Last night’s loss made it three straight for the White Sox as their nightmare first half of the season continues. With two more games left in the series, Chicago will be looking to put themselves in a position to win the series come Wednesday. We’ll preview tonight’s matchup before going over my play for the first five innings.
If you haven’t seen the White Sox play this season, last night’s loss sums it up nicely. Michael Kopech went out and struck out ten hitters in 4 ⅓ innings, yet he still walked away with his fifth loss. The right-hander allowed four earned runs on five hits as Brandon Drury and Matt Thaiss were able to take him deep. Los Angeles struck out 16 times last night and left 20 runners on base, but their two runs in the eighth inning were enough to solidify a win.
In the hopes of securing a series win, the Angels will send lefty Tyler Anderson to the mound. Across nine starts and 48.7 innings, Anderson has pitched to a 4.81 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 23 walks. In his most recent outing, the veteran lefty went six innings with three strikeouts and one earned run allowed as he secured the win. Command remains an issue, however, since he is still averaging 2.6 walks per outing.
Anderson will face a White Sox lineup tonight that recorded eight hits last night, half of which went for extra bases. Chicago struck out 11 times in the game, with six coming from Luis Robert Jr. and Yoan Moncada, but they also struggled to cash in scoring opportunities, leaving 13 runners on base. On a positive note, Andrew Vaughn went 2-3 in the game, giving him ten hits over his past ten games.
Getting the ball for Chicago tonight will be right-hander Lucas Giolito, who is set to make his 12th start. In 63.3 innings, Giolito has a 3.98 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 19 walks, but he is coming off his worst start since April 7th. Last time out, the righty lasted just 3 ⅔ innings while allowing four earned runs on six hits and seven walks.
Chicago is a team on paper that seems like they would be a good team to back in certain spots, but that hasn’t been the case this season. That said, my play in this one will be the Angels F5 moneyline priced at (+120). Los Angeles scores an average of 3.44 runs per game on the road in the first five innings, the second-highest average in the league. While the White Sox average 2.38 runs per first five innings at home, which is 20th for that category.
On top of averages, the White Sox have struggled against lefties at home this month, as they rank 22nd in wRC+ and 21st in wOBA in this spot. Chicago is also 25th in slugging percentage and 22nd in OPS, so even with his command issues, Tyler Anderson is a tough matchup for them. The lefty is in the 87th percentile in hard hit percentage, 65th percentile in barrel percentage, and has a 3.68 ERA in May.
The Angels have an ideal matchup on the mound since they are 2nd in wRC+, 2nd in BAbip, and 3rd in wOBA against righties on the road. Los Angeles is hitting .291 in this spot and faces a righty in Giolito, in the 41st percentile in expected batting average, 29th percentile in barrel percentage, and with an xERA of 4.27.
Los Angeles Angels F5 (+120)