Guardians at White Sox Game Preview | Thu 2:10 PM. EST. 5/18

May 18, 2023

Andy Billman

Enough Burger and Sheets Already, Can Not Get Swept!

3 Things: Guards and White Sox Game 3

1 – Protect against the sweep 

The Guards have still not been swept in 2023 and will need lefty Logan Allen to step up in what feels like a must-win game for morale.  Obviously, Cleveland will be ok either way, but this club needs some positive vibes. 

2 – Zero for Zunino 

Mike Zunino, who had two more strikeouts last night, is now 0 for 27 in the month of May with 21 strikeouts.  Yikes.

3 – Backend of Bullpen Rested 

There is good news for today’s game, the bullpen has not been exhausted as Xzavion Curry has done a good job in the first two games of saving the bullpen from using Emmanuel Clase, Trevor Stephan, and James Karinchak.

Guardians Notes

By the conclusion of 2022, it was widely acknowledged that the Cleveland Guardians possessed a well-rounded lineup, with the exception of their catchers.

The combined performance of Cleveland’s catchers, primarily led by Austin Hedges and Luke Maile, was abysmal, boasting a meager .180 batting average and a .534 OPS, ranking them at the bottom of the league. Recognizing the urgency to address this issue during the offseason, the team’s front office prioritized acquiring a catcher with offensive potential.

Consequently, the Guardians signed Mike Zunino to a one-year contract, despite his well-known defensive struggles. The signing carried some risk, but it seemed worthwhile due to Zunino’s impressive 33 home runs in the 2021 season.

Unfortunately, Zunino has yet to deliver on his offensive potential. His current season slash line stands at a disappointing .165/.276/.318, and as called out above in our 3 things section, in the month of May alone, he has gone 0-for-27 with 21 strikeouts.

Meanwhile, Bo Naylor has been thriving at Triple-A Columbus, showcasing a batting average of .262 and an impressive OPS of .926. Notably, Naylor has displayed his power-hitting abilities by smacking nine home runs.

Given the inconsistency within Cleveland’s lineup, such noteworthy production from Naylor cannot be overlooked. It would be prudent to provide him with an opportunity to demonstrate his capabilities at the Major League level.

Guards Stats and Insights


  • Allen makes the start for the Guardians, his fifth of the season. He is 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA and 24 strikeouts over 21 2/3 innings pitched.
  • In his last outing on Friday against the Los Angeles Angels, the left-hander threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs while surrendering eight hits.
  • Allen is looking to pick up his fourth start of five or more innings this year in this matchup.
  • The Guardians were named the money line underdog for one Allen start this season — they lost.
  • Allen’s team has compiled a 2-2 record over his four starts.
  • Allen has started four contests with a total set by oddsmakers this season. The teams have combined to go over the run total in two of them.


  • The Guardians have hit the fewest home runs in MLB action this season (23).
  • So far this season, Cleveland has the lowest slugging percentage in the majors (.340).
  • The Guardians rank 28th in MLB with a .227 batting average.
  • Cleveland scores the second-fewest runs in baseball (147 total, 3.5 per game).
  • The Guardians’ .302 on-base percentage is the third-worst in the majors.

White Sox Notes

Burger now holds the highest OPS and SLG percentage among hitters, boasting impressive numbers of .969 and .648 respectively. However, Luis Robert stands out with the most home runs and ranks second on the team with 27 RBIs. Despite hitting only four home runs, Vaughn manages to lead the Chicago squad in RBIs with 29. Yoan Moncada demonstrates his prowess by leading the team in batting average with a solid .300, despite his limited action. Additionally, Yasmani Grandal takes the lead in OBP with an impressive .349. On the pitching side, Reynaldo Lopez has successfully saved four out of eight opportunities as the closer, while Keynan Middleton showcases his skill with a 2.19 ERA across fourteen outings. In the rotation, Lucas Giolito leads the team with a 3.86 ERA in nine starts.

As the White Sox prepare to face the Guardians, all eyes are on Dylan Cease. With a WHIP of 1.45 and a 4.86 ERA, Cease has recorded 54 strikeouts in 46.1 innings pitched. In his last start against the Astros, Cease delivered an outstanding performance, going six innings without conceding any runs, and striking out five while allowing two walks. It was arguably his best start of the season. Despite the team’s success, they have encountered some injuries, with only five players listed on the injury report. Notable names such as Eloy Jimenez, Elvis Andrus, and Liam Hendricks are all out long-term.

White Sox Stats and Insights


  • Cease and his team has a record of 5-4-0 against the spread when he starts.
  • The right-hander’s last start was on Saturday when he tossed six innings without allowing a run on four hits in a matchup with the Houston Astros.
  • Cease has three starts in a row of five innings or more.
  • When Cease starts a game and his team is the favorite on the money line, they have a record of 4-2.
  • In games, Cease has started, and his team is 5-4.
  • Out of Cease’s nine starts with a total this season, five have hit the over.


  • The White Sox’s 50 home runs rank 15th in Major League Baseball.
  • The offense for Chicago has a slugging percentage of .401 this season, 16th in MLB.
  • The White Sox rank 16th in MLB with a .244 team batting average.
  • Chicago has scored the 17th-most runs in the majors this season with 190 (4.3 per game).
  • The White Sox have an on-base percentage of .304 this season, which ranks 27th in the league.
  • Chicago ranks 12th in MLB in strikeouts per game with an average of 8.4 whiffs per contest.

Final Thoughts

The White Sox are the favorites to win with a money line of -140, while the Guardians have odds of +120. Vegas thinks we lose today, do you blame them for thinking this way?

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