The American League Central hasn’t been a competitive outfit in 2018. It’s been the Cleveland Indians running away with the division while everyone else trails by a significant margin. The next closest team to the Indians are the Minnesota Twins. And while the Indians and Twins were supposed to finish 1-2 in the division, it wasn’t supposed to happen like this. The Tribe own a comfortable 12-game lead with the competition level just about zero for Cleveland. They’ve been chilling up there waiting for the postseason to begin.
It’s a foregone conclusion that the Indians are going to the postseason as winners of the AL Central. The others are just playing the rest of the season out and looking to finish on a strong note going into the offseason. The White Sox and Tigers were never expected to do anything, so no surprise there. The Indians weren’t supposed to run away from the Twins like this, though. Cleveland have been good, but not spectacular by any means. The Yankees who look destined for a wildcard are up on them. However, it’s irrelevant because the Yanks aren’t in the AL Central. They have the unmovable force, the Red Sox, in front of them.
The Tigers have looked better than expected at times, but in a lineup that doesn’t have a batter hitting above .300 it’s not going to be easy. Castellanos was playing above .300 in the first-half, but has since regressed back to .286. He is one of the few hitters on that team that could help out a contender immediately. The Braves showed interest in him at the deadline, but he obviously stuck around in Detroit. I wouldn’t be too surprised if we see a Castellanos trade in the future, though. Despite a meaningless series, last nights contest between the White Sox and Tigers was pretty entertaining. While teams with bad pitching can make you cringe at times, they do provide some fun games. The White Sox and Tigers are both in the back half of the league in pitching. Head below for our free White Sox vs. Tigers pick for Tuesday night in Major League Baseball.
Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers Pick
Lucas Giolito (7-9, 6.23 ERA) vs. Blaine Hardy (4-4, 3.63 ERA)
Blaine Hardy has seen the highs and lows of being a major league pitcher in 2018. It’s been a roller coaster ride for him, with everything from horrific outings to quality outings on his resume. His last two starts have been a perfect snapshot of what he’s done this season.
He nailed the A’s to a wall by allowing just 1 hit with no runs allowed across 7 innings of work. However, Hardy follows that up allowing 5 runs in 5 innings against the Angels. He hasn’t been at his best against this White Sox lineup. In 68 at-bats, they’re hitting .294 with 3 long balls against Hardy. The Tigers’ bullpen is 21st with an ERA of 4.43.
Giolto put together seven impressive outings in his first-year with the White Sox a season ago. He posted an ERA of 2.38 in what was an audition for him. In a more permanent role in 2018, the results haven’t translated for him this season. Gioloto enters with an overall ERA of 6.23 and has been off the pace lately, with a 7.16 ERA and .356 OBA in his previous three starts.
In 16.1 innings, Gioloto gave up 13 runs. He took a 7-5 loss in his last outing against the Tigers. Gioloto allowed 6 hits and 5 runs in 5.1 innings of work. That must be better this evening at Comerica Park. He isn’t backed up with the best bullpen, as we seen last night when they got out there. The White Sox relievers are 24th with a team ERA of 4.60. I think we’ll likely see something similar to their previous matchup play out on Tuesday. The game doesn’t mean anything, but it should provide a good watch. I’d expect some runs to be on the board in this one to push it OVER the total.