Lucas Giolito (0-1, 17.18 ERA) vs. Zach Plesac (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
The Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians will meet for the final meeting of a three-game series on Wednesday. The first game on Monday was pushed back to Tuesday because of bad weather. The Indians kept their focus and swept the double-header at Progressive Field. They struck early in the afternoon game and held on for a 4-3 win.
The Indians took a comfortable lead early in the evening meeting and the bullpen did their job once again to hold the White Sox offense in check. I’ve seen the White Sox regarded as a sleeper team of sorts, but I’m not so sure. And I’m not talking about their performance to open the season either. I wasn’t very high on the White Sox before they started playing ball as well.
The Minnesota Twins and Indians are likely still the class of the AL Central. The Twins took over the division with authority in 2019. They cleared the Indians by eight games to cruise to the top of the AL Central. Cleveland didn’t have a terrible season. They managed with a record of 93-69, though that wasn’t enough to get into the postseason as a wildcard.
In this shortened season and expanded playoffs in 2020, it would be a major downer if the Indians don’t find a spot in the playoffs. Their starting rotation has plenty of depth, and will likely prove to be the clincher for the Indians. They don’t have Trevor Bauer any longer, but there is still a lot to like about the Indians’ pitching staff. That includes the development of 25-year-old Zach Plesac. He earned a roster spot and is deserving of a spot on the active roster.
Plesac is expected to get an assignment on Wednesday against the White Sox in the series finale. It will be his first start of the season following 21 starts as a rookie in 2019. He showed some good promise in his first taste of the major leagues, and Plesac has been steady throughout spring and summer training.
Lucas Giolito is coming off his debut of 2020. He would like to put that performance in the past quickly. Giolito will be looking to bounce back after getting rocked by the Twins. Head below for our free Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians pick for July 29, 2020 in MLB.
Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians Prediction:
Lucas Giolito did not have a pleasant time in his first outing of the year. The Twins got to Giolito for 6 hits and 7 earned runs in 3.2 innings. Giolito also issued 3 walks for a horrid day at the office in his first meaningful game of 2020. He exited the contest with an ERA of 17.18 and 2.45 WHIP. Not exactly what Giolito envisioned as a dark horse Cy Young candidate this season. I say pull the breaks on Cy Young and Giolito, though.
Even without the poor opening act for Giolito in 2020, he’s been a rather average hurler other than the first-half of last season. Giolito posted an ERA of 4.24 across his final 13 starts of 2019. Overall, he posted a 3.41 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, though the potential for something much better than that was possible.
Prior to last season, Giolito was well off the mark with an ERA of 6.13 and 1.48 WHIP in 2018. That was his first full season as a member of the rotation for the White Sox. The White Sox were confident that Giolito was going to come around eventually, and he finally did in the first half of 2019. While he was fine following the All-Star Game, Giolito tailed off and wasn’t as automatic on the hill.
Giolito will undoubtedly improve from what we saw on Opening Day against the Twins, but I guess I’m not as confident in Giolito as a Cy Young candidate as others are. Note that Giolito pitched just 1 inning in exhibition action, so it’s hard to say that he is in mid-season form right now. His outing versus the Twins would suggest otherwise.
Zach Plesac was solid as a rookie across 21 starts, with a 3.81 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 2019. He has something to build on and we could see more production from Plesac this season. He was in fine form in spring training, as he notched a 3.38 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 13.1 innings of work. Plesac was good against the White Sox as a rookie.
He held the White Sox to a .217 batting average with just 1 earned run conceded in 32 at-bats. A solo shot by Tim Anderson is the only offense that the White Sox have discovered thus far against Plesac. I think there is some value to be had on Plesac over Giolito here. The Indians to get the sweep at home on Wednesday looks to be within reach at Progressive Field.