Hello all. It is everybody’s favorite intern: “The Big Homie” Darrin Brown. After taking two out of three games against the Twins at Target Field, the White Sox continue their road trip with a three-game series against the American League’s most formidable team in the Yankees.
To start things off, let us look at some team stats to see how the Yankees and Sox stack up against each other.
White Sox: 115
White Sox: 117
White Sox: 92
White Sox: 3.85
White Sox: 91
White Sox: 3.35
In the 2021 season, The Sox offense has been better, while the Yankees hold a slight edge in both the rotation and bullpen.
The Yankees, like the Sox, have taken a hit to their outfield as of late. Giancarlo Stanton, Clint Frazer, and now White Sox legend Ryan LaMarre; all find themselves on the IL heading into this series.
On the bright side, two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber threw this season’s sixth no-hitter on Wednesday against the Texas Rangers. Kluber will not pitch in this series.
With that, let us look at the pitching matchups.
Game 1: Carlos Rodon vs. Jordan Montgomery
Rodon has made significant improvement from his 2020 season and has shown so far to be a top piece in the rotation. From last season to this season, Rodon has shown improvement across the board, improving his xFIP- (140 to 79), xERA (6.05 to 2.45), SIERA (5.37 to 3.05), and DRA- (173 to 76).
Jordan Montgomery, to this point, has either been tremendously unlucky or slightly lucky, depending on which website’s stats you consider. Statcast and FanGraphs both pin Montgomery as unfortunate, with his xERA (3.76) and SIERA (3.83) almost an entire run lower than his ERA (4.75). On the other hand, Baseball Prospectus gives Montgomery a DRA of 4.96.
Rodon looks to continue his bounce-back season, while Montgomery looks to make a turnaround started. This game will be an exciting matchup to watch for the series opener.
Game 2: Dylan Cease vs. Gerrit Cole
Much like Rodon, Cease has seen better numbers in his 2021 season than his 2020 season. After being in the bottom 5% of the MLB last season with a 6.96 xERA, Cease enters this series with 3.45 xERA. Baseball Prospectus places Cease in higher regard than FanGraphs, with an 87 DRA- compared to a strictly average 100 xFIP-.
Gerrit Cole has been unarguably the best starter in the American League and would be the best starter in the MLB if it were not for a particular different New York pitcher. Cole leads all AL starters in xFIP- (54) and SIERA (1.94). Among all AL qualified pitchers, Cole is 3rd with a 1.62 xERA, behind only relievers Matt Barnes and James Karinchak.
Cease will go against his greatest mound opponent, and Cole will be the best starter the Sox hitters have faced up to this series.
Game 3: Dallas Keuchel vs Jameson Taillon
Keuchel has been the worst starter on the White Sox this year, posting a 5.80 xERA, 4.69 SIERA, 108 xFIP-, and a 122 DRA-. His peripherals in 2020 hinted at a regression year, and so far, that has been the case.
Jameson Taillon is in his first year with the Yankees after spending his first four MLB seasons with the Pirates. Taillon has been unlucky so far in his first season since 2019. His 5.73 ERA should improve significantly as the season progresses, with a SIERA of 3.39, xERA of 3.57, xFIP- of 94, and a DRA- of 92 putting him as an above-average pitcher.
Taillon looks to get some help from the baseball gods, while Keuchel looks to deal despite them.
This series will be an entertaining watch as this could be a potential postseason matchup. Both FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus project the Yankees to be the top seed in the American League, while the Sox look to stave off Cleveland and take the AL Central crown.