Guardians at White Sox Preview Game 1 | Tue 7:10 PM. EST. 5/16

May 16, 2023

Andy Billman

Feast on Divisional Opponent, Keep Them in the Basement

3 Things: Guards and White Sox Game 1:

1 – Naylor and South Side magic 

A little over a year ago, Josh Naylor had one of the most memorable moments in Cleveland baseball history as he became the first player in MLB to have eight RBIs after the 8th inning setting the record and becoming the first player in major league history with multiple three-run home runs (or a grand slam) from the ninth inning on in a game (ESPN Stats).  Still get chills watching Naylor jump around the bases and into the dugout.

2 – Back to right-handers, hooray!

After the Guards faced three left-handed starters in a row from the Angels, the White Sox will start right-handers in all three games.

3 – Sox’s Struggles 

The White Sox have fallen completely off the grid as they come into the series at 14-28.  It was only a year ago that Chicago was the heavy favorite to win the Central last season and even some had the ChiSox winning it this year, but so far it has been a season of frustration and disappointment. 

Guardians Notes

In a hard-fought matchup, the Cleveland Guardians managed to snatch a 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Angels, rallying with three runs in the eighth inning. The standout performer of the game was Josh Naylor, who played the hero role with three RBIs, two hits (including a home run), and two runs scored. The rest of the team had limited offensive contributions, with only one hit per player and no other RBIs to note. On the pitching side, Tanner Bibee delivered an excellent start, going 7.2 innings, surrendering just one earned run, two hits, and striking out seven. Despite a rough outing, Emmanuel Clase secured the save in the ninth inning, allowing two runs.

Guards Stats and Insights


  • Bieber’s team is 2-6-0 against the spread this season in his starts.
  • The right-hander’s last start was on Tuesday when he tossed six innings without allowing a run on seven hits in a matchup with the Detroit Tigers.
  • Bieber has eight starts in a row of five innings or more.
  • Bieber’s team has been victorious in 42.9% of the games he’s started as the money line favorite with a record of 3-4.
  • Bieber’s team has a 3-5 record in his starts this season.
  • In games Bieber has started this season, the teams are 2-6-0 at hitting the over.


  • The Guardians are last in MLB action with 23 home runs.
  • Cleveland has the third-worst batting average in MLB (.227).
  • The Guardians rank 27th in MLB with an on-base percentage of .302.
  • Cleveland strikes out 7.5 times per game to rank second in the majors.
  • The Guardians have hit 13 home runs away from home this season (0.7 per game).
  • Cleveland is averaging 2.3 extra-base hits per game while slugging .343 away from home.
  • On the road this season the club averages 8.1 hits per game and is batting .232.

White Sox Notes

The White Sox were defeated by the Astros 4-3 Tuesday. Luis Robert went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and an RBI in the defeat, while Lucas Giolito took the loss on the mound, throwing six innings, and giving up four earned runs on seven hits while striking out six.

White Sox Stats and Insights


  • The White Sox will send Lynn (1-5) to the mound to make his ninth start of the season. He is 1-5 with a 7.51 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings pitched.
  • In his last appearance on Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals, the righty went five innings, giving up seven earned runs while surrendering nine hits.
  • Lynn will look to extend a seven-game streak lasting five or more innings (he’s averaging 5.5 frames per appearance).
  • The White Sox are 1-5 in Lynn’s six starts this season they were the money line underdog.
  • Lynn’s team has won one of his eight starts.
  • Lynn’s starts hit the over on the run total six times in eight games with a set total this season.


  • The White Sox rank 16th in Major League Baseball with 44 home runs.
  • Chicago’s .237 batting average ranks 22nd in the majors this season.
  • The White Sox are among the worst in the league at getting on base, ranking 28th with an OBP of .300.
  • Chicago ranks 14th in MLB in strikeouts per game with an average of 8.4 Ks per contest.
  • They’ve hit 19 homers, an average of 1.0 per game, in 19 home contests this season.
  • In 19 home games this season, it is slugging .388 with 54 hits going for extra bases.
  • They are averaging 8.4 base hits per game and batting .245 as a team at home this season.

Final Thoughts

The Chicago White Sox have struggled in their recent matchups against right-handed starting pitchers, losing four out of their last five games. Additionally, they have also had a tough time in their last six home games against teams with losing records, managing to win only one of those games.

In the upcoming series opener between these longstanding Midwest rivals, I believe Cleveland has a good chance of winning outright. The Guardians will be up against Lynn, who has performed poorly in his recent starts, allowing four or more runs in his last five outings and giving up seven earned runs in his most recent game against Kansas City. On the other hand, Cleveland is coming off a series victory in Anaheim and will have their ace on the mound for the first game.

Bieber has been incredibly reliable this year, consistently surrendering three or fewer runs in all of his starts. In his most recent outing, he didn’t give up a single run and, apart from a couple of home runs, performed exceptionally well in his previous start against the Yankees, allowing only two runs in eight innings. Last season, the 27-year-old pitcher emerged victorious in three out of five matchups against the White Sox, limiting them to two or fewer runs in four of those games. He pitched at least six-plus innings in all five starts, even completing a nine-inning game on July 12.

The White Sox have struggled more against right-handed pitchers compared to left-handed ones, evident from their .293 on-base percentage, .378 slugging percentage, and 24.2% strikeout rate. They are likely to face difficulties getting runners on base and finding opportunities to score against Bieber, who should easily record eight or more strikeouts while leading his team to victory.

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