Game Preview: Chris Sale vs. Max Scherzer


Apr 17, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

This is like a mini All-Star caliber game taking place at US Cellular Field this evening with the Chicago White Sox sending Chris Sale to oppose reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers.

Scherzer enters this game with a 7-2 overall record and a 3.38 ERA, while Sale is 5-0 with a 2.06 ERA.

The Tigers’ starter hasn’t pitched to his standards his past three starts with a 1-1 record with a 6.05 ERA and 20 strikeouts. Scherzer has also pitched 133.1 innings against the White Sox, going 10-5 with a 2.57 ERA. He’s struck out 140 White Sox batters in those innings.

Detroit enters this game losing the first two games played in this series, with an overall record of 33-28. The White Sox are 33-33 on the year, trailing the Tigers by 2.5 games in the AL Central standings.

May 16, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (37) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

In the official MLB preview of this game, it states of Scherzer:

"“Scherzer cited a mechanical adjustment for better command his last two starts, resulting in one walk and 16 strikeouts despite four runs each time. He won back-to-back outings over the White Sox in late April, both quality starts.”"

Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Dayan Viciedo each have two home runs in their career against Scherzer, with Konerko having six RBIs. Alejandro De Aza and Conor Gillaspie each have one home run against the Tigers’ Thursday night starter.

Alexei Ramirez has had very little success against Scherzer with a .095 career average against the Cy Young Award winner in 42 at-bats.

As for Sale, he had one bad inning in his last start, allowing a grand slam in the eighth inning, a game where he had the lead, to Mike Trout.

Besides that one home run allowed by Sale, he’s been pretty un-hittable since his DL stint.

In his past three starts (19 innings), Sale is 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA with 19 strikeouts. For his career against the Tigers, Sale is 4-4 with a 3.00 ERA, including 73 strikeouts.

Ian Kinsler of the Tigers has had a lot of success versus Sale, with a .357 batting average in 14 at-bats in his career. Those at-bats include one home run and three RBIs.

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  • Victor Martinez has batted .545 against Sale in 22 at-bats, also with one home run and three RBIs.

    Austin Jackson struggles vs. Sale, with his .067 average in 30 at-bats, but he does have two RBIs against the White Sox ace.

    This should be exciting, to say the least.

    Here are the starting lineups for Thursday, June 12:

    Chicago White Sox (33-33)
    1. Adam Eaton (CF)
    2. Gordon Beckham (2B)
    3. Conor Gillaspie (3B)
    4. Jose Abreu (1B)
    5. Adam Dunn (DH)
    6. Alexei Ramirez (SS)
    7. Dayan Viciedo (LF)
    8. Alejandro De Aza (RF)
    9. Tyler Flowers (C)

    Detroit Tigers (33-28)
    1. Rajai Davis (CF)
    2. Ian Kinsler (2B)
    3. Miguel Cabrera (1B)
    4. Victor Martinez (DH)
    5. Torii Hunter (RF)
    6. J.D. Martinez (LF)
    7. Nick Castellanos (3B)
    8. Bryan Holaday (C)
    9. Eugenio Suarez (SS)