Twins starter Pineda gets rematch with White Sox

August 27, 2019

A week after helping the Minnesota Twins to a big win over the Chicago White Sox, Michael Pineda is back at it.

Pineda faces the White Sox for the second time in a row Tuesday, when the Twins open a three-game series in Chicago.

But while a pair of home runs cost Pineda in that outing, he's been a consistent arm in the Twins' rotation for months. It was just the second time Pineda has allowed more than three runs since May, a span of 17 starts.

The 30-year-old right-hander's slider has been one of the keys to his success.

Pineda uses his slider 32.8% of the time, fourth amongst American League starters. He has a 19.1% swinging-strike rate with the pitch, 12th amongst pitchers who have thrown at least 400 of them this season.

His opponent: White Sox ace Lucas Giolito, who held the Twins to just three hits in their last meeting, striking out 12 in his third complete game of the season.

Young right-hander Giolito has been light's out against lefties this season.

Left-handed batters are hitting just .171 against Giolito this season. Only Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros has a lower opponent batting average against lefties.

Fortunately, that won't be a problem for the Twins' hottest hitter since the All-Star break.

Nelson Cruz leads the majors with 17 home runs and a 1.238 OPS since the break and has a .986 OPS against right-handed pitchers, which ranks third.

Other notes:

-- Minnesota has a .584 (52-37) winning percentage against Chicago over the past five seasons. Only the Los Angeles Angels (.625) and the Cleveland Indians (.591) have been better against the White Sox over that span.

-- The White Sox have a combined .678 OPS since the break, the lowest in MLB.

-- The Twins have scored two-plus runs in a major-league-leading 207 innings this season. The New York Yankees (202) are the only other team to reach 200 such innings so far.

Statistics via Sportradar