Chicago White Sox: A weekend with the Atlanta Braves
The Chicago White Sox have yet another rough series ahead against a team in first place team in the Atlanta Braves and it should be fun to watch.
The Chicago White Sox just played a tough Minnesota Twins team and were swept. The Twins are looking like they are going to now cruise to the American League Central title and be a threat in the playoffs. The dangerous offense of Minnesota got to most of the White Sox pitching staff and got some decent pitching themselves.
Now, the White Sox have another daunting task ahead of them as they head to the southeast to play the Atlanta Braves. At 81-54 they lead the National League East and have a 5.5 game lead over the Washington Nationals. It is a solid lead but not one that they can take their foot off the gas. They are going to come into this series looking to take even more of a stranglehold on their division. Once the playoffs roll around, many would say they are legit World Series contenders.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team in the National League team with a better record than Atlanta headed into the weekend. The White Sox are going to need to play well in order to not have a repeat of the Minnesota series. It is a good measuring stick as the Braves completed a rebuild similarly to the way the White Sox did it. They got really young and their prospects started to come in and they started to fill in the gaps with other good players once they were ready.
Atlanta currently has all three of their starting pitchers for this series listed as “TBD”. The White Sox have Ivan Nova scheduled for the Friday night game. Nova is 9-10 with a 4.37 ERA. He has done really well against National League teams so far this season so hopefully, he can be effective again and get his personal record up to .500.
Reynaldo Lopez promised that he would be better in the second half of the season. He has done just that. He is 8-11 with a 5.08 ERA. In his last start, he was looking phenomenal until flu-like symptoms forced him to leave the game early while he had a no-hitter going. He still was credited with the win and hopefully, he can bring a similar performance to Atlanta.
White Sox ace Lucas Giolito will get the ball in the series finale on Sunday. Giolito has a 14-7 record and a 3.20 ERA. He reached the 200 strikeout plateau in his most recent start against the Twins. He pitched well and only gave up two runs, but the offense only provided him with one and was credited with the loss. Giolito would never be a guy to be mad about something like that and takes the blame on his shoulders just as much so expect him to have a really good start on Sunday.
The White Sox can use the Atlanta Braves as a measuring stick. They are a good look at what the White Sox can be in short order. It should be a fun series for fans to watch and one that the White Sox can use to try and make things a little more difficult for the Braves.