Monday’s series-opening contest was postponed due to weather, so the Minnesota Twins (33-43, 16-20 away) and Chicago White Sox (45-32, 28-14 home) begin their battle Tuesday night. The two teams will play a three-game set, with Monday’s game moved to July 19th as part of a doubleheader.
Tuesday night’s first pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. EST inside Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, IL. The White Sox are favored (-130) in the American League Central tilt, with the run total pegged set at 8.5 runs. Chicago owns a 5-1 head-to-head record against the Twins this season.
What to Know – Minnesota Twins
The Twins carry a two-game winning streak into Tuesday night’s showdown and a recent record of 7-3 over their last ten games. Minnesota sits in third place in the AL Central standings, 11.5 games behind the first-place White Sox.
On the bump for the visitors is right-hander Kenta Maeda (3-2, 4.85 ERA, 1.44 WHIP), also in search of his third win in a row. Maeda spent three weeks in the IR to begin June but has shined in a pair of starts this month. The 33-year old surrendered more than three runs since April and is sporting a 2.89 ERA in two starts in June.
Minnesota is 8th in the majors with a .246 team batting average and 12th in on-base percentage (.317). Designated hitter Nelson Cruz continues to be an ageless wonder at the plate, leading the Twins in batting average (.299), home runs (17), and runs driven in (42). Cruz has gotten at least one hit in all but two games in June.
What to Know – Chicago White Sox
Chicago sits atop the AL Central standings, but the White Sox have underperformed lately. The Southsiders are 3-7 over their last ten contests, including a four-game sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros earlier this month. Chicago owns a two-game advantage over the Cleveland Indians.
Chicago’s ace Lucas Giolito (5-5, 3.80 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) got an extra day of rest and attempts to get his first victory this month. The 26-year old has made four starts in June, picking one loss to go along with three no-decisions. Giolito scattered four hits, allowing two earned runs while striking out seven over 6.0 innings of work against the Pittsburgh Pirates in his last outing.
The White Sox rank 5th in the majors, hitting .249 as a team and third in OBP (.334). First baseman Jose Abreu paces the White Sox with a team-high 53 RBIs and is tied for the team lead with 12 home runs. Shortstop Tim Anderson leads Chicago in batting average (.295) and hits (77).
White Sox vs. Twins Pick
Maeda versus Giolito and the offenses of both teams will be fun to watch. Maeda’s two victories this month came against two of the worst AL offenses, so he will be tested facing the White Sox. Chicago seems to have the Twins number this season, and we see their record against Minnesota improving to 6-1.
Pick: Chicago White Sox ML