The Chicago While Sox have just completed an 11-day road trip where they finished 4-7, but ended the slate of road games by taking three straight against the Toronto Blue Jays.
For their next three games (June 30-July 2) the White Sox will be hosting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, a team that they are 0-3 against this season when they played a series in LA.
This is going to be a very tough series for the White Sox for the fact they have not only played 11 consecutive road games, but Monday with be their 14 consecutive game without a day off mixed in somewhere.
After this three game set the White Sox will have an off day on Thursday.
As for this series though, here are the pitching matchups:
• Wednesday: John Danks (7-6, 4.26 ERA) vs TBD
The two pitchers we know that are pitching for the Angels have a better combined ERA, and have more wins than the three pitchers the White Sox will be sending out to the mound the next three days, so who knows what to expect.
Which brings me to my next item of business … predictions. I’m going to try hard here to make some bolder predictions than I have in the past, but I can make a prediction so far off it doesn’t have a chance of happening either.
For example, I’m not going to say Tyler Flowers is going to his .700 in this series, because there is a very good chance he’ll be lucky to hit .250 this series, and that prediction would be a waste of time.
Anyway here is my try at making “5 Bold Predictions” for the home series vs. the Angels.
1. Alexei Ramirez will have no less than 5 RBIs in this series
Ramirez just went a month or so without a single RBI or home run (until this past weekend).
It seems maybe he could be getting his groove back at the plate some after this past weekend in Toronto where he had three combined RBIs on Friday and Saturday.
This season, Ramirez has 39 RBIs, with 22 of those RBIs coming at home. I believe if the White Sox can just get the runners on the bases, Ramirez will be the player from the White Sox that can knock them in.
2. Conor Gillaspie will hit his 1st home run of the season
Gillaspie is batting .317 this season in 58 games played, with an on-base percentage of .358. Gillaspie isn’t known for his power, but he did hit 13 home runs last season. Gillaspie is due to send the baseball into the stands, and I’ll even go as far as to say he’ll hit more home runs this series than Adam Dunn, Flowers and Gordon Beckham will. I’m not bold enough to add Abreu to that list.
3. The White Sox won’t be swept this time
I don’t believe the White Sox will have a four-game winning streak at the conclusion of Monday’s game because of the starting pitching, but I do believe they will avoid a sweep. I’d rather be wrong on this one, but since the 2011 season the White Sox have won no more than three games in a season against the Angels.
4. Scott Carroll will allow less than 2 ER in this start
As a starter this season Carroll has allowed 23 earned runs in 31.1 innings pitched, and in his last start allowed five earned runs in five innings at Toronto.
I’m going against everything that says Carroll is supposed to give up more than two earned runs because of his last performance against the Angels on June 6. In that game he pitched 4.1 innings, allowing just one earned run.
I’m banking we see that Carroll instead of the Carroll that allowed the five ER against the Blue Jays on June 26.
I still hold out hope we’ll see more of the same Carroll that allowed just one ER in his first two starts of the season (and career) in games later in the season as well.
5. Adam Eaton will have 6 hits or more this series
The lead-off hitter of the White Sox has 12 hits in his past 10 games, with four of those hits coming against the Orioles on June 25.
With this series upcoming against the Angels, I’m predicting he’ll be the best player on the roster for the White Sox, and get back into the grove the team needs him to be in.
In his last three games since the four-hit game, Eaton has just one hit in eight at-bats with no RBIs and one strike out.
That one strikeout is why I believe he’ll improve his hit total in this series because he’s not striking out, but hitting the ball into play. Maybe those swings will turn into hits for Eaton, giving the likes of Gillaspie, Beckham, Abreu and Ramirez a runner on the bases when they are at the plate.
Don’t forget … give us your predictions for this series. Let’s have fun with this.