Not losing to Houston would be good for morale - Lineups & Preview 5/18

The young men who dot the Houston roster work too hard, and Bo Porter seems like way too much of a grumpy rageaholic for anyone to accuse the Astros of losing on purpose, but from an organizational standpoint, there's likely no franchise that would have less invested in taking two out of three games of a weekend series against the Sox in May of 2014 than this one.

And yet, here they are on the brink of doing just that.

The Sox only have so much resistance they can offer. Both middle-of-the-order offensive cornerstones are hurt, Sunday starter John Danks' rotation status would probably be getting judged start-by-start if he weren't sporting John Danks' credentials and career history and signed to John Danks' contract, Adrian Nieto is catching because Danks is the only pitcher he can catch, and the acting cleanup hitter has a sub-.700 OPS for the month. Injuries and backup plans are part of the game. And they are a very big part of the White Sox game.

Still, the Chicago-ism of "more than enough to win with" at least applies when it comes to the 'Stros, especially with their Sunday starter being Brad Peacock, who can't seem to do anything right on the mound except miss bats. That's arguably the most important thing a pitcher can do, but when the other elements include 26 walks in 38.1 innings and five home runs in his last three outings, missed bats become a footnote. Peacock struck out 11 batters his last time out, yet gave up two bombs and four runs in six innings in a loss to the Rangers.

He can get set right and blow through the Sox order, but would never stop being a risk to blow away his work in one trainwreck inning.

White Sox Lineup:

  1. Adam Eaton - CF
  2. Gordon Beckham - 2B
  3. Conor Gillaspie - 3B
  4. Dayan Viciedo - RF
  5. Adam Dunn - DH
  6. Paul Konerko - 1B
  7. Alexei Ramirez - SS
  8. Alejandro De Aza - LF
  9. Adrian Nieto - C

John Danks - SP

CONOR (my new, creatively bankrupt nickname) has basically been Nap Lajoie in nine games since returning from his hand injury. He's hit .400/.455/.467 with as many walks as strikeouts (3) in 33 times to the plate.

Houston Astros Lineup:

  1. Jose Altuve - 2B
  2. George Springer - RF
  3. Dexter Fowler - CF
  4. Matt Dominguez - 3B
  5. Chris Carter - DH
  6. Jesus Guzman - 1B
  7. L.J. Hoes - LF
  8. Carlos Corporan - C
  9. Jonathan Villar - SS

Brad Peacock - SP


Where to Watch: 1:05pm CT on CSN Chicago


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