The Chicago White Sox try for their first winning streak in almost two weeks when they take on the Cleveland Guardians in the fourth of a five-game series between AL Central rivals on Saturday night. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET at Progressive Field.
The White Sox have won two of the first three games, clinching the AL Central in the process. Chicago is 87-67 and in fourth place in the overall American League standings, four games behind the Houston Astros, who they’ll likely face in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Cleveland has flip-flopped between wins and losses over the last five games, including a 1-0 setback on Friday night. The Indians are 75-78 and in second place in the AL Central.
MLB lines have the White Sox with a moneyline of -200, while the Indians are listed at +170, with the over/under set at 8½ runs.
The White Sox would certainly like to catch the Astros to have home-field advantage for a potential series against them, but Chicago also wants to get healthy. That includes avoiding injuries, which didn’t happen Friday, with starting pitcher Dylan Cease getting struck on the right arm by a comebacker, giving him a triceps contusion on his pitching arm on which X-rays were negative.
“I wasn’t able to get out of the way,” Cease said after Friday’s win. “It feels good now. I don’t anticipate missing any time. I know I want to make at least one more start before the postseason. It could have been a lot worse.”
On the mound will be right-hander Lance Lynn, who is 10-5 with a 2.47 ERA in his first season with Chicago. Lynn hasn’t recorded a win since July 25, going 0-2 over his last eight starts.
He took a loss in his last outing, facing the Texas Rangers on Sept. 18 and going 5⅓ innings while allowing one earned run (two total) on six hits in a 2-1 Chicago setback. Lynn has three starts against Cleveland this season, going 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA while striking out 19.
Outfielder Luis Robert’s home run to lead off the fifth inning was the only run of the game on Friday. The 24-year-old is batting .395 in September, hitting seven doubles and four home runs while driving in 16 and scoring 11 times.
Up and Down
Rookie right-hander Eli Morgan will get the start for Cleveland. Morgan is 3-7 with a 5.68 ERA, and he’s shown the inconsistency you might expect from a player in his first MLB campaign.
Morgan is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts in September, but seven of the eight earned runs he’s given up this month came in one start. He’s coming off a six-inning start against the Yankees on Sunday in which he allowed just one run on six hits, but that came after he’d given up seven earned runs on eight hits, including two home runs, to Milwaukee in his previous start, lasting just 4⅓ innings.
Third baseman Jose Ramirez went 2-for-4 on Friday night after going hitless in Thursday’s doubleheader against the White Sox. The Indians’ home run and RBI leader is batting .310 this month with three doubles, four home runs and 12 RBIs.
Shortstop Amed Rosario has Cleveland’s best batting average against the White Sox this season. In 49 at-bats, Rosario is hitting .306 with five doubles, a triple, two home runs, five RBIs, and 10 runs scored. He was 1-for-4 on Friday night after sitting out the doubleheader on Thursday.
White Sox Win
Lynn should be able to keep the Indians’ lineup in check in this one, enabling the White Sox to finally piece together two wins in a row again. Chicago knows it needs to get healthy and geared up for the postseason, but it also wants to win games just like this one.
When making your MLB picks, take Chicago to win on the road.