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Game #25 Preview: Kopech vs Kikuchi

White Sox (7-17) vs Blue Jays (15-9)

Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Blue Jays wrap up their series hosting the White Sox, looking to finalize their first sweep of 2023. They didn’t come through in their first two attempts at a sweep when Detroit and Tampa were in town, so they get a third kick at the can here in their third home series. If every home series this year has a failed chance for a sweep, I would be fine with that, but a sweep is also fun. Tune in at 1:07 ET to find out if they succeed.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Yusei Kikuchi will look to keep this amazing stretch of starts going for the Jays. He already got in on the fun in his last start, going 6 innings while allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. On the season he is now 3-0 with a 3.80 ERA. His FIP doesn’t paint as pretty of a picture though, coming in at 5.81 thanks to a pretty rough home run rate of 2.53 per 9 innings, higher than even last year’s rough showing. Lucky for him though, 4 of his 6 home runs have been solo shots, and the home runs have accounted for 8 of his 9 runs allowed. So outside of the home runs, he is doing a great job limiting damage and keeping the rallies down.

White Sox’ Starter

Michael Kopech makes his fifth start of the season for the White Sox, and like so many others on his team, 2023 isn’t off to a good start. He enters play today with an 0-2 record and a 6.97 ERA. His FIP is even worse, coming in at 8.17. Over 20.2 innings, he has 23 strikeouts, but has also walked 14 and given up 8 home runs. Among the 109 pitchers with at least 20 innings, that 3.48 HR/9 rate is the worst in all of baseball (Kikuchi shows up in 7th on that list). Kopech’s 6.10 BB/9 rate comes in 5th in that same group.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

White Sox’ Lineup

Yesterday’s Heroes

Danny Jansen gets the Monster Bat award, thanks to his 3-4 night with 2 home runs and 4 RBI. It’s always fun when a Blue Jay gets an award. Speaking of which...

José Berríos is the Pitcher of the Day, as the only pitcher to go at least 7 shutout innings. He gave up 4 hits and a walk while striking out 9. When I first started doing this award, I considered calling it the José Berríos award, because he was easily the most common recipient. Nice to see him earn one with the Jays.

Since the Jays’ game was a 7-0 blowout, they don’t get the clean sweep of awards. The WPA King trophy goes to Blake Sabol, who walked off the Cardinals with 2 outs in the 9th inning last night. After the inning started with an error and a double to close the gap to 4-3, the Cardinals got 2 outs with the tying run in scoring position before Sabol ended things with a home run and a 5-4 win for the Giants. Sabol’s WPA King total was .864.

Find the Link

Find the link between Eloy Jiménez and Pete Alonso.

Stats retrieved from Fangraphs and Baseball Savant