Jeff Samardzija (3-2, 4.58 ERA) and the Chicago White Sox (18-20) go up against Phil Hughes (3-4, 4.76 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins (23-17) in the first of a three-game division series at U.S. Cellular Field. The game gets underway at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 22 and will air on FSN-N and CSN-CHI.
Samardzija has a 7.56 ERA and a 1-1 record in his career against the Twins, and is up against a strong Minnesota offense that's hitting .257 on the year. Jose Abreu (.292, 20 Rs, 6 HRs, 22 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday. In his career against the White Sox, Hughes is 4-5 with a 3.12 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 64 strikeouts. Torii Hunter (.282, 21 Rs, 6 HRs, 24 RBIs, 1 SB) has been hitting the ball well, going 3 for 5 Wednesday with three RBIs.
Chicago is a -137 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at eight runs. When playing as the favorite, the White Sox have a 10-8 record and overall money line at -257. They have an SU record of 11-16 against teams in their division and a 7-7 record when they were the favorite in those games. Chicago has averaged 3.2 runs per game during divisional play, lower than its season average of 3.7. Chicago's pitching staff performs very well on its own field, recording a low 3.29 team ERA at home. An area where the White Sox are particularly strong is striking batters out, where they average 7.9 K's per game.
On the other side, the Twins have a record of 17-15 when they are the underdog and are +1,085 overall with the money line. Against divisional foes, they are 14-14 SU and 12-12 as the underdog. Minnesota is one of the top hitting teams in the AL with an average of 8.8 hits per contest. Switching gears to Minnesota's pitching staff, they allow just 2.5 walks per game, good for third in the AL.
The Twins had the upper hand against the White Sox in their previous seven games this season, earning a 5-2 record. This game will feature Hughes (RHP) on the mound against the White Sox, who have a 15-15 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Twins will be the right-hander Samardzija. They sport a 10-12 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - MIN, O/U - Over
The Twins hold a split 14-14 record against AL Central teams, but the White Sox are 11-17 in such matchups.
For the eighth time this season, the White Sox registered at least two errors in a game.
When the Twins play into extra innings, they have a 3-1 record. The White Sox are 1-1 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Twins managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the White Sox who are heading in with a 7-4 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the White Sox are 3-17. The Twins have a 4-16 record when opponents outhit them.
Both falling near the bottom of the league based on total home runs this season, Chicago ranks 27th with 26 homers and Minnesota is 24th with 30.
Ranking seventh, Chicago is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.51 per game. Minnesota ranks in the top five at fourth with 8.83.
Ranking 25th, Chicago is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.669). Minnesota ranks in the bottom half at 19th with an OPS of .698.
The Twins are 13-13 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The White Sox are 10-15 when they allow at least one homer.