Series Preview: Chicago White Sox to face aces of Detroit Tigers


Apr 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher

Jose Quintana

(62) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After the Chicago White Sox won their third series of the season with a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Monday night, they now have to shift their focus quickly over to the Detroit Tigers for the next two games.

The Tigers enter this series with a 12-9 mark overall, first in the AL Central, while the White Sox are 14-13, one game back of the Tigers in the AL Central.

This series, at US Cellular Field, will be a two-game set, and not an easy one for the stout White Sox offense, with the Tigers sending former CY Young award winners Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer to the mound on back-to-back nights, starting Tuesday.

• Pitching matchups are key

On Tuesday, April 29 the White Sox will send Jose Quintana (1-2, 3.90 ERA) to oppose Detroit’s Justin Verlander (3-1, 2.18 ERA).

This first matchup for the White Sox seems to be the most favorable with Quintana being right now the ace of the White Sox staff with Chris Sale still on the disabled list.

Apr 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher

Justin Verlander

(35) pitches during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

In looking at Verlander’s stats, his last three games have been very good to him, and to the Tigers with a 3-0 record and a 1.89 ERA. In that span he’s accumulated 22 strikeouts.

For his career, Verlander has pitched 208 innings against the White Sox, going 15-12 with a 3.98 ERA and 159 strikeouts.

Adam Dunn is batting just .200 against him, but in 25 at-bats has three home runs and seven RBIs. Tyler Flowers is batting .300 against the former Cy Young winner. In his 10 at-bats vs. Verlander, he has two two home runs and two RBIs.

The current White Sox roster has 11 home runs vs. Verlander.

Now for Quintana … he’s 2-1 for his career vs Detroit, with a 3.03 ERA and 26 strikeouts. In his past three starts this season, Quintana is 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA and 10 strikeouts, so he hasn’t brought his best stuff lately with that above 4.00 ERA.

His last start was against the Tigers on April 24 in Detroit, where he was charged with the loss. In that game he allowed three earned runs on seven hits in six innings.

Quintana’s last win was on April 8 in Colorado.

Wednesday, April 30 will be a bit of a mismatch for the White Sox, as they will send Hector Noesi for a start against the reigning AL Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer.

This will be the first start of the season by Noesi for the White Sox, but not his first appearance in the majors.

In six games this season, for the Texas Rangers and White Sox, (all in relief) he has compiled an ERA of 11.74 in 7.2 innings. He’s allowed 10 earned runs off 14 hits and two walks. Noesi does have seven strikeouts.

He’s even faced the White Sox this season, and that performance led to his release for the Rangers. In that game, Noesi pitched one inning, allowing seven earned run on seven hits and a walk.

He does have one appearance in relief for the White Sox on April 26 against the Rays. In his 1.1 innings, he allowed no runs on a single hit with one strikeout.

So, I don’t what to expect from him in this start.

For Scherzer (2-1, 2.45 ERA), he’s already faced them once this season, striking out 10 in six innings. In that game on April 24, he allowed seven hits and walked one for the win, as he held the White Sox to two runs.

In his last three games, his ERA is 3.50 with 29 strikeouts. For his career vs. Chicago, Scherzer is 9-5 with a 2.69 ERA with 133 strikeouts.

• Who to watch at the plate

Jose Abreu: In his first series against the Tigers, Abreu was 4-for-16 with four runs and four RBIs (two home runs). In his past 10 games, Abreu is batting .381 with six home runs and 18 RBIs. If any player on the White Sox can put a dent in the pitching of the Tigers it is the reigning AL co-Player of the Week.

• Series Prediction

I’m saying the White Sox and Tigers will split the series, with the White Sox winning Tuesday and falling on Wednesday.

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