After struggling offensively for the bulk of the beginning of the season, the Astros seems like they are getting their act back together.
Coming from Seattle, the Astros seem to continue finding themselves in cold game time weather while also having some bad playing conditions. Reports coming from Seattle have commented about Safeco Field’s outfield being “an issue”. If so, the Astros are quite fortunate to leave Seattle with their outfielders intact. However, the weather on Chicago’s South Side at Guaranteed Rate Field will not be any better with expected temperatures in the thirties and forties.
That said, let’s take a look at who’ll be starting this weekend series for the Astros and White Sox.
Game 1: Justin Verlander (2-0, 1.35 ERA) vs. TBD
Game 2: Dallas Keuchel (0-3, 3.52 ERA) vs. Lucas Giolito (0-2, 5.50 ERA)
Game 3: Lance McCullers (2-1, 5.57 ERA) vs. Reynaldo Lopez (0-2, 1.42 ERA)
This series should be an interesting one. The White Sox are a young team with a lot of future potential. They are in phase two of their rebuild and should see things come around in the next few years. Do not sleep on the White Sox despite their 4-11 record in 2018.
In the previous years, the White Sox have traded away multiple veteran players and brought in top-tier talent, some of which have already seen major league playing time. One of their biggest hyped prospects, Yoan Moncada, who is in his first whole season, has shown some big potential in the majors. The 22-year-old is hitting .222/.329/.757 with three home runs and nine RBI’s so far this season, including hitting a grand slam the other night against Oakland. Other big names who have seen playing time are pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Carson Fulmer.
And 2013 first round draft pick shortstop Tim Anderson is also in the mix of the Chicago rebuild effort. Anderson had a good first year in the majors in 2016. He would soon sign a six-year, $25 million dollar deal, but he has played poorly only hitting .257/.276/.402 with 17 home runs in 146 games last year. Thus far in 2018, Anderson has hit .232/.317/.411 with three home runs and eight stolen bases.
Left fielder Nicky Delmonico is the White Sox hottest hitter right now. He is hitting .333/.400/.444 with nine hits in the past seven games. Starter Reynaldo Lopez has also gotten to a hot start, starting the season with a 1.42 ERA while averaging over six innings per outing. Starter Lucas Giolito struggled in his last start giving up five walks and three runs in six-plus innings. The Astros have two RBI’s in 22 at-bats against him.
The Astros finally started pulling together their offense, putting up 18 runs in the past three games, paving their way to winning three of four in Seattle.
Astros hitters have started to rack up hits the last two games, getting 12 hits on Wednesday and another 11 in the series finale against Seattle on Thursday. Brian McCann has lead the offensive re-boost hitting .364, tallying eight hits in the past seven games. George Springer has continued to power the top of the line up with eight hits and seven runs in the past seven games.
Despite only scoring two times in the past seven games, Carlos Correa got on-base 11 times in just 26 at-bats. The bats, though, will have a chance to continue their resurgence against the White Sox pitching staff.
**Statistics and information courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball Reference**