The series opener between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox will feature a battle of the aces with Jose Berrios and Lucas Giolito.
The Minnesota Twins are coming off an exciting three-game series against the New York Yankees. In that series, the Twins and Bronx Bombers combined for 57 runs and arguably the game of the year thus far, when the Yankees beat the Twins in 10 innings on Tuesday, 14-12.
The Twins enter Thursday night’s contest clinging to a two-game lead in the division over the Cleveland Indians. They are in desperate need of a win, as they’ve gone 3-7 in their past 10 games.
Giolito made one start against the Twins earlier this season on June 30th. Giolito was on cruise control before a rain delay forced the White Sox to shut him down for the day. Before the rain hit, Giolito tossed five scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and striking out four batters.
That’s the bad news for the Twins. The good news for the Bomba Squad is Giolito has “struggled” as of late. Over his last seven starts, he has an ERA close to five (4.78). However, he appears to have righted the ship. In two starts since the All-Star Break, he has an ERA of 2.84 and has turned in back-to-back quality starts.
Berrios has made two starts against the White Sox this year, going 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA. On May 24th, he pitched 6.2 innings giving up nine hits and one earned run. On June 28th, he tossed 7.1 innings, giving up nine hits and three earned runs.
In two starts since the All-Star Break, Berrios has an ERA 2.53. The ERA is good but he hasn’t made it to the sixth inning in either of those starts. With the Twins coming off a series in which the bullpen pitched 14 innings, the Twins need Berrios to go deep into the game tonight.
If the Twins lose tonight it will mark the second time in the past two weeks that they’ve lost three games in a row. Up until last week, the Twins did not lose three games in a row all season. With the Twins in need of a victory tonight they’ll need ace-like stuff from Berrios.