Tonight will not be a clash of titans. The Chicago White Sox finished with a putrid 63 and 99 record in 2013, and will hand the game ball to Felipe Paulino, Former Rockie Great and owner of a 4.88 career ERA. In his brief tenure with the Rockies, Paulino pitched to the tune of a 7.36 ERA.
It isn't often that Paulino starts opposite a pitcher with a worse career ERA, but tonight is one of those nights. Jordan Lyles starts for the Rockies and carries a career 5.37 ERA with him. Lyles is only in the rotation due to injuries to stalwarts Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood, and he's looking to make the most of his opportunity. He turned in an eminently "meh" start in Miami five days ago, pitching five innings and allowing four runs. Nevertheless, the Rockies gutted out a victory that day; any game started by Lyles or Franklin Morales that results in a W is a successful day in my book.
The Rockies turn to their A lineup tonight in support of Lyles.
A home game at Coors Field, with their best lineup, and going against a pitcher who has struggled at 20th and Blake; all the ingredients for a shootout are there. The question is whether the White Sox will be able to counter punch.
Chicago White Sox
Today's starting lineup: pic.twitter.com/XDVC9adjTR— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 7, 2014
The White Sox trailed the American League with an 82 wRC+ in 2013, and they don't look to be markedly better this year. Jose Abreu is a positive addition; the Cuban import received $68 million dollars to man first base for the Sox, and he's had a decent first few games. Adam Eaton was a good get from the Diamondbacks. Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko can still hurt you, even if they aren't starting tonight. But overall that lineup should finish near the bottom of the pile when all is said and done.
Of course, the Rockies surrendered over six runs per game against the even more hapless Marlins last week, so who knows. A second straight series victory would be just what the doctor ordered.