CHICAGO WHITE SOX (28-35) VS HOUSTON ASTROS (23-44)
MINUTE MAID PARK IN HOUSTON, TEXAS
For the fourth time this year, the Houston Astros avoided a seven-game losing streak. They snapped their losing streak on Wednesday by scoring six runs in the ninth to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-1. The six-run ninth came out of nowhere as the Astros had managed just seven runs over the previous six games combined. Now the Astros will return home and attempt to improve upon their 10-23 record at Minute Maid Park.
After losing eight straight games between May 27th and June 4th, the Chicago White Sox have won four of their last seven. The Sox currently sit in last place in the AL Central, and 7.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers. They have a -33 run differential, which is fourth worst in the American League. At 12-21, they also have the second worst road record in the league. While their offense has been abysmal, the pitching staff ranks third in the AL in team pitching WAR.
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Since moving into the starting rotation, Chris Sale has become the Ace of the White Sox staff. He is currently fourth in the AL in batting average against (.191) and third in WHIP (0.92). The tall, lanky lefty has three above average pitches: a two-seam fastball, a nasty slider and a changeup. His last time out, Sale threw 7.1 innings against the A’s and allowed four runs — all coming on a Josh Donaldson grand slam.
Erik Bedard is coming off of his worst start since being promoted back to the rotation on May 11th. On Saturday, in Kansas City, he threw just 4.2 innings and allowed six runs on eight hits. Bedard has three starts at Minute Maid this season with no decisions and a 3.05 ERA.
John Danks was outstanding in his last appearance. On Saturday, against the A’s, Danks threw eight innings and allowed just one run on three hits. In that start he managed to retire the last 21 batters that he faced. The Austin, Texas native should have many friends and family in the park on Saturday.
While he hasn’t recorded a win in June, Lucas Harrell has looked like an entirely different pitcher this month. In his last two starts, Harrell has thrown 14 innings and allowed just one run on seven hits. On Sunday he allowed just two hits and managed to shutout the Royals for seven innings. As a former member of the White Sox, Harrell should be extra hyped for this start.
Hector Santiago has bounced back-and-forth between the bullpen and rotation this season. In six 2013 starts, Santiago is 2-2 with a 2.71 ERA. He faced the Athletics in his last appearance and threw 6.1 innings while giving up one earned run on four hits and three walks. Righties are batting just .195 against Santiago this season.
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In his last three starts, Dallas Keuchel is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA. His last time out, Keuchel faced the Mariners and allowed just one earned run on seven hits while striking out six. Opponents have feasted on Keuchel with runners in scoring position, posting a .362/.413/.493 line in 69 plate appearances.
- Jose Altuve is currently fourth on the team in WAR. Jason Castro, Brandon Barnes and Carlos Corporan rank first through third respectively.
- Castro has the fifth most doubles in the American League with 18.
- Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Jeff Keppinger currently have the three worst WARs of any position players on the Chisox.