The Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants play the opener of a three-game set on Friday night at Oracle Park. I’ll break down the series and pitching matchups for the scuffling ball clubs. We will go over what to expect and what I like about the Sox chances to win the series.
Tale of the Tape: White Sox
Chicago is off to a disappointing 35-39 start in their 2022 campaign. Tony La Russa’s squad has lost six of their last eight games. They are coming off a series of losses to the Angels and Orioles. Before their recent eight-game stretch, the White Sox won six of eight. They played to a 15-12 record in May, followed by a 12-15 record in June to lend credence to how things are going. The pitching staff has a 4.13 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, and a .245 opponent batting average this season. The White Sox offense has scored 309 runs with a .253 batting average and a .309 on-base percentage. Jose Abreu is batting .284 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs for the White Sox this season. Chicago does not have a player in the lineup with 10 or more home runs.
Tale of the Tape: Giants
The Giants is 40-34 this season and have lost five of their last seven games. Giants skipper Gabe Kaplar and company are coming off a two-game series split at home against Detroit. Their pitching staff has a 3.98 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, and a .252 opponent batting average. The Giant’s offense has scored 358 runs with a .239 batting average and a .322 on-base percentage this year. San Francisco’s offense is led by Joc Pederson. Pederson has belted 17 homers with 39 RBI and carries a .934 OPS.
The Pale Hose are 2-0 in interleague road games in 2022 (against the Cubs) and 14-4 in their last 18 interleague games. The under is 6-1 in Chicago’s last 7 games. San Francisco is 9-3 in their last 12 interleague games and 13-5 in their last 18 Friday games. The under is 3-0-1 in San Francisco’s last four interleague games. While this is not meant to be gambling advice, it’s telling that both teams have struggled to score runs recently. Is a breakout for both teams in order?
Friday night’s starter Alex Cobb has struggled in 2022, but the White Sox hitters struggle against righties, where Cobb excels. Cobb is 3-3 with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP in 10 starts. Lance Lynn is 1-1 with a 6.19 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in three starts, will toe the rubber for Chicago. However, those numbers are a tad deceiving for him. He recently returned from IL and did not have spring training. The question in this one is if Lynn can get correct in his fourth start since coming off the IL. In addition, if Cobb’s tough 2022 season continues, the White Sox can take advantage if he’s erratic.
Game two features two of the better starters on both squads. The Sox will send their ace, Dylan Cease, to the hill to face Giants righty Logan Webb. Cease has been a revelation for Chicago. He’s blossomed into the ace that he had the potential to be. Webb on the other hand is having another great year. A year that so far has been similar to his stellar 2021. We always like our chances with Dylan Cease on the mound. The team is 11-4 in his 15 starts.
The finale will feature two struggling starters in Lucas Giolito and Anthony DeSclafani. Giolito appeared to right himself in his last start. The Sox lost due to some defensive miscues and Lucas settled in after some early struggles. Similar to Lance Lynn, DeSclafani struggled since returning from the IL. He will look to right himself in his sixth start of the year. This will be his third start since returning from an ankle injury. He didn’t last more than three innings in the first two. He allowed five and seven earned runs in each start, respectively. The Sox should be able to take advantage in this one, even if Tony La Russa sends out the usual getaway day lineup.
The South Siders leave a lot to be desired when it comes to the long ball and Oracle Park has one of the most spacious ballparks in the league. However, the White Sox’s free-swinging, line drive approach could benefit them in the gaps at the cavernous park. The Giants are in the middle of the pack when it comes to dingers at home. They have a 1.16 homer per game average at Oracle Park. We have also seen the White Sox beat themselves. Their advanced defensive team rankings are some of the worst in the league for OAA and DRS. Luckily, the Giants fall around the same place when it comes to those particular metrics.
I think the favorable pitching matchup has the White Sox in a great position to win this series. The team has played better on the road and have been successful in interleague play the last few years. Regardless, I envision three close games. Neither team is playing very well or scoring runs. A couple of struggling starters take the hill for the Giants, but being righties benefits the Giants vs the Sox. The Sox have some questions as well with Giolito and Lynn. The series will come down to which poor defensive club makes fewer mistakes. I think the Sox take two of three behind stellar starting pitching. Dylan Cease shoves, and the Sox take advantage of the Giant’s struggling starters in my eyes.
Tune in to the Sox On Tap podcast for postgame reaction and further White Sox commentary all season.
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