The Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox meet for the second time in a three-game series this weekend. The White Sox started things off with a 6-4 win behind a decent performance from Lance Lynn. Lynn was far from perfect with 7 hits and 3 earned runs allowed through 5 innings.
However, Jean Carlos Meija lasted 4.1 innings with 4 earned runs allowed to lose the battle of the starting pitchers. Reliever Karinchak conceded 2 earned runs without recording a run, which ultimately ended up being the difference at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was more of the same for the White Sox in the AL Central, as they build on a comfortable lead in the division.
They’re in terrific shape with a nine-game lead on the Cleveland Indians. Barring multiple injuries and a big collapse for the White Sox, this division is wrapped up at the end of July. The White Sox went into this season as the heavy favorites to win the AL Central and there have been no surprises here. The Indians made things interesting for a minute, but the better team has cleared with ease.
For the White Sox, it’s important that they keep their focus down the stretch. If they are in control of this lead, the White Sox can’t feel too comfortable and allow themselves to seize up before the postseason. They won’t have played meaningful baseball in a while, which could disrupt their focus. It’s just a possibility, but they are even better than they were before building up this lead.
The White Sox acquired coveted closer Craig Krimbel to bolster their World Series quest and look strong as a well-rounded unit. No one is giving the White Sox much attention, but they could surprise a few people. Meanwhile, the Indians are holding out hope that they can catch on in the postseason as a wildcard.
It won’t be easy, as Cleveland is looking at a 6.5-game hole in the American League wildcard race. They will have to get hot soon. Triston McKenzie will look to give the Indians just their third win since July 22 tonight. Dallas Keuchel counters for the White Sox. Head below for our free Indians vs. White Sox pick on July 31, 2021.
Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox MLB Betting Odds:
Indians vs. White Sox Prediction:
The Indians were hoping for a lot more from Triston McKenzie this season. McKenzie hasn’t performed up to expectations in Cleveland, though. He looked promising as a first-year pitcher last season, but has tailed off in his first full season in the major leagues. McKenzie posted an ERA of 3.24 and a 0.90 WHIP in eight appearances last year. It was a good start for the young prospect. Opponents hit just .179 against McKenzie in 2020.
However, McKenzie has failed to find that form through 14 outings in this current campaign. McKenzie carries a shaky ERA of 5.61 and 1.42 WHIP into Saturday evening. His work on the road hasn’t been particularly impressive where he owns a 5.83 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. The White Sox have scored 7 RBIs in only 22 at-bats against McKenzie in his career. In his most recent start against the White Sox, the Indians took a 8-6 loss on May 31. McKenzie was ripped for 5 earned runs in 5.1 innings at Progressive Field.
Dallas Keuchel hasn’t been at his best this season, but is still a steady arm for the White Sox. He enters this contest with an ERA of 4.32 and a 1.36 WHIP in 20 appearances. Keuchel was on fire last year with a 1.99 ERA, so this hasn’t gone as expected. He’s on pace to finish with an ERA above 4.00 for the first time since 2016 with the Astros. In any event, Keuchel has still been solid and reliable. In his previous three starts, he’s posted a 3.50 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. In seven of his last nine appearances, Keuchel has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in 7 of 9 attempts. The White Sox should take the second of this three-game series at home.