Tampa Bay Rays (65-90) at Chicago White Sox (74-81)
Monday, September 26 - 8:10 PM EST
U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois
The Chicago White Sox can still finish at .500 if they win their final seven games of the season at home against a pair of last-place teams, starting with the first of four contests with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. The White Sox, who finish the season against Minnesota, knocked off American League Central-leading Cleveland in the last two contests -- capped by Sunday’s 3-0 shutout.
Todd Frazier is heating up as the season comes to an end for Chicago, going 14-for-34 with three home runs and six RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak, and is one shy of his first 40-homer campaign. James Shields, who won 87 games with Tampa Bay over his first seven major league seasons, gets the start for the White Sox against left-hander Drew Smyly. The Rays were swept in three games over the weekend by the Boston Red Sox, losing by a combined four runs to finish their home schedule. Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria has 169 hits, needing one to set a career high, and is five away from his first 100-RBI season since 2010.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), CSN Chicago-Plus
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays LH Drew Smyly (7-11, 4.86 ERA) vs. White Sox RH James Shields (5-18, 5.98)
Smyly is unbeaten in his last 11 games, going 5-0 in that stretch with a 3.60 ERA. The 27-year-old Arkansas product gave up one run and four hits over six innings last time out in a no-decision against the New York Yankees. Jose Abreu is 4-for-6 with a homer versus Smyly, who is 0-0 with a 4.73 ERA in 11 appearances (four starts) against the White Sox – all when he was with the Detroit Tigers.
Shields is looking for his first win since July 26 and has struggled to an 0-6 record in August and September combined with a 9.46 ERA. The 34-year-old Californian was beaten at Philadelphia last time out while yielding seven runs (six earned) across 5 1/3 innings. Alexei Ramirez is 23-for-58 with two homers and six RBIs lifetime versus Shields, who is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against his former team.
1. The Rays are 7-2 against the White Sox since the start of the 2015 season after taking two of three at home in April.
2. Frazier needs one home run and four RBIs to become the sixth Chicago player to register a 40-homer/100-RBI season.
3. Tampa Bay CF Kevin Kiermaier suffered a bruised left wrist Sunday when he was hit by a pitch and is day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Rays 7, White Sox 4