Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 8:10pm EDT
Chicago White Sox
There will be some firepower missing from both lineups when Chicago hosts Minnesota in an American League Central battle on Wednesday night. The White Sox are currently down several starters, while Minnesota is without its top hitter. They met for game one of the series on Tuesday night, but this story was published prior to that contest.
Twins without leading hitter BuxtonMinnesota got off to a 5-2 start this season, but it has been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball since then. The Twins lost their following five games and 13 of their next 15 games overall. They recovered momentarily with a stretch of four wins in five games, but they have now lost four of their last five heading into this series. Their series-finale at Detroit was postponed on Sunday, giving them two days off. They have been decent at the plate this season, ranking ninth in the MLB with a team batting average of .242.
Those numbers might dip now that leading hitter Byron Buxton is on the 10-day injured list with a hip strain. He has 34 hits in his first 24 games, batting at a red-hot .370 clip. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz has 32 hits, including eight home runs. Second baseman Luis Arraez is on the injured list as well after suffering a concussion. Left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ will start for Minnesota on Wednesday. Happ has been the team’s best starter this year, allowing two or fewer runs in all five of his appearances. He is 2-0 with a 1.91 ERA and 16 strikeouts overall.
Keuchel coming off shutout performanceChicago comes into this series with a much different mood than Minnesota. The White Sox swept Kansas City over the weekend, outscoring the Royals 21-4 overall. They entered Tuesday’s action at 19-13 on the season, giving them a one-game lead over Cleveland at the top of the AL Central. Chicago has been able to get by without some big bats due to injuries. The White Sox will be without center fielder Adam Engel, left fielder Eloy Jimenez and center fielder Luis Robert on Wednesday. Despite those injuries, they rank fourth in the MLB with a team batting average of .255.
Catcher Yermin Mercedes leads the team with 38 hits and a .373 average. Second baseman Nick Madrigal has 31 hits. Robert had 30 hits before going on the injured list, while Yoan Moncada has added 29. They will be facing a Minnesota pitching staff that is No. 21 in the MLB with a team ERA of 4.29. Left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel is set to make the start for Chicago on Wednesday. He allowed two hits and three walks across seven scoreless innings against Cincinnati last Wednesday. Keuchel has a 2.25 ERA over his last four starts, which span 24 innings.
Stats & Trends
The under is:
- 5-1-1 in Chicago's last seven games vs. a team with a winning percentage below .400
Injuries are one of the unfortunate parts about sports, but they have provided value for bettors in this game. Neither lineup is going to be at its best without the likes of Buxton, Engel and Robert on the field in this series. Happ has been the best starter for Minnesota this season and will be looking to take advantage of a hampered White Sox lineup. Keuchel has been outstanding over his last four starts, so he will be confident coming into this game. Minnesota has relied upon Buxton for its offense, but he is now on the injured list.