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Series Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago White Sox

After a long layoff, the Brewers hope to start a four-game home-and-home against one of the league’s most exciting young teams

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

The Brewers haven’t played a game since Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, but will hope to get back on the field tonight against the Chicago White Sox in what will (probably, maybe) be the team’s first home series of 2020.

It’s actually a 4-game home-and-home against the White Sox, but we’ll take what we can get at this point.

The White Sox, of course, won the Offseason World Series with their surprise signing of Yasmani Grandal in the first few days of free agency, and also added Dallas Keuchel to their rotation. Those additions complement a young and exciting roster that many were expecting to take a leap in a full season.

The results in the first week or so of the shortened season have been mixed, as the ChiSox have gotten off to a 4-4 start that’s seen a lot of offense but some iffy-at-best pitching.

Our old friend Yaz is off to a slow start (similar to last year in Milwaukee), going just 4-for-22 in his first 6 games, although he has walked 4 times — but also stuck out 10 times.

The Brewers will be avoiding last year’s AL batting champ Tim Anderson, who was put on the injured list yesterday with a strained groin. There’s still plenty of pop in the batting order, though, including 23-year-old Eloy Jimenez (8-for-21 to start the year, with 2 home runs and 2 doubles), 25-year-old Yoan Moncada (10-for-29, 1 home run and 2 doubles), and 22-year-old phenom Luis Robert (12-for-33, 2 home runs, 3 doubles and a steal). It’s a group that might give Brewers fans flashbacks to the early days of Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun, and the White Sox added veterans like Grandal and Edwin Encarnacion around them.

If the pitching comes around, they could be a true team on the rise in the AL with a shot to make some noise — especially with the expanded playoff field this year.

Pitchers, Probably

Monday, August 3rd - 7:10 p.m. in Milwaukee
Carlos Rodon vs. Brett Anderson

Tuesday, August 4th - 7:10 p.m. in Milwaukee
Lucas Giolito vs. Brandon Woodruff

Wednesday, August 5th - 7:10 p.m. in Chicago
Adrian Houser vs. Dallas Keuchel

Thursday, August 6th - 7:10 p.m. in Chicago
TBD vs. Gio Gonzalez

The Brewers saw Rodon during their exhibition before the official start of the season, scoring 3 times against the White Sox ace (and former Brewers draft pick) on 2 home runs. Rodon is working his way back from Tommy John surgery and gave up 5 earned runs over 3.2 innings in his first start of the year against Cleveland.

Giolito will be making his third start of the year, coming off 6 shutout innings against Cleveland in his last start. The former top prospect broke out last year in Rodon’s absence, putting up a 3.41 ERA in 29 starts, striking out 11.6 batters per 9 innings with a 134 ERA+ and earning a 6th-place finish in the AL Cy Young vote.

Part of the White Sox’ offseason spending spree, Keuchel has turned in two solid starts to start the season, allowing 4 runs over his first 10.2 innings. Keuchel won’t strike manny batters out — he only struck out 7.3 per 9 during his half-season in Atlanta last year, and only has a total of 3 strikeouts this year, but relies on keeping the walks down and inducing weak contact.

Our old friend Gio is currently slated to start the series finale. Another junkballing lefty, Gonzalez has had a rough start to his time with the South Siders, giving up 6 runs on 7 hits over 3.2 innings against the Twins, before throwing 3.2 shutout innings against Kansas City in his last outing. We all know the deal with Gio — he’ll allow plenty of baserunners, but is able to tightrope out of trouble on his good days. On his bad days, refer to the results against Minnesota.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference