The Chicago White Sox are a below average baseball team. They have a 52-56 record. They have a team slash line of .249/.313/.398 (19th in MLB/21st/25th). They have scored the 24th fewest runs (431) in baseball. Their team ERA of 4.04 (12th in MLB) is better than the O’s, but come on! This series has SWEEP written all over it. The only problem...the Orioles have to go on the road. DUN DUN DUUUUNNN!
Even though the ChiSox kind of stink, they are good at home, sporting a 28-24 record at U.S. Cellular Field. Meanwhile, the Orioles are bad on the road and their 22-29 record away from Camden Yards proves it.
One positive of this series is that the Birds avoid noted jersey thrasher Chris Sale, who is also a very good pitcher. Better than that is the fact his socks are still white, well black, rather than red.
Onto the guys that will be pitching...
Game 1: Friday, August 5 at 8:10 p.m., MASN 2
RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-3, 5.70 ERA) vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (2-5, 4.06 ERA)
You just KNOW this one is gonna hurt. Gallardo vs. Gonzalez. The current disappointment vs. the former feel good story. Can’t wait for MiGo to throw the inevitable complete game shut out. That would just be the cherry on top of this starting pitcher fiasco.
Gonzo hasn’t been amazing with the ChiSox, but has been decent with his 100 ERA+ and 3.92 FIP. Of course, this will be his first time pitching against the Birds. But he has seen Mark Trumbo, Nolan Reimold and Pedro Alvarez before. Trumbo has two home runs and two walks in nine plate appearances. The other two guys are a combined 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
Game 2: Saturday, August 6 at 7:10 p.m., MASN 2
RHP Chris Tillman (14-3, 3.46 ERA) vs. LHP Carlos Rondon (2-8, 4.67 ERA)
Rondon has experienced a bit of a sophomore slump after a nice rookie showing last year. His home run rate (1.6/nine innings) is more than double what he was doing last year. And he is giving up 10.6 hits per nine innings as well.
Earlier this year against the O’s, the lefty threw seven innings and allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits, one walk and seven strikeouts.
Tillman will be looking to get out of his recent little funk. Over his last two starts he is 0-1 while allowing eight runs in 10.2 innings. He was better his last time out, but he needs to get going if he wants to reach that 20-win mark.
Game 3: Sunday, August 7 at 2:10 p.m., MASN 2
RHP Dylan Bundy (4-3, 3.05 ERA) vs. RHP James Shields (3-6, 5.64 ERA)
It’s exciting to see Bundy’s name in the lineup. Like, I just want the Orioles at-bats to be over so I can see Dylan spin the pearl (no on says “spin the pearl”) more often. Please stay healthy, please!
Shields has been really bad with the White Sox. Since coming over from San Diego in June, these are his nine-inning splits: 4.0 walks, 4.5 strikeouts, 10.4 hits, 1.6 home runs. Ick. Sounds like a nice person for the O’s to take some hacks against.