4-0 Indians win. Sale's last victory came on May 17th in a 3-0 shutout of the Los Angeles Angels.
Has only made 8 starts on the year as his start of the season was delayed due to recovery from shoulder surgery. Overall he has a record of 2-5 with a 4.38 ERA but he is coming off his best start of the season on July 2nd against the high powered Orioles offense. In that game he went 7 innings allowed just 6 hits, 2R/ER while striking out 4 and walking 1. He was very efficient in cutting through the Orioles lineup needing only 93 pitches to get through 7.
Danks is a reverse split pitcher and in 2013 left handed hitters are hitting him at a .293/.349/.569 clip (only 63 PA).
In his career LHB have an OPS against him of .750 while RHB have an OPS of .725. It will be interesting to see if the Rays lineup is loaded with LHB and if Lobaton/Zobrist are in the lineup if they hit LH as well.