The Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers are about to embark on one of the best series of pitching matchups that the world has ever seen. Lucas Giolito and Freddy Peralta will attempt to be a promising opening act at American Family Field in Milwaukee. The Brewers are favored in the -125 range at BetOnline Sportsbook with a total of 7.5.
The next two games will be Carlos Rodon vs. Corbin Burnes and then Lance Lynn vs. Brandon Woodruff. It is a good thing that this is the Friday night game because those will be two tough acts to follow, but this should be a great one in its own right with an 8:10 p.m. ET first pitch.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox have endured a lot of offensive injuries this season and really haven’t skipped a beat, irrespective of whose names have been on the lineup card. Chicago entered Thursday’s action ranked third in wOBA with men in scoring position and third in wOBA overall. The White Sox have taken a bit of a hit recently in the BB% department with Yasmani Grandal and Jake Lamb sidelined, but this is a relentless offensive attack.
The White Sox don’t really need to add anything offensively at the Trade Deadline because they’ll soon be getting back Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. We’ll probably see Yasmani Grandal back late in August as well. This is an offense that puts a lot of balls in play and racks up a lot of hits. The White Sox don’t hit for much power, but score the old-school way by manufacturing runs and running the bases well.
It will be interesting to see how much run support Lucas Giolito gets in this start. It would be wrong to call Giolito a weak link in this rotation with a 3.90 ERA and a 3.90 FIP, but compared to Carlos Rodon and Lance Lynn, he needs to step it up a little bit. Maybe those are two unfair comparisons, but there is one thing in Giolito’s profile that stands out. He has allowed too many home runs.
Giolito has excellent K/BB numbers. He has just a .271 BABIP against. He’s done just about everything right, except for allow 19 home runs in his 19 starts. Everything else has been gravy for him. Giolito has a 4.11 ERA with a 3.90 FIP since MLB decided to crack down on sticky stuff. He has allowed 23 runs on 45 hits in that span and his strikeout rate has lowered a little bit.
One area of growing concern for the White Sox is the bullpen. Over the last 30 days, the White Sox pen has racked up a 5.42 ERA with a 4.88 FIP. That will be an area to address at the Trade Deadline for sure.
The Milwaukee Brewers entered play on Thursday ranked 20th in wOBA at .305 as they enjoyed a day off prior to the series against Chicago. Lately, though, the Brewers have picked it up in a big way offensively. Over the last 30 days, Milwaukee actually has a top-five offense. The Brewers have been walking a lot more often and have hit for more power as well.
They’ve also really picked things up defensively. The addition of Willy Adames at shortstop really seemed to put all of the pieces in places for the Brew Crew. Adames has been worth 1.6 fWAR over the last 30 days and 2.5 fWAR since he was acquired by the Brewers. Only catcher Omar Narvaez has accumulated more. The Brewers are even dealing with a down year from Christian Yelich. If he gets going, look out.
Fortunately, guys like Freddy Peralta mean that the Brewers don’t need a ton of run support day in and day out. Peralta has a 2.39 ERA with a 3.24 FIP in his 98 innings of work. He’s struck out 135 batters and walked 44, so he has had a lot of deep counts and doesn’t always get the chance to work deep into games. That puts some extra strain on the Milwaukee bullpen, but they’ve been able to overcome it with some tremendous depth.
Peralta has not pitched since July 10. It seems like the Brewers wanted to give him a little extra time, as he’s been throwing a high rate of innings relative to his previous outputs. The right-hander gave up three runs to the Reds in his last start. Prior to that, Peralta had allowed just 11 runs in his previous 10 starts, good for a 1.62 ERA and a 3.02 FIP. The substance crackdown did not seem to bother him at all.
White Sox vs. Brewers Free Pick
Overnight money hit the board on the Brewers and that certainly seems like the right side here. Milwaukee has an advantage with the starter and, more importantly, an advantage in the bullpen, even with Devin Williams sidelined. This game projects to be low-scoring, as evidenced by the total, and that means pitching should rule the day. In this instance, that means that the Brewers should rule the day.