For the first time since July of 2015, the White Sox and Cardinals will meet to play some baseball. After traveling to the South Side, the White Sox will come to the Gateway City for a two-game set that will open up Tuesday evening.
On Tuesday evening, Michael Wacha will face off against James Shields. The ballgame is set to begin at 7:15 PM Central time. Wacha has been pitching well recently, with one run allowed in each of his last two starts. Against the Mets on April 25, Wacha fanned eight batters and walked one across six innings of one-run ball. Batters are hitting .245 off Wacha this year with just six extra-base hits.
Shields is coming off what was probably his best start of the season thus far. Facing the Mariners his last time out, Shields lasted six innings and surrendered four runs. In 29 1⁄3 innings this season (five starts and one relief outing), Shields has a 1.70 WHIP with just two home runs allowed. This is at a much better rate than last year, when 27 homers were hit off him in 117 frames. In his career against Shields, Yadier Molina has a double, a homer, and five RBIs in five at-bats. Dexter Fowler is 2-for-15 with four strikeouts.
Wednesday’s matinee will feature Carlos Martinez and Lucas Giolito and begin around 12:15 PM Central time. Martinez has been one of the best pitchers in the league during the season’s first month, entering the series with the second-best ERA in the National League: a 1.43 mark that trails Johnny Cueto’s 0.84. Martinez has never faced the White Sox in his career, as Welington Castillo is the only Chicago player to have faced him in the past; Martinez has held Castillo to one base hit with five whiffs in 11 at-bats.
Giolito, you may recall, was an underlying highlight of the trade that sent Adam Eaton to the Nationals in the 2016-17 offseason and will be one of Chicago’s most important arms as they strive to return to postseason contention. The 23-year-old is getting a shot at the starting rotation. After he allowed nine earned runs in a two-inning outing against the Astros, Giolito turned around to hold the Royals to two tallies in 5 2⁄3 frames on April 26. Giolito has never faced any of the current Cardinals.