Last night's pitchers' duel was postponed due to rain. Justin Verlander and Chris Sale will not face each other again this season, as the finale of the four-game series between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox never began due to heavy rain the Chicagoland area. The Tigers led the series 2-1 entering last night's game, and the final matchup has been moved to Monday, September 17, at 1:10pm at US Cellular Field.
While missing a premier pitching matchup is disappointing to anyone who appreciates good pitching, a look at the numbers suggests that the rain-out may be the best thing for the Chicago White Sox, who currently have a one game lead in the AL Central.
Here are some reasons why the rain postponement could benefit the Chicago White Sox:
- The most obvious reason is that the White Sox no longer have to face Justin Verlander. Verlander is 2-0 in games against the White Sox this season and has been successful in shutting down the White Sox offense, limiting them to just three earned runs this season (with 17 strikeouts).
- The White Sox are 5-12 against Detroit this season, and while a win last night would have split the series, the losses on Tuesday and Wednesday night showed a drained team, a struggling offense, and a manager making questionable decisions. The makeup game will be on Monday, which gives the White Sox three days to recalibrate before facing Detroit again.
- The White Sox head to Minnesota to face the Twins, a team they have dominated this season. The White Sox are 11-4 versus the Twins this season, outscoring the Twins by 21 runs. Chris Sale will start tonight, and he's 2-0 versus the Twins this season, giving up just two runs, which are better than his numbers versus Detroit.
- The White Sox have a chance to pull away from the Tigers in the standings this weekend, as Detroit plays the Cleveland Indians. While the Twins and Indians are tied for last in the standings, the Tigers have struggled to beat the Indians this year, with a 6-9 record. While the Tigers are outscoring the Indians by 10 runs, it hasn't translated to wins.
- Justin Verlander will start tonight, and he's 0-2 versus the Indians this season, giving up 6 runs. Though Verlander is typically a high strikeout pitcher, he's struggled to dominate the Indians this season, posting his lowest K/9 versus an opponent in the American League Central.
While history doesn't dictate the future, on the surface it seems that the White Sox have an advantage to gain some wiggle room in the standings ebfore Monday's makeup game against Detroit. Sure, we can argue about momentum and whether or not it's real, but if the White Sox are successful in Minnesota this weekend and gain more room in the standings before Monday's game, it seems like the postponement is an advantage for the White Sox--especially if Adam Dunn returns to the lineup before Monday.