In a battle of two up-and-coming young teams in the American League, the No. 7 Chicago White Sox will travel to the Oakland Coliseum to take on the No. 2 Oakland Athletics in a Wild-Card series starting on Tuesday. This series will highlight young stars like Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Ramon Laureano, Matt Olson, and others. Read on for our White Sox vs Athletics Preview.
White Sox vs Athletics Preview – Schedule
Being the higher seed, the Oakland Athletics will host the best of three series at the Oakland Coliseum. The schedule will be as follows:
- Game 1 Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Game 2 Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Game 3 (if necessary, Oct. 1, Time and TV TBD
2020 Regular-Season Records
- Chicago White Sox 35-25
- Oakland Athletics 36-24
White Sox vs Athletics Preview – Head-to-Head
Given the nature of the shortened season this year, where teams only played opponents in their region, these teams did not play. In 2019, it the Athletics took the season series from the White Sox, 5-1.
Chicago White Sox Stats
The Chicago White Sox have been one of the best-scoring offenses in the league, ranking sixth overall by averaging 5.05 runs per game. Part of the reason for their success comes from two MVP candidates in Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson. Abreu has had a remarkable season, hitting .317/.370/.617 with 19 home runs, 60 runs batted in and 43 runs scored, while Anderson hasn’t been too bad either, hitting .322/.357/.529 with 10 home runs.
In terms of preventing runs, the White Sox ranked eighth in the majors, allowing an average of just four runs per game. Part of the reason has been a solid 1-2 punch of Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel. Giolito is 4-3 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, and has struck out 97 in 72.1 innings, Keuchel is 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
The White Sox have a couple of interesting young pitchers that could make a difference. If it gets to a Game 3, the White Sox could turn to righty Dane Dunning. In seven starts, Dunning is 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. The White Sox also found a gem in the bullpen with rookie Garrett Crochet. Drafted this year, Crochet has been electric in five games, striking out eight in six innings.
Oakland Athletics Stats
On offense, the Athletics were middle-of-the-pack in terms of runs scored averaging 4.54 per game. While Oakland doesn’t have a ton of household names, it has gotten the job done all season. Olson leads the team in home runs with 14, although he has only hit .195. In fact, of all the players that have over 100 at-bats, not a single one is hitting over .250.
One of the reasons the Athletics are where they are is because of a fantastic pitching staff. They rank sixth in the majors in earned run average at 3.84. Their best pitcher has been Chris Bassitt, who started 11 games and is 5-2 with a 2.29 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and has struck out 55 in 63 innings. Jesus Luzardo has also been solid with a 3-2 record and 4.12 ERA.
One of the biggest difference-makers for the Athletics might be their bullpen. Four of their top relievers have ERAs under two. Liam Hendriks has converted 14 out of 15 saves with a 1.78 ERA and 0.67 WHIP, while Jake Diekman (0.42 ERA), Yusmeiro Petit (1.66 ERA), and J.B. Wendelken (1.80 ERA) have also been amazing in relief. The solid bullpen can certainly help the Athletics shorten the game for their starters.
- Game 1 Lucas Giolito (4-3, 3.48 ERA) vs. TBA
- Game 2 Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 1.99 ERA) vs. TBA
- Game 3 TBD vs. TBD
White Sox vs Athletics Preview – Odds
Despite being a 2 vs. 7 matchup, the series odds are pretty even. Oakland has a -110 moneyline to win this series, while Chicago is at -120.
The Athletics come in with the third-best odds among American League teams to win the World Series at +850. The White Sox come in with a moneyline set at +1000.
White Sox vs Athletics Preview – Wild Card Pick
Coming into this postseason, the White Sox have been struggling, as they have lost eight of their last 10. Unfortunately, their rough play will be tough to overcome as they go into the Coliseum, where the Athletics were 22-10.
Obviously, with a 1-2 combo of Giolito and Keuchel, the White Sox can’t be counted out, but the smart money is on Oakland.