The Chicago White Sox have been riding their starting pitching to the postseason. This is a far cry from last season when lack of rotation depth in the rotation cost them against the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wild Card Series.
After Lucas Giolito’s dominant performance in Game 1 of the series, Game 2 became a must-win close-out game. The White Sox liked their chances with Dallas Keuchel and his 1.99 ERA set to take the mound. Unfortunately, the White Sox veteran left-hander only lasted 3.1 innings and the White Sox were left scrambling to find a starter the next day for an elimination game.
Rick Renteria opted to go with rookie Dane Dunning. It quickly turned into a bullpen game and when the dust settled the White Sox got sent packing. This series of events forced the White Sox to acquire some help during the offseason.
Rick Hahn wanted to make sure this didn’t happen again so he traded for Lance Lynn and resigned Carlos Rodón. Both of these moves paid dividends. Lynn is the front runner for American League Cy Young while Rodón was named an All-Star and has fired a no-hitter.
Pitching is going to be a big key for the Chicago White Sox in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Dylan Cease is making huge strides in his development while Lucas Giolito has been his usual reliable self. Rounding out the rotation is four-time Gold Glove winner, two-time All-Star, and 2015 Cy Young recipient, Dallas Keuchel.
With all these great pitchers at Tony La Russa’s disposal, he has some tough decisions to make. The playoff rotation will ultimately be cut down to four so one of these pitchers will be getting bumped from the rotation.
Dallas Keuchel has the worse numbers of the group but can you leave a guy that has the third most playoff starts out of any pitcher since 2015 and a World Series ring on the bench? Postseason experience is a great luxury to have.
La Russa also has to decide how he wants to line up the rotation and who gets the ball for Game 1 of the playoffs. Here is the most likely order for how Tony La Russa will line them up for the Chicago White Sox playoff run in October: