It’s been what feels like forever since the Chicago White Sox made the playoffs, 2008 to be exact, but they’re back in the postseason and kick it off against the Oakland Athletics Tuesday out in The Bay.
White Sox fans may have to sneak away from work to catch the start of the games because they’re starting pretty early:
- Game 1 – September 29th @ 2pm
- Game 2 – September 30th @ 2pm
- Game 3 – October 1st @ TBD
The White Sox enter the post-season in the midst of a huge slump having lost 8 of the last 10. That damn trip to Ohio was brutal. Pitching has not been good, Eloy is hurt, and Robert is having a bad rookie slump of his own (which hopefully he came out of against the Cubs this past weekend). Prior to the Cubs series, Robert had an 8 game hitless streak. Yeah, not how you want to round out the season.
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The Sox look to get back on track here in the playoffs with no room for error, and they have a good matchup on paper. Oakland plans to throw out Luzardo (4.12 ERA, 3-2) followed by Bassitt (2.29 ERA, 5-2) for Games 1 & 2. Bassitt is the A’s best pitcher, but he’s not starting game one… Luzardo is. The reason this helps the Sox is that he’s a lefty.
Curious as to how the Sox did against lefties this year? Slashed .284/.361/.527 and went 14-0. Pretty good. Pretttty, prettty, prettty, pretty good. The Sox know they’ve had success against lefties this season, too. Tim Anderson had some thoughts on the A’s throwing out a lefty game 1:
Tim Anderson on the White Sox being lined up against a left-handed starter
“I guess they haven’t done their homework"
— James Fegan (@JRFegan) September 28, 2020
Anderson is batting .449 over 55 plate appearances against lefties this season, which is really damn good.
Speaking of hitting… James McCann needs to be in the lineup if he’s not catching. Guy has been great all year and significantly better than Edwin Encarnción. Like, it’s not even close. Throw him in there at DH and be done with it.
So the Sox have a great opportunity with a lefty on the mound and Giolito taking the mound in Game 1. Dallas Keuchel will take the mound in Game 2, while Game 3 is yet to be decided. It’s gotta be Cease or Dunning and I personally prefer the latter. Cease has struggled with control, and aside from one bad game this weekend against the Cubs, Dunning has been arguably the 3rd best pitcher on the team in his albeit short stint this year. The Sox have only lost 1 game he’s started. One thing is for sure, it shouldn’t be Reynaldo Lopez. At this point, I wouldn’t be too upset if Lopez never pitched again for the Sox.
If the Sox manage to get past the A’s, they will be set up to play either the division-rival Twins or the cheating Astros. Not trying to get out over my skis here though. First things first… beat the A’s on Tuesday.