The Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox conclude their weekend series with an afternoon tilt between Kyle Gibson and James Shields. The Twins have already taken two off the White Sox, as they picked up wins of 6-4 and 8-4. With the loss, the White Sox fell to 9-22. It keeps them in last place of the AL Central, with the Royals at 10-23. Either way, the White Sox and Royals are not going to be competing in the division this season. The division is a mess at the moment, with the 17-16 Indians in 1st place and a 14-18 Tigers team in 2nd place. That’s pretty ugly, and the Twins were expected to be a team that would compete with the Indians for the division. The Twins are currently 12-17, but in the train wreck that is the American League Central, they’re only 3 games back.
James Shields is still finding work in a starting position. I think it’s more of the fact that Shields is banking on his past successes, and well, the White Sox are saddled with a contract they don’t want. He hasn’t posted an ERA below 4.00 since 2015 with the Padres. Shields was monumental in helping the Royals in 2013 and 2014 but since that stretch of success, he hasn’t commanded his pitches nearly as well. He was fine with the Padres, but nobody cares about what the Padres are doing, or rather, lack thereof. Shields numbers have been regressing since the 2014 year with the Royals. Head below for our free Twins vs. White Sox pick.
Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox Pick
Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. James Shields (1-3, 5.35 ERA)
While Shields’ career has been floundering, Kyle Gibson is off to one of the nicest starts of his career. Gibson’s career doesn’t hold a candle up to what Shields has done. Shields is on the way out of his career, and Gibson still has an opportunity to make a name for himself. Gibson posted an ERA of 3.84 in 2015, but he reverted back to being a mediocre pitcher with a 5.07 ERA in each of his last two seasons. His best work has come on the road, with an ERA of 1.96 and 0.82 WHIP. Overall he’s looked nice with a 3.38 ERA. Not a bad start for a guy who desperately needed a year to go his way. Who know if it all unravels, but so far so good for Gibson.
Shields enters with a 5.35 ERA and is still searching for the second win of the year. He carries a 5.96 ERA at home and a WHIP of 1.76. In his last three outings that ERA hit 6.23. Brian Dozier had a good history against Shields, as he’s hit 4 long balls and a batting average of .333. Dozier was in a funk but recently came out of it with a big showing on Friday night. The White Sox offense is averaging just 3.94 runs per game for 24th in the majors. For some Sunday afternoon baseball, I recommend a play on the Twins to go for the sweep.