White Sox face Rays team that has lost four of their last six games, including a sweep on the road in Seattle. South Siders have lost five consecutive games.
After getting swept by the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, the Chicago White Sox will begin a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. The series continues the Sox three city road trip with a stop at Tropicana Field.
The Sox have lost five consecutive games and didn’t have a good week with its starting rotation. With the Sox dealing with injuries to some of their starting pitchers in James Shields and Carlos Rodon, the team’s lack of depth in the starting rotation was exposed last week. Although the Sox are in the midst of a five game losing streak, their next opponent has lost three consecutive games.
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With the American League East seemingly up for grabs, the Rays are trying to hang on in the crowded division. At 29-30, the Rays are in fourth place in the AL East and 5.5 games behind the first place New York Yankees. Tampa Bay is coming off a sweep on the road to the Seattle Mariners, but they did win two out of three games in their series against the Texas Rangers.
Despite their recent struggles, the Rays boast a solid starting rotation and offense. The Rays rank sixth in MLB in starter’s ERA at 4.01. Tampa Bay ranks 10th in MLB in total offense with 272 runs scored. With good pitching and offense, the Rays could very well extend the White Sox losing streak in this series.
The Rays are led by a starting rotation that has three solid starters in Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi and Matt Andriese. Anderiese leads the Rays in wins with a 5-1 overall record and in ERA at 3.45. Archer, who will start on Tuesday against the Sox is 4-3 with a 3.74 ERA and has a team leading 95 strikeouts. Jose Quintana will start for the Sox on Tuesday as he looks to end his team’s losing streak.
Odorizzi, who will start on Wednesday is 3-3 with a 3.53 ERA. The 27-year-old native of Bresse, Ill. is winless in two starts against the Sox with a 3.18 ERA. With a solid pitching rotation, the Rays also have a good back end of the bullpen. Rays closer Alex Colome is third in MLB and second in the AL with 15 saves. Tampa Bay relief pitcher Danny Farquhar is 14th in the AL with eight holds.
While the Rays have good pitching, their offense has been solid thus far this season. Tampa Bay is led by designated hitter Corey Dickerson. Dickerson leads the Rays and is third in the AL with a .336 batting average. The 28-year-old has 13 home runs and 28 RBIs for the Rays, and appears to have reverted back to his good playing days with the Colorado Rockies. Dickerson finished the 2014 season with a .312/.364/.567 slash line, 24 home runs and 76 RBIs for Colorado.
Dickerson also leads the Rays this season in on-base percentage at .378 and hits at 76. First baseman Logan Morrison leads Tampa Bay in home runs with 16 and RBIs at 37. The Rays do have other threats on offense in Tim Beckham, Steven Souza, Keven Kiermaier and Evan Longoria. Offensively, the Rays have a team bating average of .247 which is 19th in MLB.
The Sox could be in for another long series with the Rays, and they haven’t won a series in Tampa Bay since 2014. In order for the Sox to break their losing streak, they will need solid outings from either Quintana or Wednesday’s scheduled starter Mike Pelfrey. With the Sox recent rotation struggles, this series against the Rays could produce more work for a tired bullpen.