The Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox are getting ready for the second game of this three-game series. The White Sox dominated in the first one thanks to a good return from Lucas Giolito, good work from the secondary bullpen arms, and an explosive offense. Now, the second game is one that we need to see something big from Dallas Keuchel.
Keuchel is in danger of not making the playoff roster. He probably wants to be a starter but it is hard to see that happening at this point. Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito, and Dylan Cease have all been too good. Keuchel’s best hope is a bullpen arm but he hasn’t even looked good enough to do that lately.
Keuchel was the team’s best pitcher last year and that is saying something because Giolito was also a Cy Young candidate again. However, this year he has a -0.4 WAR because he has been so lousy. He is 8-9 with a 5.33 ERA and a 1.452 WHIP. He has pitched a lot of innings which is nice but he hasn’t been great in the second half of the season.
That is why he needs a big game here. The Angels are where they are in the standings because of pitching. They have some very tough outs in their lineup led by the greatest player in baseball, Shohei Ohtani. It will be a very big challenge for Keuchel to get out of this funk.
The Chicago White Sox needs to see Dallas Keuchel go out and have a strong game.
If he goes out there and shuts them down, there will be conversations about his availability in the postseason. If he gets blown out, it should all but secure his fate going into the postseason. It should be his goal to go out there and dominate to make people talk.
This is also a very important game for the White Sox. They are trying to keep pace with the Houston Astros for that second seed in the American League. If they continue to win, they will have a chance at home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The White Sox are great at home so it would be nice to see Keuchel help them get another win towards that goal.
They are also looking to clinch their berth in the postseason soon. The magic number is at seven so it could be five or six by the end of the night depending on Keuchel, the rest of the team, and the offense. It is going to be a lot of fun watching him compete in a game like this where the pressure is so high.