The White Sox look to pick up a series victory, but will have to overcome their 4-20 record after a win this season.
Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox
Detroit suffered a 15-3 road loss to the Chicago White Sox last night. The Tigers will finish off its current six-game road trip (2-3, -158) with the final game of the series this afternoon. OF Magglio Ordonez is expected back in the lineup on Thursday, after missing a second game due to a sore left oblique. “He could play,” manager Jim Leyland said about the outfielder on Wednesday night. “The thinking behind it is: if he plays tonight, then tomorrow’s day game, I doubt that I’d want to play him again.” Ordonez should jump at the opportunity of playing today, as he tops all major league players with at least 20 plate appearances with a .609 batting average (14-for-23) versus Chicago starting pitcher John Danks. Detroit is 18-9 in day games this season (+720) and now an even 13-13 against the division (-340).
SP Max Scherzer is making his 11th start of the season, going 2-5 with a 6.66 ERA in 10 previous outings. The right-hander will be making his fifth daytime start, posting an even 2-2 mark and 3.74 ERA. He disappointed in his last start, allowing five runs on six hits over just five innings of work, after coming off his best outing of the season on May 30th. “He won’t be a finished pitcher until he gets his slider going,” Leyland said. Scherzer is making his first start against the Chicago White Sox, bringing in a 1-3 record and 6.75 ERA in six road starts.
Chicago tallied a season-high in runs (15) and hits (16) in Wednesday’s contest, after scoring just 27 runs in the first seven games of June. The White Sox are now 3-5 on its current homestand and 13-19 overall at U.S. Cellular (-930). Manager Ozzie Guillen’s club has fared much better against top-flight competition this season, posting a 17-19 record against opponents with a record of .500 or above and 7-14 versus clubs with a losing mark. The team has a losing 11-15 record against the AL Central (-780), but has gone 9-1-1 in the last 11 season series against the Tigers. The offense will have its opportunity against a pitcher that has surrendered nine home runs in just 55.2 innings of work, as the team has homered in 12 of its last 13 games and rank third in the AL with 69 round trippers.
White Sox SP John Danks is 4-5 with a 3.60 ERA and will be making his 12th start of the season. The left-hander has allowed two earned runs or less in eight starts this season, tied for third in the American League with six others. He trails only the Yankees’ Andy Pettitte and the Angels’ Jered Weaver in that category. Danks brings in a 2-3 mark and a 4.10 ERA in eight career starts against Detroit, including a 1-2 record and 2.76 ERA in five outings at U.S. Cellular Field. He was 0-2 with a 4.38 ERA in two starts against the Tigers last season. He began the season 3-0, but he’s 1-5 since the calendar turned to May.
Bettors will need to wait for the lineups to be announced to validate if Ordonez will in fact be starting. This would certainly offer value if the Tigers remain an underdog, as the team is 9-6 against left-handed starters this season (+300). Chicago is a dismal 18-25 versus right-handers (-1,040) and may struggle in facing a new starter this afternoon.