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Chicago hasn’t felt pressure all year — their lead in the AL Central has been secure since about May. Oakland on the other hand is almost in playoff mode right now. They need to keep winning to hold onto that wildcard spot, or potentially even catch the Astros.
Keuchel hasn’t been the same this year and Montas has been playing well of late — we’re going to go A’s Moneyline.
Garcia’s 2021 record: (44-42-2)
|Oakland Athletics vs Chicago White Sox Information|
|Teams||Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox|
|Location||Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois|
|Time||Monday, August 16, 8:00 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||ESPN, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB.TV|
It’s young vs. old. It’s power vs. finesse. It’s righty vs. lefty. It’s Frankie Montas against Dallas Keuchel; an interesting pitching matchup that sets the tone for what should be a very telling series in the middle of August.
Starting with Montas, at first glance, it might look like more of the same this year — freakish arm, tons of talent, but still feeling like the results aren’t where they should be. That was the case through 17 starts, but over the last six, he’s been a different pitcher.
Montas has been working off his splitter the past month, throwing it nearly one-third of the time. This has set up the rest of his four-pitch mix which is why his ERA has dropped nearly a full point.
Overall, Montas is 9-8 with a 3.98 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 146 strikeouts in 131 innings. But for all his foibles, one thing you can rely on with Montas is relative consistency. He’s gone five innings or more in every start since April 21st and has been reliable for Oakland and should pose a tough threat to a potent White Sox lineup.
On the other side, Dallas Keuchel has been exceedingly average this season. His numbers: 7-6 overall, 4.51 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 77 strikeouts in 125.2 innings. The 33-year-old former Cy Young winner is in a bit of a funk his past nine starts — his ERA has jumped (from 3.78 to 4.51), and just two of those nine starts were quality starts.
The White Sox lost Sunday while the A’s were off, which puts them both at 68-50 heading into this series.
Despite the disappointing end, really this whole week has been one to remember for both teams. The White Sox played the Yankees in the “Field of Dreams” and finished with a historic walk-off home run from Tim Anderson as they continue to solidify their grasp atop the AL Central.
The Southsiders look to be one of the teams to beat in the AL — they rank in the top 10 in almost every category. Offensively they’re near the top in on-base percentage (4th), runs scored (7th), batting average (7th) and slugging percentage(10th) while their pitching staff checks in near the top in batting average against (5th), WHIP (5th) ERA (6th) and quality starts (6th).
Meanwhile, Oakland has won eight of 10 and breathing down the necks of the Houston Astros, just 2.5 games back for the division lead. The acquisition of Starling Marte has seemingly put this team on another level.
Marte has been one of the best hitters in baseball this month, batting .451 with a .472 OBP and 1.119 OPS — he has two home runs and 11 RBIs in August, a 12-game hitting streak, and hits in 13 of 14 games with Oakland. Life is pretty good in the Bay Area (checks notes with San Francisco) right now.
We just mentioned Starling Marte for the A’s, but how about Seth Brown as an x-factor? The left-fielder is hitting .304 (7-of-22) NS H a 1.103 OPS this week with a team-high three home runs and six RBIs.
For Chicago, we’re keeping an eye on Eloy Jimenez. NOw back from injury, he adds even more depth to an already potent lineup and he’s been on a tear — going 2-of-4 in each of his past four games.
Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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