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Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox
Friday night will feature an AL Central rivalry as the Cleveland Indians (11-12) square off with the Chicago White Sox (14-10). Chicago will host this one at Guaranteed Rate Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:10 pm ET.
This will be the first game of a three-game series between the two teams.
For the Indians, they enjoyed a day off Thursday after taking two of three from the Minnesota Twins earlier in the week. Despite winning the series, they suffered an ugly 10-2 loss on Wednesday, one in which they gave up six home runs to Minnesota.
For the White Sox, they won three of four from the Detroit Tigers in their last series. They swept a doubleheader on Thursday, winning 3-1 and 11-0. In the nightcap, Yoan Moncada and Yermin Mercedes both went deep while Dylan Cease pitched seven innings of scoreless ball.
Despite playing on the road, the Indians are the favorites in this one. They are -142 to win while Chicago’s moneyline sits at +120. The runline features the White Sox +1.5, and the over/under for total runs is seven.
The Indians will send ace Shane Bieber (2-2, 2.48 ERA) to the mound on Friday. In his last start, a 2-1 loss to the Yankees, he went seven innings allowing two earned runs while striking out nine.
The White Sox will counter with southpaw Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 4.32 ERA). Keuchel pitched really well in his last outing, a 2-1 win over the Rangers, going six innings of scoreless ball.
By The Number
Offensively, the White Sox have been solid to start the season. They rank fourth overall averaging five runs per game. The Indians fall to 24th averaging 3.91 runs per game.
Defensively, these two are neck-and-neck. The Indians rank 11th, allowing opponents an average of 4.04 runs per game. The White Sox come in one spot behind them at 12th, allowing 4.18 runs.
Indians Hope To Set Tone In Series Behind Ace
Anytime that Shane Bieber is on the mound, it should be a game that the Indians expect to win. Despite a fantastic start to the season for Bieber, they are just .500 in his outings and will look to improve on that number Friday.
The team is led by designated hitter Franmil Reyes on offense. He leads the team in both home runs (7) and runs batted in (17) while hitting .293/.322/.646.
Jordan Luplow and Jose Ramirez have also performed well, combining for 12 home runs and 27 runs batted in.
There are a few players that have had success against Dallas Keuchel in their careers. Eddie Rosario is three for eight against him with a home run, while Jose Ramirez is six for fourteen with two runs batted in.
White Sox Trying To Take Advantage Of Home Field
At 8-4 at Guaranteed Rate Field, the Chicago White Sox have played better at home than on the road (6-6). They will look to take advantage of their home field while trying to take game one of the series.
Offensively, the team has been led by Jose Abreu and Yermin Mercedes. Both have five home runs apiece, while Abreu leads the team in runs batted in with nineteen.
Against a tough starter in Shane Bieber, there are a couple of White Sox who have had success against him in the past. Abreu is hitting .348 in 23 at-bats with three home runs. Yoan Moncada has also done well, hitting .261 in 23 at-bats with two home runs.
Indians Look For Win Behind Bieber
On the mound, the Cleveland Indians have a clear advantage. Dallas Keuchel definitely pitched better in his last outing, but he has not been quite as consistent to start the season.
The big concern for Cleveland is whether their offense can give Shane Bieber enough run support to pick up the win. In his last start, he pitched a quality game but was still saddled with the loss as the offense put up just one run.
If they can put some pressure on Keuchel early, Bieber should put them in a position to win. Regardless, it should be a fun one to watch between division rivals.
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