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Orioles-White Sox series preview: Gotta take advantage of a bad team

The Orioles need to take care of business against this underachieving team.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The fourth-place Chicago White Sox (51-79) are coming to town, a team that had high preseason hopes that were never realized. After going 81-81 last year, the team with a number of young stars seemed like they might take the next step. Playing in the AL Central could only help them, right? hasn’t really worked out. So much so that last week, the team sacked both the vice president, Kenny Williams, and the general manager, Rick Hahn. That duo had been in place together since 2002, which is pretty wild.

As for the team on the field, they have an underachieving offense with Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jiménez the only regulars putting up above-average numbers. Injury has limited Jiménez to just 90 games this year, though he is currently on the active roster.

The White Sox offense averages 4.15 runs per game which is 11th in the American League. (The Orioles, at 4.94, are 4th.) Their team OPS+ of 85 is dead last.

Over on the pitching side of the house, things look a little different in the rotation since the trade deadline. The White Sox sent Lucas Giolito to the Angels and Lance Lynn to the Dodgers. Dylan Cease is having a down year and their best starter on paper has been Mike Clevinger. The Orioles will not face him in this series.

Just as the White Sox offense has been significantly below average, so too has their pitching. They allow an average of 5.14 runs per game, better in the AL than just the A’s and Royals. Much of that is due to the bullpen, which is sporting a combined bWAR of -3.1.

Long story short, this is a team the Orioles should destroy.

Game 1: Monday, 7:05 ET, MASN2

Probable pitchers: RHP Grayson Rodriguez (17 GS, 5.38 ERA / 4.62 FIP) vs. RHP Michael Kopech (24 GS, 4.95 ERA / 6.52 FIP)

Michael Kopech is not good. He leads the league in walks with 80, which breaks down to 6 walks per nine innings pitched. That is a very high rate, especially for a pitcher who has lasted a full season in the starting rotation. In his last 10 starts, he has walked fewer than four batters just twice.

Kopech is a righty, but righties have hit him better this year with an OPS of .839. And he has been especially bad on the road with a 5.60 ERA and 1.623 WHIP. The Orioles need to light this pitcher up.

As for Grayson Rodriguez, his ERA doesn’t currently reflect how well he has been pitching. Since his recall on July 17th, he has an ERA of 3.24 and an almost identical FIP of 3.22. Batters are hitting just .218/.284/.293 against him. He has become appointment television for me.

Game 2: Tuesday, 7:05 ET, MASN2

Probable pitchers: RHP Dean Kremer (26 GS, 4.31 ERA / 4.73 FIP) vs. RHP Jesse Scholtens (21 G / 7 GS, 4.15 ERA / 4.91 FIP)

Rookie Jesse Scholtens joined the rotation when the White Sox traded away starters at the trade deadline. He is coming off of two rough starts against Oakland and Colorado, of all teams. He gave up five runs in each of those two starts. Prior to that, he had a pretty good run, pitching at least six innings in three straight starts and giving up a total of six runs.

His overall numbers as a starter are not so hot, but it is a small sample size still. He has a 5.30 ERA as a starter with a WHIP of 1.486.

Dean Kremer is coming off of a very good outing against the Blue Jays in which he pitched six shutout innings. I am still at a point where I don’t know what to expect from Kremer on a game-to-game basis, though he has been solid of late. He gave up seven runs in three innings to the Twins back on June 30th. Since then, he has pitched to a 3.06 ERA in nine starts. I want to believe!

Game 3: Wednesday, 1:05 ET, MASN2

Probable pitchers: RHP Kyle Gibson (27 GS, 4.89 ERA / 3.84 FIP) vs. RHP Dylan Cease (27 GS, 4.81 ERA / 3.77 FIP)

Just going on ERA/FIP comparison of these two pitchers, it’s wild to me how many people were clamoring for their favorite team to trade for Dylan Cease at the trade deadline. Cease was incredible in 2022 but the results just haven’t translated so far this season. In three of his last five starts, Cease has given up at least five runs and as many as nine.

He’s of course more than capable of pitching a good game on any given day and has give up three or fewer runs in 17 starts this year, But the clunkers have come often enough to have some level of hope against him. That feeling did not exist when facing him last year.

Kyle Gibson bought himself some grace with a very good game against the Blue Jays last week. On a day when the bullpen needed rest, Gibson pitched eight strong innings with three runs allowed. His few starts before that were pretty bad, but hopefully that was an aberration. The starting rotation could use him as a solid presence.


The Orioles could pass their 2022 win total with a sweep of the White Sox. I’ll never allow myself to believe a sweep is likely, because baseball is hard even when you’re playing a bad team. But the White Sox are pretty bad, so it’s a real possibility. I’ll stick with voting for two wins as I do for every series preview.

Due to an off day for the Rays today, the Orioles have the opportunity to push their lead in the division to 2.5 games as they slowly catch up to the Rays’ total games played. Or they could drop to 1.5, but I’m not ready to think about that.


How many wins will the Orioles get in this series against the White Sox?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    0 (swept)
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    (14 votes)
  • 51%
    (270 votes)
  • 44%
    3 (sweep!)
    (233 votes)
525 votes total Vote Now