The Chicago White Sox (76-72, 35-38 home) and the Cleveland Guardians (81-67, 41-35 away) get together Wednesday night on the South Side of Chicago for Game 2 of the final three-game series between the top two teams in the AL Central. Cleveland took home the series opener in 11 innings with a 10-7 triumph over the hosts.
The first pitch of the contest is at 8:10 p.m. EST at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is the betting favorite at -130, and the over/under total for the contest is 7.5 runs.
What to Know – Cleveland Guardians
The Guardians have won five of their last six contests, and Tuesday night’s victory assured Cleveland of the season series against the White Sox. Cleveland maintains a five-game lead over Chicago in the AL Central.
Right-hander Triston McKenzie (10-11, 3.08 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) takes the ball for the visitors on the mound. McKenzie has had a solid 2022 season, even if his record doesn’t reflect it. The 25-year-old is 1-0 in three September starts with a 2.29 ERA over 19.2 innings of action.
Jose Ramirez is the engine to the Guardians’ offense with 28 home runs and 115 runs batted in. Josh Naylor has driven in 70 RBIs, while Amed Rosario has added 67 RBIs. Steve Kwan leads the team with a .373 on-base percentage.
Cleveland is tenth in the majors batting .252 as a team and averaging 4.2 runs per contest. The pitching staff for the Guardians is eighth in the league featuring a 3.57 team earned run average.
What to Know – Chicago White Sox
The White Sox have little room for error if they want to make the postseason with 14 games remaining on the schedule. Chicago is five back of the Guardians in the division and 5.5 games outside of the last spot in the AL Wild Card.
Veteran starter Lance Lynn (7-5, 3.99 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) toes the rubber for the home squad. Lynn has been superb over his last seven outings, going 5-0 and lowering his earned run average from 5.62 to 3.99. The 35-year-old is a perfect 3-0 in September with a microscopic 0.93 ERA through 19.1 innings.
Chicago’s offense has battled injuries all season, with key pieces missing significant portions of the 2022 schedule. Andrew Vaughn leads the White Sox with 17 home runs and 73 RBIs, while veteran slugger Jose Abreu is right behind him with 15 dingers and 72 RBIs. Eloy Jimenez is hitting .323 in September with six home runs and 20 RBIs.
The White Sox score 4.4 runs per game and sit atop the MLB with a .261 team batting average. Chicago’s pitching staff ranks 11th in the majors sporting a 3.86 team ERA.
The Pick is In
It is now or never for Chicago, who have battled back in the second, to give themselves a fighting chance. Lynn gets it done on the mound, and Chicago capitalizes on some timely hitting to win.
The Pick: Chicago White Sox ML