Series Preview: White Sox v Dodgers

It’s that time of year. Time for the beginning of interleague play. This year, the White Sox will be playing the NL West with a couple of exceptions. Up first are the Los Angeles Dodgers.

2011 Records: White Sox (20-25; 4th in AL Central); Dodgers (20-25; 4th in NL West)

2009 record: 2-1. The White Sox were 15-3 in interleague in 2010. The Dodgers were 4-11 in interleague play in 2010.

All-Time record: 9-3 (The Sox are 5-1 against the Dodgers at US Cellular Field) In Interleague play, the White Sox are 142-104 and the Dodgers are 103-121.

The following pitchers are expected to start in the series:

Phil Humber: 3-3, 3.18 ERA, 26K v. Ted Lilly: 3-4, 4.83 ERA, 34K

Jon Garland: 1-3; 3.55 ERA, 22K v. Mark Buehrle: 3-3, 4.07 ERA, 31K

Hiroki Kuroda: 5-3, 2.80 ERA, 48K v. Edwin Jackson: 3-5, 4.53 ERA, 45K

Friday’s game begins at 7:10 pm, Saturday and Sunday’s games begin at 1:10 pm. All times CDT.

The White Sox have been on a bit of a mini roll lately. They have won four of their last 5 series and split the other series. Starting pitching continues to be dominant with Peavy’s three-hit shutout of the Indians and Gavin giving enough in his most recent start to give the Sox the opportunity to win. He pitched seven innings allowing only one run. The six-man rotation has had one turn through it so far, but it is still a little early to tell if the idea is a complete disaster.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers have some serious issues you probably already know about. The biggest problem for them is Frank McCourt and his divorce from Jamie McCourt. The situation is in such dire straits that Jamie is now asking the courts to force the sale of the Dodgers. The team has already had operations taken over by MLB and there is still speculation that payroll will not be met for the team. There was also the horrible incident of the fan, Bryan Stow, a Giants fan, who was brutally beaten in the parking lot after a game.

Overall, the team has been okay this season with the play on the field. In their last ten games, the Dodgers are 4-6. They are coming off of a series sweep by the Giants. On the road this season, the Dodgers are two games below .500 with a 9-11 record.

Chances are you probably don’t know much about the Dodgers this season since they are in the NL West. To help you, I got some info from Clare that should help you in watching the games. In addition to seeing some familiar faces this weekend, Clare at Ravine Report says the following are the three things you should know about the Dodgers.

  • The Dodgers starting rotation has been great this season. It’s scary to imagine how much WORSE the team would be if we didn’t have a solid group of starters.
  • The Dodgers can’t score runs. At all. Their offense is the least potent I’ve ever seen in person. They are experts at stranding runners on base, and leaving their starting pitchers out to dry with ZERO run support. (But still, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp can hurt you)
  • If the Sox can get to the bullpen relatively early, they stand a good chance of winning the game. The Dodgers bullpen has been shaky all season, but it’s even more depleted in recent weeks.

When I chatted with Clare, it was amusing that one of the big issues the Dodgers have problems with, I could relate to as a White Sox fan given how the Sox offense is (unless Gavin Floyd is pitching). If the offenses of each team behave in their typical manner and the pitching does what it is capable of, this could be quite the pitching duel weekend.

Who’s Hot: Matt Kemp, who went into Thursday’s action hitting .417 against lefties. Mike MacDougall has been limiting opponents batting averages to .245. The White Sox Bullpen has been on a roll and not allowing a run in nearly 28 innings. Who’s Not: Andre Ethier who had a 30 game hitting streak. Since then, he was 1 for 21 going into Thursday’s action. Gordon Beckham who is mired in a 2 for 21 slump. Juan Uribe is batting .188 against lefties so far. Sox hitters in general who had been 3 for 33 with runners in scoring position in their last eight games.

Be sure to follow Clare and read the Ravine Report for up-to-date information on the Dodgers during the series.

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