Remember back to before the season started, when everyone said the Twins and the White Sox were going to be really bad? Grant Brisbee literally wrote just two short sentences to cover both teams in his AL Central preview for SB Nation.
Well it’s May 9th, and both the Twins—who are second in the division at 15-14—and the White Sox—who are tied for third at 15-15—are still right in the thick of things.
Hopefully the Twins can gain even more ground in the standings as they take on the White Sox this week at Guaranteed Rate Field—which is still the new name of the White Sox’s ballpark. The two teams have already faced off six times this year, splitting those match-ups 3-3.
The Twins have a good chance at gaining the upper-hand in the season series tonight as former-White Sox Hector Santiago takes on former-Twin Mike Pelfrey in a strange, incestuous pitching match-up for the ages. Okay, maybe not for the ages, as Big Pelf—who was released by the Tigers before the season started (for being bad)—has a 5.02 ERA and has yet to make it past 5.1 innings in a game this season. He’s just not very good. Santiago and his 2.78 ERA, on the other hand, have been totally out performing expectations. He has also historically been good against the White Sox in his career, going 4-1 with a 1.40 ERA in six starts.
On Wednesday, the somewhat-struggling Phil Hughes will take on the NOT-somewhat-struggling Derek Holland. The current Twins hitters are collectively hitting only .244/.294/.359 with two home runs off Holland in their career, though they were able to beat him back on April 7th, tagging him for three runs (but only two earned)
Thursday might be the most curious pitching match-up of the series, as Miguel Gonzalez will be taking on... probably Nick Tepesch? Yeah, Tepesch lived up to the “ish” in his first start against the Red Sox last Saturday, but let’s keep in mind six of the runs he gave up were unearned. The Twins were also successful against Gonzalez when they faced him back on April 8th, but only because Jason Castro hit a two-run dinger. Maybe he can do that again.
By the end of the week the Twins could be in first place in the division, or they could be in fourth. They could also stay basically where they are, as that seems to be the trend in the AL Central this season.
Game 1: Tuesday, 5/9, 7:10 pm CT - Mike Pelfrey RHP (5.02 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago LHP (2.78 ERA)
Game 2: Wednesday, 5/10, 7:10 pm CT - Derek Holland LHP (2.02 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes RHP (4.32 ERA)
Game 3: Thursday, 5/11, 7:10 pm CT - Miguel Gonzalez RHP (3.18 ERA) vs. ???
- Brian Dozier is still day-to-day with the knee thing. Hopefully we see him sometimes this series, but wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still out tonight.
- The Twins might also be without Miguel Sano for a game if he loses his appeal of the one-game suspension for that Tigers incident.
How many games do you think the Twins will win against the White Sox this week?
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