Washington Nationals At White Sox Series Preview (6/7-6/9)
Gio Gonzalez (3-4, 3.94) vs. Carlos Rodon (2-5, 4.41) – 8:10 p.m, MASN2
Right now, you can make the case that Gonzalez is the worst starter in the Nats’ rotation. After a great month of April, Gonzalez has struggled in his last three outings. On June 3, against the Reds, the left-hander went six innings, gave up five runs on nine hits, struck out eight, and walked none in the loss.
Over the course of his last three starts, Gonzalez has given up 18 earned runs over 15.2 innings and has given up five home runs. His main issues come in the first three innings of games. Even though Gonzalez hasn’t given up a first inning run this year, 17 of his 28 earned runs allowed come in the second (eight) and third inning (nine).
Gonzalez has struggled against the White Sox in his career as he is 0-4 with a 5.23 ERA in six starts, but he hasn’t faced Chicago since 2014. Frazier is 2-for-8 (.250) against Gonzalez with a double.
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Two years later, the White Sox drafted Rodon with the third pick in the MLB Draft out of NC State and he made his Major League debut in 2015. This season, Rodon has gone six innings or more in nine of his 11 starts. In his last start against the Tigers on June 3, Rodon went six innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out five, and walked three in the loss.
This year, teams are hitting .282 against the 23-year-old left-hander. He has only won one game since April 13. But, Robin Ventura has allowed him to pitch deep into games as he has thrown 100+ pitches in each of his last seven starts.
Rodon has never faced anyone in the Nats lineup. He has an average velocity of 92.7 miles per hour (according to Fangraphs) to go with a slider and a changeup.
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Prediction: With the Washington Nationals having no experience against the young left-hander, I expect the lineup to struggle in the early innings as they try to figure him out. If that is the case, the White Sox will put a couple runs on the board against Gonzalez early, which will end up being the difference in the win.