Game time: 1:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Where to watch: NBCSCH, Bally Sports Great Lakes
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: White Sox -170, Indians +150
BetMGM: White Sox -175, Indians +145
Caesars: White Sox -160, Indians +150
White Sox: 87-68 (clinched American League Central)
Indians: 76-78 (2nd place, AL Central)
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White Sox - Indians preview and analysis
White Sox: 4-6 in last 10
Indians: 5-5 in last 10
Life has to be somewhat cool for the Chicago White Sox to be able to coast to the playoffs right now.
Their positioning is also locked up right now with Chicago likely facing the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series. Which, if you’re a White Sox fan, you get to spend that whole series bringing up 2005.
But the White Sox are coming off a loss against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday with the series finale on Sunday at Progressive Field.
The White Sox could not solve the arm of Eli Morgan, who threw six innings of one-hit ball and had six strikeouts to pace Cleveland. To go blow for blow against Chicago ace Lance Lynn (6 IP, 6 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) and outduel him, something that hasn’t happened a lot yet, is quite the accomplishment.
Indians All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez continues to close in on a 40-homer season after he cleared his 36th of the season with a two-run shot in the first inning. Ramirez had three RBI on the night to give him one away from 100.
But it’s likely to be a struggle for the Indians on Sunday when the White Sox send ERA leader Lucas Giolito to the mound in the finale. Giolito’s won-loss ledger is a subpar 10-9, but the right-hander is approaching 200 strikeouts with a 3.70 ERA. Given the talent in this White Sox rotation, having Giolito has a No. 2, or even No. 3 if Carlos Rodon is healthy, gives Chicago a dangerous rotation heading into the postseason.
The Indians will send young right-hander Triston McKenzie to the bump, and the 24-year-old continues to be a steady, improving presence. McKenzie is 5-7 with a 4.67 ERA. The key for him is getting to the sixth inning. In four of his last five victories, McKenzie has made it to the sixth inning; the only loss was giving up one earned run against the Minnesota Twins on Sept. 8, striking out seven.
I would not rule out how great this pitching matchup will be. The runs will be at a premium if Saturday was any indication. Cleveland has proven to play Chicago tough lately, and this game won’t be any different. I really like McKenzie’s potential as a No. 3 guy in Cleveland’s rotation and this will be a great audition for him. However, Giolito has been great all season and I expect the White Sox to pick him up and get him some run support. White Sox win 6-4
The White Sox are 29-21 (-1.6 net games on the money line) as a road favorite of -110 or higher.
The Indians are 14-22 as a dog of +125 to +175.
Players to watch
White Sox: Jose Abreu is batting .260 with only one home run since Sept. 8. Chicago would benefit from its MVP rounding back into form heading into the postseason.
Indians: Despite that 5-for-5 game at the end of August, Amed Rosario has been hitting at a .250 clip in the last 15 games with two homers and seven RBI.
Tim Anderson (R) SS
Yoan Moncada (S) 3B
Jose Abreu (R) 1B
Eloy Jimenez (R) LF
Luis Robert (R) CF
Gavin Sheets (L) DH
Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
Andrew Vaughn (R) RF
Zack Collins (L) C
Bradley Zimmer (L) CF
Amed Rosario (R) SS
Jose Ramirez (S) 3B
Franmil Reyes (R) DH
Bobby Bradley (L) 1B
Harold Ramirez (R) LF
Owen Miller (R) 2B
Roberto Perez (R) C
Oscar Mercado (R) RF
Probable starting pitchers: Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs. Triston McKenzie (CLE)
Batting average: Tim Anderson (.303)
Hits: Tim Anderson (152)
Home runs: Jose Abreu (29)
RBI: Jose Abreu (113)
Stolen bases: Tim Anderson (17)
Wins: Dylan Cease (13)
Saves: Liam Hendriks (35)
ERA: Lucas Giolito (3.70)
Batting average: Amed Rosario (.281)
Hits: Amed Rosario (147)
Home runs: Jose Ramirez (36)
RBI: Jose Ramirez (99)
Stolen bases: Jose Ramirez (26)
Wins: Aaron Civale (11)
Saves: Emmanuel Clase (24)
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