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Game 12 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays @ Chicago White Sox

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Rays go for their first sweep

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox will be back at again this afternoon as they finish off their frigid three game series.

The Rays have taken the first two games, clinging to a one run lead in both contest. They have secured their first series victory of the year and now they’ll go for the sweep behind the guy that has been their best pitcher thus far in 2018, Yonny Chirinos.

First pitch will be around 2:10 p.m. EST with weather in Chicago currently in the mid 50’s with wind blowing just north of 10 mph.

Starting Pitchers

Yonny Chirinos vs James Shields

It’s looking like Chirinos has pitched himself into the Rays starting rotation as he has been dominant thus far. He has only made two appearances in 2018 — both against the Red Sox — and he has not allowed a run yet over nine innings pitched. In total, he has racked up seven strikeouts, walked a batter, and has yielded four hits.

His last appearance was this past Thursday during Boston’s home opener. Starting the game, he went five scoreless innings, giving up three hits while he walked none and struck out four.

James Shields Scouting Report

The longtime Rays pitcher is now with the White Sox after some turbulent years with the San Diego Padres. His numbers have ballooned since the start of the 2016 season as he his command is a shell of what it once was and he has now become even more prone to the home run ball.

Thus far in 2018, he has made two starts for the White Sox and has allowed 7 runs over 11 innings pitched. His last time out was on the 5th against the Tigers when he gave up 3 runs on 8 hits, while he walked one and struck out a batter over five innings pitched.

His repertoire, per Brooks Baseball

In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Curve using a Knuckle Curve grip (79mph) and Fourseam Fastball (90mph), also mixing in a Sinker(90mph), Cutter (86mph), Slider (86mph) and Change (84mph). He also rarely throws a Slow Curve (68mph).

His curve has slight glove-side movement. His fourseam fastball has heavy sinking action, is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has much less armside movement than typical and has below average velo. His sinkerhas heavy sinking action, has surprisingly little armside run, results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has slightly below average velo. His cutter (take this with a grain of salt because he’s only thrown 19 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ cutters, has sweeping cut action, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ cutters, has slightly below average velo and has some natural sink. His slider (take this with a grain of salt because he’s only thrown 17 of them in 2018) is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ sliders and has short glove-side cut. His change (take this with a grain of salt because he’s only thrown 16 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ changeups, dives down out of the zone and results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups. His slow curve (take this with a grain of salt because he’s only thrown 1 of them in 2018) is a real yakker that’s separated from his other curveball due to its big drop and slow speed.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Denard Span - DH Yoan Moncada - 2B
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Avisail Garcia - RF
Carlos Gomez - RF Jose Abreu - 1B
C.J. Cron - 1B Matt Davidson - DH
Joey Wendle - 2B Nicky Delmonico - LF
Matt Duffy - 3B Yolmer Sanchez - 3B
Mallex Smith - LF Tim Anderson - SS
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS Omar Narvaez - C
Jesus Sucre - C Adam Engel - CF
Yonny Chirinos - RHP James Shields - RHP