The battle of the two first place teams continues tonight between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. The Dodgers have a record of 4-3 so far this season during interleague play, while the White Sox are 5-5.
Both of these teams are led by two of the top hitters in the game at the moment. The White Sox have Paul Konerko, who leads the entire MLB with a .362 batting average, while the Dodgers have the RBI leader in the National League, Andre Ethier, who has 55 on the year.
The pitching matchup isn’t as a good on paper as last night’s matchup, but it has the potential to be a good one. It will be Chad Billingsley up against Philip Humber, who made his way into the baseball history book earlier this season when he threw the 21st perfect game in MLB history on April 21 against the Seattle Mariners. That was certainly the highlight of his season, as he has an overall record of 2-4 with a 5.92 ERA. In his last start the White Sox lost the game 11-9 to the Houston Astros, when he allowed three home runs and five earned runs.
Billingsley on the other hand, is the guy that you never know what you’re going to get. It seems like he could be a dominant pitcher in this league, but only if he can skip the first two innings, which is where he always struggles.
On the year Billingsley is 4-4 with a 3.57 ERA, so what Billingsley will we get tonight? Everyone likes the guy who can strike out 10 batters and cruise through seven innings, however, I feel like I have seen more of the guy who gives up four runs in the first two innings, and puts pressure on the offense. In Billingsley’s last outing, he went seven innings allowing only two hits, one run, and striking out eight.
Chicago White Sox (34-30) at Los Angeles Dodgers (41-24) Philip Humber (2-4, 5.92) vs. Chad Billingsley (4-4, 3.57) Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 7:10 p.m. PST, June 16, 2012 TV: KCAL, MLB Network Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish) Game-Time Weather: 66 degrees, Mostly Sunny
White Sox Projected Starters: P: Philip Humber C: A.J. Pierzynski 1B: Paul Konerko 2B: Gordon Beckham SS: Alexei Ramirez 3B: Orlando Hudson LF: Dayan Viciedo CF: Alejandro De Aza RF: Alex Rios Key Bench Players: 1B Adam Dunn, OF Brent Lillibridge
Dodgers Last 10: (7-3): W vs CHW, L vs ANA, W vs ANA, L vs ANA, W @ SEA, W @ SEA, L @ SEA, W @ PHI, W @ PHI, W @ PHI. White Sox Last 10: (3-7): L @ LA, L @ STL, L @ STL, W @ STL, L vs HOU, W vs HOU, L vs HOU, W vs TOR, L vs TOR, L vs TOR.
Key to a Dodger Victory: The Dodgers must jump on Humber early to give Billingsley an early lead, and bump up that already horrid 5.92 ERA. It will also be crucial for Billingsley to get through the first two innings quickly, with no damage done. This way he can get to the third inning, with no runs allowed, which becomes cruise mode for him after that.
Best-case: Dodgers 5, White Sox 1 Worst-case: White Sox 6, Dodgers 2