The Chicago White Sox have had some kind of wacky season. They’ve been up, down, sideways, and involved in controversy all in the past few months. I really don’t know where they are now, I suppose we can say it’s back to controversy in the clubhouse. It all started before the season started, when Adam LaRoche quit the team because management was growing tiresome of his son around the team constantly. Chris Sale had an outburst over the issue, and now he is blowing up over another issue, throwback uniforms. The other day Sale wasn’t too happy that the White Sox were going to wear certain throwback uniforms, deeming them too uncomfortable to pitch in. Really? At this point it wouldn’t surprise me if he takes a baseball bat and starts attacking teammates with it and destroying Gatorade jugs.
Instead of swallowing his pride and going ahead with it, he cut all of the jerseys up and was scratched from his scheduled start. The writing is on the wall with him, I don’t see him staying in Chicago for too much longer. It almost feels like these temper tantrums are a plea to the White Sox to send him packing to another city.
We won’t be seeing Sale tonight, instead it will be a pitcher who has taken the reigns of the White Sox pitching staff. Sale has been good but not as great as he could be. He’s also in the middle of trade rumors and the focal-point of a bizarre incident in the clubhouse. All of this leads to Jose Quintana as the face of the rotation for the White Sox. After Sale leaves town, Quintana will be the undisputed ace of the ball club.
Quintana rightfully earned a spot in the All-Star Game, and soon, this team is going to be his. He gets the nod tonight on Friday, and the Twins will respond with Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco is trying to pinch out a few more million out of his career, but I don’t think any team is going to want him in their rotation a year from now. He had his moments during his career, but if Nolasco is on your staff, the rotation probably isn’t in the best of shape. The Twins took down the 1st place Orioles last night, a 6-2 win. Tonight they will find a stiffer test on the mound.
Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins
Jose Quintana (8-8, 2.97 ERA) vs. Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 5.40 ERA)
Quintana has been quietly asserting himself as one of the finest pitchers in the league. Sale’s career in Chicago is anything but quiet, with Quintana pitching in his shadow. Quintana has accumulated a solid ERA of 2.97, and in four of his last five starts allowed 1 or no runs. While it appears the White Sox are throwing their season away with their dysfunctional antics, Quintana continues to pitch at a high level for the team. After all of this, it’s sort of impressive that the White Sox are a .500 ball club. Not many teams would be able to survive controversy featuring a son of a member of the team, and then a jersey controversy where the face of the franchise cuts them up. With that said, it’s an achievement that the White Sox aren’t fifteen games below the .500 mark.
At 37-63, the Twins are playing for respectability. Last night, they did get some respect after dispatching the Orioles by a score of 6-2. I don’t know what to think about the Orioles, but for a team 1st in their division, they aren’t impressing me. It feels like they will flame out, and give way to the Red Sox and Blue Jays. Nolasco will try and follow up Kyle Gibson’s solid start tonight. He has been a bit wild recently, posting a 6.43 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in his last three starts. Quintana counters with a 2.41 ERA and 1.02 WHIP during that time. I don’t understand this one too much, but I’m of the belief that Nolasco should be a bigger underdog here. This seems like a tremendous amount of value with Quintana. Perhaps I’m falling for a trap, hook, line, and sinker. But this pick is hard for me to ignore.
PICK: WHITE SOX TO WIN -125