2021 White Sox: Home Opener Series Preview

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The 2021 White Sox opened the season with a seven-game road trip to Anaheim and Seattle. They went three and four in those seven games, losing three of four in Anaheim, and winning two of three in Seattle. they travel back to the South Side for their home opener on Thursday. They will square off against division rival Kansas City on Thursday afternoon. After an off-day Friday, the two teams will play day games on Saturday and Sunday.

2021 White Sox: Finally Home

Sox fans are looking for big things from their team, although the road trip was a mixed bag. In losing to Anaheim, the Sox lost leads in the eighth inning twice and got walked off in the finale. This was rather disappointing, considering that perhaps the greatest strength of the 2021 White Sox is projected to be their deep bullpen. They also struggled mightily with runners in scoring position throughout the series.

In Seattle, the White Sox took two of three from the Mariners. They won the first two games before an implosion from Dallas Keuchel and Matt Foster allowed the Mariners to rally for a win on traveling day. Again, starters failed to last more than 5 1/3 innings in any of the starts. The hitting was better than in Anaheim but still lacked consistency.

Who’s Hot – White Sox

Yermin Mercedes, a 28-year-old rookie, went 5-for-5 in his first MLB start and is hitting .565 with an OPS of 1.409 over the team’s first seven games. He has one home run and six RBIs.

Michael Kopech, returning from Tommy John surgery, has appeared in two games, pitching a total of four innings. He has allowed one hit, with eight strikeouts and one walk. He has an ERA of 0.00

Carlos Rodon, returning to the rotation, threw five innings of shutout ball in his first start. He allowed only two-hit, struck out nine, and walked three in his debut.

Who’s Not – White Sox

The 2021 White Sox have struggled mightily on defense. In their opening series with the Angels, they allowed seven unearned runs, helping the Angels win three of four. The defense must get better quickly, and soon.

Leury Garcia, the Sox super-utility man, has struggled at the plate early this season. Entering play Wednesday, he was hitting .100 with seven strikeouts in 21 plate appearances.

Yoan Moncada is hitting just .182, with one double so far. He also has struck out 12 times in 28 plate appearances.

Who’s Hot- Royals

Whit Merrifield came into action on Wednesday with a cool .500 batting average, with three home runs and nine RBIs. He also has an OPS of 1.625.

Michael A. Taylor is having a renaissance start to the season, hitting .438, with two home runs, and six RBIs. He also has an OPS of 1.346.

Nicky Lopez is hitting .429 in the early going, with all of his hits being singles. He has only struck out only once through the first four games.

Who’s Not – Royals

Andrew Benintendi was hitting .167 with no home runs or RBIs heading into action Wednesday.

Jorge Soler was hitting .182 with a home run and two RBIs.

Salvador Perez was hitting .188 with a home run and three RBIs.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Thursday (3:10 CDT) KC: Brad Keller, 0-0, 40.50 ERA vs. Sox: Lance Lynn, 0-0, 0.00 ERA

Saturday (1:10 CDT) KC: Mike Minor, 1-0, 6.00 ERA vs. Sox: Dylan Cease, 0-0, 5/79 ERA

Sunday (1:10 CDT) KC: Brady Singer, 0-1, 13.50 ERA vs. Sox: Carlos Rodon, 1-0, 0.00 ERA

The 2021 White Sox will be looking to get back to .500 this weekend, but the Royals always play them tough. It should be a good series, look for the Sox to take two of three from their Central Division rivals.

Injury Update: Tim Anderson was placed on the IL retroactive to April 5th, and will not be available to the White Sox.

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Mike Fisk is a lifelong baseball fan. For him, there is nothing like being at a baseball game, with the sights, the sounds, the smells. Writing about baseball is a bonus!