Sunday Night Baseball Preview: Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers
The Chicago White Sox (1-1) and Texas Rangers (1-1) have split their first two games of the 2012 season and will close out a three-game set on Sunday night inside Rangers Ballpark on ESPN
Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers
Chicago has played two one-run games against the Texas Rangers, coming away with a 4-3 win on Saturday night. White Sox first-year manager Robin Ventura registered his first victory and was sporting a wet jersey in post-game interviews. “All I know is it was very cold,” state Ventura. The team went 4-4 in the series a year ago, while posting a 4-0-3 record in the last seven season matchups. Chicago has tallied a 7-8 record as a road underdog of +150 to +175 the last two-plus years.
White Sox starter Gavin Floyd is coming off a 12-13 season with a 4.37 ERA in 30 starts, including a 1-0 mark and 0.64 ERA in two outings against Sunday’s opponent. Overall, the right-hander is 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA in six career starts versus the Rangers. Floyd has registered a winning 11-9 record in 29 career April games (27 starts), but also garners an inflated 5.71 ERA. The former first round selection was 8-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 17 road games (16 starts) during the 2011 campaign.
Texas has yet to get its offense clicking after ranking third in the majors in averaging 5.28 runs per game a season ago, combining to score six runs in the first two games of 2012. “We squared a lot of balls and didn’t find many holes,” stated Rangers veteran Michael Young. Outfielder Josh Hamilton could enjoy a break out game, considering he is 6-for-10 in his career against Floyd, which is his second-best average against any MLB pitcher with at least 10 at-bats. Texas is 89-61 following a loss the last two-plus campaigns.
Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison comes off a solid 14-9 campaign with a 3.39 ERA in 31 games (30 starts). The left-hander will look to remain perfect in this series, coming in with a 2-0 mark and 3.54 ERA in five career starts versus the White Sox. Harrison and Floyd have both struggled in April during their careers, posting the 10th and 13th-highest ERAs during the month for active starters with at least 10 starts during the month.
Bettors will likely back the Rangers due to their 8-2 record in Harrison’s last 10 home starts, while the White Sox are 4-9 in Floyd’s last 13 Sunday outings.
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