The Chicago White Sox decided this year would not be their year and sold at the trade deadline. Since then, multiple reports of their terrible culture and locker room have circulated around countless media outlets, only making the embarrassment that has come from this season even greater. While all of this is going on, the team still needs to take the field every night, and even with the distractions, Chicago will come into this series with the Brewers off back-to-back series wins.
The Brewers and White Sox will enter this series fresh, as they got a rest day yesterday. Chicago isn’t the only team in this matchup off a series win either, with the Brewers coming into tonight after a series win victory over the Rockies. In the final game of the three-game set, Milwaukee found themselves down 6-5 in the 10th inning, but thanks to a Mark Canha RBI double and a throwing error by the Rockies, Milwaukee had a much happier flight to Chicago following the game.
With a 2.5-game lead in the NL Central division, Milwaukee will look to continue their winning ways in this interleague matchup, and they have the perfect guy to start the series on the right note with Corbin Burnes on the mound. Burnes has allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven straight outings, which has lowered his ERA to 3.42. The right-hander took the no-decision in his most recent outing after working six innings with two earned runs allowed on two hits.
Burnes is undoubtedly a tougher matchup for the White Sox offense, who faced a struggling Luis Severino in the final game of their series against the Yankees. In that win, Chicago jumped out to an early lead thanks to a Yasmani Grandal RBI single and Oscar Colas’ two-run home run. Ultimately, the White Sox would win 9-2 and have five players record an RBI.
Looking for their fifth win in their last six games, the White Sox will have right-hander Michael Kopech on the bump for his 22nd start. Kopech came away with a win in his most recent outing after allowing two earned runs in 5.1 innings. While his stuff is undeniably impressive, lack of command has hurt the hard-throwing righty, as he averages 3.6 walks per game over his last ten starts.
The total for the first five innings is set at 4.5, and I’ll be taking the under for my play in this interleague showdown. The Brewers have cashed their first five-team total under in 21 of their last 36 away games, and on the other side, the White Sox now need to take on the Brewers ace.
Since July 11th, the White Sox are hitting .224 and rank 30th in OPS and 28th in wRC+ against right-handed pitching at home. Those are not the type of numbers an offense wants to be boasting when facing Corbin Burnes, who is in the 80th percentile in xERA/xwOBA, 86th percentile in expected slugging percentage, and 74th percentile in expected batting average. The Brewers righty also has a .178 batting average against in 75 road innings.
Unfortunately for Burnes, he likely won’t be able to rely on his offense for a lot of run support since they are hitting .225 and rank 29th in OPS and wRC+ against righties on the road over the past month. Kopech has a batting average against at home of .219, so if he can keep his walks down, I’m expecting a low-scoring start to this one.
F5 Under 4.5 (-115)