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Series Preview: Texas Rangers @ Chicago White Sox - Refund

Two teams with a 10-6 record battle it out for early AL supremacy

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers are heading up to Chicago to take on the also 10-6 White Sox for a three game set and I have great news for you. The Rangers will miss Chris Sale. Chris Sale, as you may not have known, is a giant spider crab draped in human skin that we've somehow allowed to play baseball.

The bad news for the Rangers is they have to face Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon, a reborn Mat Latos, and a solid White Sox bullpen. Then again, at least those people are normal mortal humans instead of the eldritch terror that is Chris Sale.

The chants of "HE GONE!" won't summon your horror to invade our nightmares this time, Chicago.

Series Schedule:

Friday, April 22 7:10 pm: LHP Martin Perez vs LHP Jose Quintana

Saturday, April 23 1:10 pm: RHP Colby Lewis vs LHP Carlos Rodon

Sunday, April 24 1:10 pm: LHP Derek Holland vs RHP Mat Latos

Chicago's Strengths:

Chicago is one of four teams (along with Texas) to currently lead the American League with 10 wins so far this season. Unlike the Rangers, however, the White Sox aren't currently projected to have the worst record in the league by a large margin going forward, according to Fangraphs. So, they have that going for them.

Chicago has been winning because they've got a three-headed monster of left-handed starters in Sale, Quintana, and Rodon. Add in the fact that Mat Latos is apparently good again -- at the cost of looking like a Captain Planet villain -- and you have one of the better rotations in the league right now.

In addition, the White Sox bullpen has been really good early this season. As an overall staff, Chicago is behind only their northside rival Cubs and the Mets in pitching fWAR.

Chicago's Weaknesses:

Not having Drake LaRoche around has seemingly had a negative impact on the White Sox offense as Chicago is hitting a dreadful .218 as a team which is worst in the American League. Neither trade acquisition Todd Frazier (84 wRC+) nor expected MVP candidate Jose Abreu (79 wRC+) have put it together at the plate so far this season. Currently only Melky Cabrera, Brett Lawrie, and Adam Eaton have contributed positively to the offense in Chicago's South Side.

Go Rangers!

Chicago White Sox (10-6, 2nd Place in AL Central)

Rangers' 2015 Record vs. Chicago: 3-3 (1-2 at The Cell)

Chicago's Recent Results: 2-2 home series split with the Anaheim Angels

Chicago's 2016 Home Record: 3-3

US Cellular Field Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 109/113 - Runs: 94/100

SB Nation White Sox Blog: South Side Sox

Match-up: (as of 04/22) Rangers White Sox Advantage
Batting (RAR) -0.6 (13th) -18.2 (28th) Rangers
Base Running (RAR) 0.7 (10th) -0.9 (22nd) Rangers
Starters (RAR) 0.6 12.7 White Sox
Bullpen (RAR) -8.8 (29th) 8.0 (5th) White Sox
Defense (UZR) 2.1 (9th) 3.2 (7th) White Sox
Overall (UZR + RAR) -6.0 4.8 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Questions to Answer:

  • Yay or Nay: The White Sox will compete for a playoff spot this season?
  • Who is your Return of the McLemore Approved Player to Watch in this series? (Give me a fully busted out Ian Desmond launching off left-handers at The Cell.)
  • Over/Under: 5.5 strikeouts of White Sox hitters by Martin Perez in tonight's series opener?
  • What's your guess for line (IP/H/K/BB/ER) by Colby Lewis on Saturday afternoon as he returns to a place where he's had a lot of success?
  • Is Chris Sale the best pitcher in the American League?