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Series Preview: Chicago White Sox @ Seattle Mariners

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Seattle: 74-70
Chicago: 71-73

SUMMARY

MARINERS WHITE SOX
EDGE
HITTING (wOBA)
-89.1 (29th)
-62.7 (26th)
CHW
FIELDING (UZR)
72.5 (1st)
-38.7 (24th) SEA
ROTATION (pRAA)
-28.7 (23rd)
61.8 (6th)
CHW
BULLPEN (pRAA)
-24.6 (29th)
30.2 (3rd) CHW
OVERALL(RAA)
-69.9 -9.4 Chicago






 

Just another series where we play a team with a worse record and a better overall performance. It's rather remarkable just how poor Chicago's position players have been this year; where the Mariners have at least been able to catch the balls hit at them, the White Sox haven't been able to hit or field, with the result being a group worth something like nine or ten wins below average. What's been able to keep them on the fringes of the race is an outstanding pitching staff led not by a few stars, but by a lot of guys who're average or better. Among them is Matt Thornton, who ranks near the top in pretty much every meaningful reliever metric. How I wish I could have a do-over on that one. Sorry for blasting you so much, Matt. I was young. I was stupid.

The Mariners are playing for pride and a .500+ record. The White Sox are still trying to squeak into the playoffs, and though they're 6.5 back, they still have six more games against Detroit, so not all hope is lost. It's not much, but realistically, this will probably be our last chance to play spoiler, so here's to making a difference. Let's give Chicago as dull a final few weeks as ours.

GAMES

Game 1: Freddy Garcia vs. Ian Snell
Game 2: TBA (Carlos Torres? D.J. Carrasco? Daniel Hudson?) vs. Ryan Rowland-Smith *
Game 3: Gavin Floyd vs. Brandon Morrow

Garcia was a workhorse for Chicago from the minute he got traded, throwing nearly 550 innings over two and a half seasons and helping the Sox win a World Series. He then got sent to Philadelphia in December 2006 and promptly came apart. He's only made 19 Major League starts in the three years since, but he seems to have worked his way back, and in the early going so far he's been pretty difficult to hit, with a 74% contact rate and what Fangraphs lists as a five-pitch assortment. The velocity isn't really there anymore, and he has a difficult time breaking 90, but he should nevertheless have the advantage in a matchup against Ian Snell, who gets rattled when he tries a new cereal.

Chicago hasn't yet officially announced a starter for Wednesday. Two of the candidates are interesting. Three of the candidates could own us.

Thursday brings us a matchup between a guy who's finally learned how to pitch and a guy who's still trying to. Floyd's strikeout and contact numbers are significantly better than they've been in the past, and as a result he's actually somewhat earned his shiny ERA. The four-year contract he signed in March looked kind of stupid then, but looks terrific now. Morrow, meanwhile...God, whatever.