Chicago White Sox: Breakdown of the Wild Card Series

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 11: Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox struck out during the ninth inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 11: Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox struck out during the ninth inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox Lucas Giolito
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

Prediction

The health of Eloy Jimenez will be a major factor in this series. The White Sox lineup looks much more menacing with him in the middle of the lineup. If the A’s manage to steal a game from one of the two White Sox aces then the Sox will be in trouble. Oakland has more starting pitching depth than the Sox. An elimination game with Dylan Cease or the inexperienced Dane Dunning could be a disaster for Chicago.

Cease has lacked command all season and struggled to strikeout hitters even when he is ahead in the count. This is a major concern for someone with great stuff like Cease has. Dunning lacks Major League experience and it would be unfair to thrust him into an elimination game with only seven major league starts under his belt.

light. Hot. Jose Abreu wins back to back RBI titles

However, I do not think it will get to this point. Both teams are struggling but the White Sox have a superior offense. Giolito has proven he can shut down opposing offenses and Keuchel has pitched in playoff situations before. The White Sox bullpen is good enough to hold their own while the White Sox offense will prove too much for the A’s.  Sean Manaea will likely start one of the first two games and the White Sox have feasted off of lefties this season.

The key for the White Sox will be to score early and often to avoid having to come from behind against a stingy Oakland bullpen.

Prediction: White Sox in 2

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