You Just Keep Being You, Chris Sale – Game Preview & Lineups 5/19

A much needed Chris Sale Day. When the rotation starts shaping up to Sale, Quintana, then I don’t wanna, you have to ask yourself how this team is still in first place. The White Sox haven’t won since the last time Chris Sale pitched, and other than Quintana’s start they’ve allowed more than five runs in every game since. It was April 24, nearly a month ago, when the Sox last allowed two or fewer runs in a game somebody that wasn’t Chris Sale or Jose Quintana was the starting pitcher. Over that period, those two haven’t seen more than two runs cross the board in any contest on their watch.

The sort of consistency we’ve seen out of Sale may be paving an early road to the Cy Young award that has eluded him thus far in his career. Last time out, Sale rode his four-seamer and change-up more than he had in any start this season to a complete game performance against the Yankees. He also got fewer swings and misses than he has in a 2016 game – but the low strikeout results allowed him to finish the game with fewer than 100 pitches. The Astros offense strikes out at a higher rate than any other team in the majors, so I think we can expect Sale’s chameleon act to continue, and his pitch usage to adapt in favor of attacking this lineup more aggressively.

Collin McHugh’s first season in Houston was also his first full season. The waiver claim posted a 2.76 DRA in 2014 and struck out 25.4 percent of the batters he faced. Since then, he’s watched his K-rate fall, and his DRA climb. Thus far in 2016 he’s been a negative WARP player with a 5.59 DRA. He’s had a couple of nice starts mixed in with a handful of short, unimpressive outings. The latter includes his season debut, in which he never escaped the first inning while allowing five earned runs.

Good news: Jimmy Rollins is not batting second in the lineup. Bad news: Carlos Sanchez is in the game and batting second in the lineup. Good news: Jerry Sands‘ platoon splits this season haven’t been huge, so Robin Ventura regularly exposing him to starts against right-handed pitching hasn’t blown up in his face too badly. Bad news: Jerry Sands has been terrible, in general, against all-handed pitching.


White Sox Lineup:

  1. Adam Eaton – RF
  2. Carlos Sanchez – 2B
  3. Jose Abreu – 1B
  4. Todd Frazier – 3B
  5. Melky Cabrera – LF
  6. Jimmy Rollins – SS
  7. Jerry Sands – DH
  8. Alex Avila – C
  9. Austin Jackson – CF

Astros Lineup:

  1. Jose Altuve – 2B
  2. George Springer – RF
  3. Carlos Correa – SS
  4. Tyler White – DH
  5. Marwin Gonzalez – 1B
  6. Evan Gattis – C
  7. Luis Valbuena – 3B
  8. Jake Marisnick – CF
  9. Tony Kemp – LF

Lead Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray – USA Today Sports Images

Related Articles

Leave a comment

Use your Baseball Prospectus username