White Sox vs Pirates – The Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates will face off for the second game this week in a two game series.
Pittsburgh won the first game 6-3 in a big seventh inning rally that put the Pirates up for good to give them three wins in their past four games.
On the mound for the home town is the Sox right hander Dylan Cease. Cease is 5-3 as a starter this year with a 3.99 ERA. He will be looking to bounce back after a disastrous 10-2 loss where he gave up four hits and six earned runs in just three and a third innings.
Cease has a strong fastball ranking in the 87th percentile of all MLB pitchers. His fastball averages around almost 98 mph. He relies heavily on his fastball using it about half the time along with a combo of a slider and curveball.
The 25-year-old likes to put his slider down and away but has tended to leave it up over the plate at times. On the few times Cease uses his curveball it usually dips out of the zone down and away to try and draw hitters to reach.
Aside from a rough day against the Astros his past couple starts have been impressive. In two starts against the Tigers Cease has given up just two earned runs in 12 innings pitched with 17 strikeouts.
One of the keys to his success has been getting ahead in the count. He averages about 54.9% first pitch strikes.
This will be the first time that Dylan has faced off against the Pirates. He should be in a good position to have a bounce back game against one of the worst teams in the league.
On the other side of things is Chase De Jong for the Pirates. The right hander is 0-1 this season with 17 strikeouts and a 4.26 ERA.
De Jong has started four games for Pittsburgh this season with 19 innings of work giving up 18 hits on nine earned runs.
His last start came against the Nationals where he had a solid outing in four innings pitched with five strikeouts and just one earned run.
Aside from one bad start against the Marlins where he gave up five earned runs he hasn’t had a game with more than two earned runs.
The Long Beach native also uses his fastball for over half of his total pitches and likes to go up in the zone with his 93 mph 4-seamer. De Jong has a curveball that he like to go down and in on righties paired with the occasional slider that has struggled to find the zone.
The 27-year-old has been able to find the zone with 47% of pitches being called for strikes which bodes well over the course of a season.
De Jong will be facing off against the Chicago White Sox for the first time this season and will look to rebound in another performance at home after struggling against Miami.
The Pirates were able to pick up a win with a big seventh inning that saw them pick up four runs behind the pinch hitting of Erik Gonzalez and his two-run single.
Pinch hitting was huge for both teams in this one as the White Sox were able to take the lead just a half inning before on a three-run homerun from Yasmani Grandal in the top half.
Ultimately it wasnt enough for a White Sox team that has started to go on a bit of a skid losing their past five games in a row.
I think that the pitching matchup is ultimately a toss up between two guys that have pieced together two innings but have been up and down all year.
I think that the White Sox are just too good of a team to lose six in a row including two in a row to one of the worst teams in major league baseball.
I like the White Sox to come out on top winning by a three to four win margin.